The United States is such a geographically diverse country that I never cease to be amazed. Coming from the pint-sized country of England, when I travel the wide-open spaces of the U.S., it always takes my breath away. My husband and I recently did a road trip to Yellowstone—our second time there—taking in Badlands National Park and the Black Hills of South Dakota also. Because we were staying in cabins in the national parks, we took our own wine – as well as an abundance of snack food.One of the wines that traveled really well was a Foxglove Chardonnay, a medium-priced wine that I bought in Vinocruz for $13.75. J-P Correa at Vinocruz had recommended it when I went in to check out what’s new. I was looking for an inexpensive bottle of wine to take on our trip that I could write about after, and this one fit the bill. The 2009 Chardonnay, Central Coast, is a flexible wine that goes well with most food – especially picnics in national parks! It certainly traveled well – and came out unscathed after being jostled around in the trunk of our car.
Made by Varner Wines under the Foxglove label, this smooth Chardonnay has luscious flavors of pears and apples. Serve it lightly chilled and you’ll most certainly taste an abundance of tropical fruit as well.
Bob and Jim Varner, who own Varner Wines, say their mission is “to grow perfect Chardonnay fruit, then leave it be.” They know what they’re doing.
Varner Wines, 648 Menlo Ave., Suite 5, Menlo Park, CA 94025. (650) 321-4894. varnerwines.com.
The Palm Deli in Aptos is now putting on wine tasting events on the first Tuesday of every month starting at 6 p.m. sharp. A $10 tasting fee includes light appetizers. During warm weather, wine tasting will be on the patio and will move inside in the winter. Dates through the end of the year are:
Oct. 5 – Italy
Nov. 9 – Paso Robles
Dec. 7 – France
Note: The Palm Deli (which used to be called Piggie’s Market) has undergone a complete makeover. Proprietor Ericka Glaum keeps a pretty good selection of wine in stock from many corners of the globe – as well as local. Palm Deli, 3000 Valencia Ave., Aptos, 688-Deli (3354). ThePalmDeli.com.
Vine Hill Winery has released “Sea Change” – a new Pinot Noir. Complementing the wine’s tribute to the symbiotic relationship between land and sea, the wine is blended from the very best Pinot Noir Vine Hill has to offer. It’s $39 a bottle. A percentage of sales goes to the Seymour Marine Discover Center. Info: vinehillwinery.com or call 427-0436.
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