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Sep 02nd
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Wine

Dining - Wine Reviews

Thomas Fogarty Winery

Thomas Fogarty Winery

Gewürztraminer 2009

When looking for a bottle of wine, Gewürztraminer is not the first to come to mind. Given the popularity of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir – to name but a few – Gewürztraminer sits low on the totem pole. Somewhat sweeter than most wines, Gewürztraminer is often drunk with dessert – as is a Sauterne or a port wine. That doesn’t mean to say that it can’t ever be drunk with savory food.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Burrell School Vineyards & Winery

Burrell School Vineyards & Winery

Pinot Noir 2007 – Estate Reserve Principal’s Choice

A Russian, a Greek and a Brit go out for dinner and drink a bottle of Pinot Noir. It sounds like the beginning of a joke, but I, the Brit, do, in fact, have friends from Russia and Greece and we go out for dinner now and again.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Pleasant Valley Vineyards

Austin Craig Zinfandel 2008 —Big Red Zinfandel 

Looking for a Zinfandel that’s bold, voluptuous and deliciously good? Then let me introduce you to Pleasant Valley Vineyards’ 2008 Austin Craig Zin. Here’s a sinful Zinful if ever there was one. From the time that Craig and Cathy Handley purchased Pleasant Valley Vineyards in 1996, they have been producing some excellent wines—and the 2008 Grand Reserve Zin ($40) is one of them.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Vino Tabi Winery

Vino Tabi Winery

2008 California Red Wine Blend

Once a month I get together with my British group of women friends, and it usually the one who is hosting makes dinner for the group. My friend Joanna has gone on an organic vegan diet so the food she prepared for us all was ultra healthy with spinach from her garden and palm sugar in the dessert instead of white sugar.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Naumann Vineyards

Naumann Vineyards

Tre Rosso Cali 2009—Three Reds of California

Don Naumann, winemaker and owner of Naumann Vineyards, has produced an interesting wine called Tre Rosso Cali, which translates to three reds of California. This is his first release of this particular blend of three red varietals—Merlot 60 percent; Cabernet Sauvignon 30 percent; and Cabernet Franc 10 percent—and it comes together beautifully.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Bonny Doon Vineyard

Riesling 2006 – Riesling to Live

Although Randall Grahm and I have met many times over the years, we had never sat down one on one and had a lengthy conversation. The occasion was to chat over dinner at Le Cigare Volant, Grahm’s newly named restaurant which used to be called Cellar Door, and to talk about wine (what else!).

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Storrs Winery

Storrs Winery

Chardonnay 2010 - Gold Medal Winner at San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 


One of the best-known wineries in Santa Cruz County is Storrs. Their wines are easy to find in most local supermarkets and liquor stores, and you will see them on many a restaurant’s wine list. And the reason is – they make excellent wine that is reasonably priced for the quality product you get.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Zayante Vineyards

Zayante Vineyards

Chardonnay 2010

And a Life on the Ocean Wave By Josie Cowden Sailing out to sea on the Chardonnay II with a glass of Chardonnay in hand is wine-tasting at its best. The two Chardonnays go together like bunches of grapes ripening on a vine.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Hallcrest Vineyards

Hallcrest Vineyards

Pinot Noir 2008—A Lovely Libation

There are Pinots and then there are Pinots. When John Schumacher, winemaker and owner of Hallcrest Vineyards, makes a Pinot Noir, the result is usually a knock-your-socks-off wine. And the 2008 Pinot ($48) most certainly falls into that category.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Foodie File: Beer Thirty

Cups runneth over at Soquel’s new beer garden

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.