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Apr 16th
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Wine

Dining - Wine Reviews

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

 

Chardonnay 2009
 
Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small family-owned winery located in Scotts Valley. When owners Berna and John Bruzzone started planting grapes in 1999, they were already running a well-established business and had plenty of work to keep them occupied. But producing your own wine is definitely a passion that can’t be suppressed, and when it comes time for harvesting and getting juice into bottle, the excitement factor knows no bounds. I remember Berna giving me a tour of their vineyards several years ago and telling me how thrilled they are to be making such excellent Chardonnay. 
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Dining - Wine Reviews

Silver Mountain Vineyards

Silver Mountain Vineyards

 

Rosé of Pinot Noir 2010: Think Pink!
 
At a recent visit to Silver Mountain Vineyards’ tasting room on the Westside, I tried a Rosé of Pinot Noir 2010 Central Coast which is truly delightful. Grapes for this Rosé are sourced from Tondre Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Miller Hill and Muns Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains—and the wine has a bright crispiness associated with classic Rosés. 
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Dining - 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 - 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 - 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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Dining - Wine Reviews

Villa del Monte Winery

Villa del Monte Winery

 

Pinot Noir 2010

There are times when a really good bottle of wine gets your attention. I first tasted this lovely Pinot in January at the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association’s Wine & Crab Taste Off, and it’s very impressive.  
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Dining - Wine Reviews

Pelican Ranch Winery

Pelican Ranch WineryChardonnay 2008

Lindwood’s Bar & Grill at Chaminade puts on a great Happy Hour. Meeting up with friends at this lovely resort is always a pleasure—especially in the more casual setting of Linwood’s. Happy Hour features all drinks for $5. And the good news is that Daylight Saving Time starts on March 11 so we can now enjoy longer days on the outdoor terrace of Chaminade.
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Dining - Wine Reviews

The Organic Wine Works

The Organic Wine WorksBountiful Blush 2010

With spring just around the corner, it’s time to bring out the picnic wines. And by that I mean the fruity Rosés, Chardonnays and Sauvignon Blancs. As the weather warms up, people tend to gravitate more toward Rosés and white wines than the heavier reds.
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Dining - Wine Reviews

Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery

Hunter Hill Vineyard & WineryBarbera 2010 and Center Street Grill  

With our bottle of Hunter Hill Barbera in hand, we head to Center Street Grill for dinner. I often take my own wine to restaurants—especially if I have one I really want to try—and pay the corkage fee. Center Street Grill is a restaurant we visit on a regular basis. I lived in Greece for 13 years, so I particularly love the Mediterranean-influenced food prepared by owner Danny Voutos. Voutos is of Greek descent, so he grew up appreciating olive oil-based cuisine, and flavoring food with fresh herbs and spices.
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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

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.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

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

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.