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Apr 17th
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Wine

Dining - Wine Reviews

Year in Review

Year in Review

Wining and dining in 2012

Now that 2012 is behind us, here is a partial list of local wining and dining I enjoyed last year. As you’re thinking ahead for 2013, you might want to visit some of these wonderful eateries and try their food and wines. Here’s wishing you all a very Happy New year. Cheers!

 

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Dining - Wine Reviews

DaVine Cellars

DaVine Cellars

Cabernet Sauvignon 2008

Fandango in Pacific Grove is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It has gained a fine reputation over the years due, in no small part, to the expertise of chef and owner Pierre Bain, who runs this upscale restaurant with his wife Marietta.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Quinta Cruz

Quinta Cruz

Rabelo Dessert Wine 2007

When Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard makes wine, he goes all out to make sure it is the very best product in every way. He is a talented and dedicated winemaker who likes a challenge—and he gravitates toward the more adventurous wines.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Vine & Dine

Vine & Dine

Stocking Stuffers

Christmas is just around the corner and there are always last-minute gifts to buy—including the all-important little stocking stuffers. Here are a few suggestions of things you can buy locally that I’m sure your dear ones will love:

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Mica Cellars

Mica Cellars

Cabernet Franc 2009 

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to start thinking about stocking up your wine rack with a few bottles of good local wine. As the weather gets colder, I always like to have some robust wines at hand, especially those that go with the heartier meals served over the holidays.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Equinox Wine

Equinox Wine

Sparkling Wine  

As we plan our holiday festivities, most of us have Champagne on our shopping list. After all, there’s nothing that compares to a fine glass of bubbly to celebrate the festive season. An excellent Champagne (or sparkling wine as it has to be called if it is made outside of the Champagne region of France) is made right here in town by expert winemaker Barry Jackson of Equinox Wine.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Vine & Dine

Vine & Dine

Places to sip wine around the Thanksgiving holiday

Good Libations
Many people take a few extra days off work over Thanksgiving in order to add on to what is, for most, a four-day holiday. This is a perfect opportunity to visit restaurants, wine bars and wineries–and head to a few places you haven’t tried before. Here are some suggestions of where to find some tasty eats and good libations:

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Dining - Wine Reviews

McIntyre Vineyards

McIntyre Vineyards

Merlot 2010

When my husband and I attend events in the Monterey and Carmel areas, we often stay over at the Hyatt Monterey. It’s conveniently located just off Highway 1 and the facilities are top notch.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

House Family Winery

House Family Winery

Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Located on a 73-acre compound above Saratoga is House Family Winery. This family-owned-and-operated business makes all its wine from grapes grown in their Old Oak Vineyard on their extensive property.

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Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

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Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

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

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.