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Jul 25th
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Wine

Dining - Wine Reviews

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

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).

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Wine Hopping

Wine Hopping

Wining and dining over the Easter holidays and beyond

Wine Tasting
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.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards

Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards

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.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Copious Winery

Copious Winery

Cabernet Sauvignon 2009

Looking for something really luscious and exciting? Let me recommend Copious Winery’s Cabernet Sauvignon.

With a craving for some good Italian food, my husband and I went to Ristorante Barolo in Aptos for dinner and I took along a bottle of Copious Winery’s Cab ($42). With its muscular body and earthy nutty quality, it goes really well with hearty fare such as meat dishes and a good bowl of pasta. I almost always have a pasta dish at this restaurant and the one I had this time, one of the specials stuffed with crab, was excellent.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Pat Paulsen Vineyards

Pat Paulsen Vineyards

Odyssey 2010—take a wine journey with Monty Paulsen

I would say a winery has reached the dizzy heights of fame when its wine has been served in the White House. But all that was some time ago when the winery was owned and run by Pat Paulsen. As many of you will remember, Paulsen, who died in 1997, was a celebrity comedian and regularly featured on the Smothers Brothers TV shows. He might be even better known for running for president of the United States—albeit rather tongue-in-cheek attempts.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

West Cliff Wines

West Cliff Wines

Rose of Syrah 2011— a lush pink wine

What do Shopper’s Corner, Beauregard Vineyards and West Cliff Wines have in common? They all belong to the same family. Jim Beauregard owns Shopper’s Corner, and his sons Ryan and Andre are the talented duo behind their own wine labels—Ryan with Beauregard Vineyards and Andre with West Cliff Wines.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Silver Mountain Vineyards

Silver Mountain Vineyards

Syrah 2007: A desirable red wine for Valentine’s Day

Looking for some sexy wine to drink over Valentine’s weekend? Then I would recommend Silver Mountain’s full-bodied Syrah.

This gorgeous rich wine has the classic meaty quality of Syrah with an abundance of dried blueberries, pepper and a touch of prosciutto. With juniper and allspice on the palate, and fennel, blackberry and blueberry on the nose, this is a delicious wine to simply enjoy. Syrah is also a very easy wine to pair with a variety of different foods—especially with all the decadent stuff you might want to eat this Valentine’s weekend—chocolate, oysters, voluptuous desserts, titillating delicacies, and so on.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Talbott Vineyards

Talbott Vineyards

Chardonnay 2011—From Talbott Ties to Talbott Wine

By Josie Cowden Dining at Pacific’s Edge in the Hyatt Highlands Inn in Carmel is a wonderful experience. Not only is this a stunning restaurant with an almighty ocean view, but also the cuisine is outstanding. The wine cellar is one of the finest on the Central Coast and features a selection from all over the world, as well as many California wines. And if you need a suggestion of what to pair with your food, one of the restaurant’s sommeliers will take care of you.

At a recent dinner at Pacific’s Edge, I selected a Talbott Chardonnay 2010. The estate-grown grapes for this excellent wine come from Sleepy Hollow Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, one of the most significant vineyards in this appellation. Owned by Talbot Vineyards, this expansive piece of land is prime grape-growing country with deep sand and gravelly soils coupled with dramatic coastal weather, which means the right amount of sun and then cooling fog.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Opening and Closings in 2012

Opening and Closings in 2012

We are now well into 2013 and things should be settling down in our local wining and dining world. Many new restaurants opened last year, but, sadly, a few we loved also closed their doors. Here is a partial list of openings and closings in 2012.

Green Valley Grill, possibly the most popular restaurant in Watsonville, closed its doors in October. Fortunately two new places opened up in the area—the Beach Street Café, and the California Grill in Freedom.

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.