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Feb 11th
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Bargetto Winery

dining_bargettowineChardonnay 2008

A friend was treating me to dinner at Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, so the least I could do was buy the wine. I plumped for a Bargetto Chardonnay 2008 Central Coast ($19:50 a bottle/$6 by the glass). I knew this very drinkable wine would go with Zameen’s delicious food—with its strong Persian and Mediterranean influences.

We picked a cozy table in a corner and Zameen’s owner, Ed Watson, rushed over with the nicely chilled wine and opened it up. Although this place is casual dining—food is ordered over-the-counter–the service doesn’t reflect that. Food is always delivered to the table and service is prompt and courteous. Zameen knows how to pack a flavor punch into its offerings—and prices are very reasonable, and portions plentiful.

We take our first sip of the Bargetto wine. As expected, it’s very fruit-forward with a good balance of minerals and tropical fruit. This wine is so flexible, easily pairing with many different kinds of food—even the more exotic fare of Zameen.

My order of Falafel Wrap arrives—a mere $6.95 for a huge sandwich—with my choice of tahini sauce, and my friend’s order of Saffron Chicken Kebab. We didn’t need the Sweet Potato Fries, but we got through the whole lot. We also got through most of the bottle of Chardonnay. Although it has a rich mouthfeel, it’s not a heavy wine.

Bargetto Winery won a total of nine medals in this year’s Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Commercial Wine Competition, including a gold for their 2007 Pinot. The 2008 Chardonnay came in with a bronze.


Bargetto Winery, 3535 N. Main St., Soquel, 475-2258. bargetto.com. Tasting room and gift shop open daily. Zameen Meditteranean Cuisine, 7528 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-4465. zameencuisine.com.


Shadowbrook Restaurant continues with its very popular series of Winemaker Wednesdays. Each week from now through April, a different Santa Cruz Mountains appellation wine is spotlighted – with special pricing throughout the week and half off the wine on Wednesdays. On these popular Wednesdays, the winemakers of various wineries are at Shadowbrook from 5-8 p.m., and each flight of wine comes with complimentary hors d’oeuvres. The restaurant also launches its Community Tuesdays program—now in its 13th year—which runs from November until March. Nonprofits benefit from the restaurant returning 33 percent of the profits back to the organization. Shadowbrook, 1750 Wharf Road, Capitola,475-1511, shadowbrook-capitola.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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