Pinot Noir 2009
One of my favorite wine-related events of the year is Pinot Paradise, which takes place every March at Villa Ragusa in Campbell. It’s a day when Pinot lovers come out in full force to enjoy the fruit of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Pizzeria Avanti fires up its new oven for a taste of New York
Although Ristorante Avanti moved to another location on the same street, it left pieces of itself behind. Pieces of pizza that is, as well as a couple of their popular salads.
Now, Pizzeria Avanti continues Avanti’s long-observed tradition of using local organic produce, naturally raised meats and sustainable seafood, as well as in-house baking of bread.
As Santa Cruz emerges from its wintry slumber, the sights, sounds and sumptuous flavors of our vibrant home come alive with the sunshine of spring. There’s plenty to keep you and your appetite busy, but if you need some inspiration, take note of the tasty ideas on the following pages. We have bites and sips that will satisfy you no matter the mood you find yourself in as the weather warms up. Feeling stressed? Slow down with a traditional tea ritual at Hidden Peak Teahouse (page 52), or unwind over a pint of organic brew at the mellow new beer hotspot Discretion Brewing (page 44). Enjoying an adventurous streak? Try a Beer Float from The Picnic Basket (page 34), or consider stopping by the Young Farmers and Ranchers annual Testicle Festival (page 59).
Sean Boyle Syrah 2008—a sumptuous wine for spring
I love that Craig and Cathy Handley, owners of Pleasant Valley Vineyards, have named their wines after family members, including nieces and nephews. We have Dylan David, Brittany Morgan, Casey Alexander, Abby Madison, Austin Craig—and Sean Boyle Syrah ($40).
Shops, theatre and fine dining await near Santa Cruz. What can we learn?
Sometimes I need a quick getaway that’s actually relaxing. Palo Alto fits the bill, especially when I can relax on Public Transit and stay in a beautiful hotel relatively inexpensively.
The downtown entertainment section is roughly two blocks wide, bisected by University Avenue, which runs perhaps 10 blocks west of the El Camino.
GT's Spring Food & Wine magazine hits stands this Thursday, April 4. In the meantime, here’s a small taste of the folks and local flavors featured in its pages. All photos by Keana Parker.
See entire Food & Wine Spring 2013 issue >
Wining and dining over the Easter holidays and beyond
The Santa Cruz Mountains are awash with incredible wineries, so it’s good to get out and try new wines, and discover a new place you haven’t been to before. Visit the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association website—scmwa.com—for a list of wineries and tasting rooms in the area.
Discretion Brewing brings the community together through food and brews
Some 2,300 years ago, the classical Greek philosopher Plato proclaimed, “He was a wise man who invented beer.” In the millenniums since, uncountable cultures have fiddled with the recipe of ancients, creating a multitude of styles and flavors based on available ingredients.
For my mother’s birthday party last month, my dad specially ordered a carrot cake from a famous Las Vegas pâtissier. It was gorgeously decorated, but inedible. Two cake layers had been halved to create four, and between each one was a thick layer of cream cheese frosting. The guests couldn’t eat it, much less agree to take any leftovers home. My dad felt so let down after his special effort.
Pinot Noir 2010—Big and Bold
The big fruity purple liquid that makes up the 2010 Pinot, Central Coast ($26), is bold and vivacious. Earthy flavors linger on the tongue, along with luscious ripe fruit—cherries and blackberries in particular. It’s actually a blend of two vineyards from the Central Coast region, but this lovely Pinot made by Savannah-Chanelle has all the quality and structure of a high-end single vineyard bottling.