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Dec 21st
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Food & Drink

Wine Reviews

Sarah’s Vineyard & Wine Events

Sarah’s Vineyard & Wine Events

Nuits d’Enfer Merlot 2007 “Nights of Hell”

 I must admit that part of the attraction of trying this wine is the name of it. When a wine is called “Nights of Hell,” then it’s either going to set you on fire and give you a torturous night’s sleep, or it’s going to fill you with devilish passion and test your terpsichorean abilities to the max.

I am happy to report that neither was the case after taking a sip. I wanted to dance around only because the wine was so delightful.

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Dining Reviews

Calm after the Storm

Calm after the Storm

The Old Mountain Inn serves rib-sticking breakfasts like the ones grandma used to make

After a springtime rain in the mountains of Santa Cruz, the air is fresh, the damp earth reveals its aroma, and the weekend roads are relatively untraveled. A recent early morning drive took us to the quaint Old Mountain Inn for a filling breakfast.

A collection of live and silk plants adorn the interior while numerous skylights add light. I took time to appreciate the old photographs and the collection of doilies on the walls, some crocheted with an extremely fine hook, but all with such perfectly identical stitches.

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Dining Reviews

Eat and Meet

Eat and Meet

If preparing marvelous meals appeals to you, the Santa Cruz Mountains Gourmet Dinner Club allows you to explore the world of food and wine, as well as the opportunity to meet people throughout the county.

The SCMGDC will hold its annual membership drive and brunch on Sunday April 15 from noon until 3 p.m. in Ben Lomond. Reservations are required for the $15 event which will include a sampling of the members’ culinary skills. Wines will be available for purchase.

A shared supper table has long been a source of building communities. What began as a club for residents of the San Lorenzo Valley has expanded to include Aptos, Capitola, Live Oak, Santa Cruz, Bonny Doon and Redwood Estates.

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Wine Reviews

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Contra 2009

 
It’s always exciting to find local wines in places out of town. My husband and I were in Palm Desert recently for the Paribas tennis tournament in Indian Wells—staying at one of the Marriott villas, complete with full kitchen. Although it’s fun to try the huge variety of wonderful restaurants in the area, we also like to prepare our own dinner now and again, so we stopped by Bristol Farms grocery store for something to cook out on the grill. 
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Dining Reviews

Scrumptious Send-off

Scrumptious Send-off

 

Downtown's Oswald continues to combine flavorful seasonal ingredients with appetizing presentations 
 
This wasn't the first time my son has said goodbye to Santa Cruz. Going away to college, from my perspective, was significant, but landing a job with a promising career path and securing an apartment in San Francisco, I consider monumental. 
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Dining Reviews

Beyond Beef

Beyond Beef

Aptos Burger Company is approaching it's 11th birthday. It's located in the Rancho Del Mar shopping center, which will undergo big changes after its recent purchase by Safeway.

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Dining Reviews

The True Olive Connection

The True Olive Connection

A Taste of Things to Come

When The True Olive Connection opened up in Downtown Santa Cruz in November 2010 with a fine collection of olive oils from all over the world, the store was an instant hit. It filled a niche for shoppers and tourists – providing a place to taste gourmet olive oil in a beautiful setting. 

Olive oil has been a staple of Mediterranean and other cuisines for hundreds of years, but is now showing up in pantries across the United States. As people become more health conscious, the days of cooking in unhealthy fats are dwindling.

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Dining Reviews

Tea For Three

Tea For Three

 

Delightful atmosphere, goodies, and service make a trip to Bloomsbury Tea Room memorable 
 
It seemed an appropriate venue for a reunion of two beautiful young women who first met in daycare two decades ago. For the first time, my daughter had missed a Santa Cruz Christmas due to obligations in the county swathed in Dodger Blue. Finally able to sneak north, we got fancy and headed to Capitola's Bloomsbury Tea Room.
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Dining Reviews

From the Porch

From the Porch

Start saving your eggshells, because it's almost time to plant tomatoes. Love Apple Farm's annual heirloom seedling sale is under way at a new venue; Ivy's Porch in Scotts Valley.

 
 

Ivy's porch is a one-acre collective, on Scotts Valley Drive just south of Victor Square, specializing in home decor, antiques, and collectibles. Beautiful gardens feature topiaries and statuary. The Farm has planted a garden which showcases attractive combinations of ornamental and edible plants.

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Wine Reviews

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Trout Gulch Vineyards

 

La Belle Petite Poulette Grenache Rosé 2010
 
I love writing about Rosé wines. They are making such a comeback from days of yesteryear, and I am thrilled about all the good ones being made locally.
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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

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