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Feb 10th
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Ghost Tree Wines Merlot 2007 + Wine Events

wine_grapesBirthdays are always an occasion to dine out. Five of my women friends and I headed to The Greek restaurant on Front Street to celebrate a friend’s birthday. One friend in our group, who is Greek, knows the owner, Vasili Karagiannopoulos, so as soon as we were seated he started plying us with typical little appetizers – in true Greek hospitality style. Meantime, we had all ordered an entrée, so in less time than it takes to say yassou (hello in Greek), our table was weighted down with all kinds of good Greek food.

Although we ordered some Greek wine to go with the Hellenic fare, I had brought along a bottle of Ghost Tree Merlot, 2007 Santa Cruz Mountains. I thought it would be fun to try a taste of something local – even though nothing goes better with Greek food than the wine of this country. Greek wine production, by the way, has got better over the years. When I first went to live in Greece many moons ago – I was there for 13 years – the wine was not terribly exciting. But it has greatly improved and there are lots of good wines around in Greece nowadays. Mind you, after years of drinking the rough stuff – you can buy it by the kilo from barrels in tavernas – I actually acquired a taste for it, especially Retsina, the resin-flavored wine.

Ghost Tree wine is produced in Corralitos by Richard Alfaro, of Alfaro Family Vineyards, and his partner in various wine ventures, Joe Martin. When the two of them were growing up in the Monterey area, they used to hang out by an old tree, known as the Ghost Tree, so they named their wine after it. I bought it at New Leaf for about $10 – a bargain for a nice peppery brew with a good ruby hue.

Ghost Tree Wines, 420 Hames Road, Corralitos, 728-5172. ghosttreewine.com.


Wine Events

Silver Mountain Vineyards will be featuring its organic wine at a raw food event at Mint in Scotts Valley on Sunday, May 16 from noon to 3 p.m. Entitled “Fresh Start,” the workshop features food to cleanse, nourish and balance your body. It will be led by Robyn Boyd, author of “RawSome Recipes” and Melissa Mango, author of “Green Cuisine,” chef on GLiving TV, and an expert in the raw food world. Cost is $125, which includes making and eating a wide range of raw vegan recipes – paired with Silver Mountain wines. Call Robyn Boyd at 566-0500 to reserve a spot.

Corralitos Wine Trail: This very popular event will take place on Saturday, May 8 from noon to 5 p.m. at the following vineyards: Alfaro Family Vineyards; Nicholson Vineyards; Pleasant Valley Vineyards; Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery. Tickets are $40 for this music, food and wine event. What a nice way to start Mother’s Day weekend. Info: Corralitoswinetrail.com.

 

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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