We all know that a good wine pairing for seafood is Chardonnay. When friends my husband and I hadn’t seen for a while suggested we meet up for dinner, Hawgs cropped up as the place to go for good seafood. With the dinner night picked out, we head over to Hawgs, and I take along a bottle of Zayante Vineyard Chardonnay to share.
Every time I drive by this popular restaurant, the car park is always full and the place is abuzz with customers. This night was no exception. Hawgs took off from the very beginning. It has a really good vibe, and an upbeat energy that resonates in the atmosphere, the wait staff and the food.
Whilst waiting for our order, we open up the estate-bottled Chardonnay (about $18) and take a sip. This is a wine that’s totally produced by Zayante. The grapes are grown on their land, and the wine is bottled on the premises. Greg Nolten and his wife Kathleen Starkey-Nolten, the winery owners, are pretty picky about getting everything just right.
“The luscious flavors on the palate are highlighted by a toasty oak and a slightly flinty complexity from our soil,” the Noltens write about their Chardonnay. There are also the beautiful aromas of crisp green apples and pears that make this wine so refreshing and drinkable – and a perfect pairing with seafood, in fact.
Hawgs features fresh local and sustainable seafood, plus mouth-watering appetizers and desserts. By the time our starters of calamari and crab cakes have disappeared, the Chardonnay has, too, so we order another bottle of wine. It’s not local, but it goes down well with our delicious seafood entrees.
Zayante Vineyard is not open to the public very often – check their website for dates, but they are now at the Felton Farmers’ Market every Tuesday from 2:30-6:30 p.m. in the St. John’s Church parking lot on Hwy. 9. From May through October you can meet the winemakers there and buy wine from them.
Zayante Vineyard, 420 Old Mount Road, Felton, 335-7992. zayantevineyards.com. Hawgs Seafood Bar, 1917 Mission St., Santa Cruz, 458-3474. hawgsseafood.com.
Wine Events: Domenico Wines is putting on a golfing event called Divine Wine & Nine at Half Moon Bay Golf Links on Friday, Aug. 20. Join Domenico for a nine-hole golf tournament and a six-course winemaker dinner featuring winemaker Dominick Chirichillo. Golf starts at 4 p.m. and dinner at 7 p.m. Golf and dinner: $250; golf only $125; dinner only $125. Info: domenicowines.com.
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