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Feb 11th
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Odonata

dining_odonataMalbec 2008

I first met Denis Hoey, winemaker and owner of Odonata, several years ago when he was just starting out with his own label. At that time it was called Dragonfly, but, due to a trademark issue, the named had to be changed. Continuing with the dragonfly theme, Hoey decided to call his wines Odonata–after an order of insects encompassing the dragonfly and the damselfly. And, it almost goes without saying, the very attractive labels on bottles of Odonata wines have a beautiful dragonfly image.

When I bought a bottle of Malbec, Alta Mesa Vineyard, ($28) from Hoey last month at the tasting room he shares with Jeff Emery of Santa Cruz Mountain Winery–both wineries are part of the Surf City Vintners collective–he was knee-deep in harvest, and all the hard work that it involves. Working as production manager for Emery’s winery as well as making his own wines keeps very Hoey busy, but this garnered experience over the years really shows in his wines, which only get better and better.

The very complex Malbec has aromatics of citrus zest, lush purple berries and bittersweet chocolate. The mouth-feel is one of candied fruit with a touch of dense chocolate texture, which I absolutely love. This would be a luscious wine to open up on Thanksgiving and share with family and friends–and to give thanks for our abundant harvest as we take sip.


Odonata, 334-A Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 566-5147. odonatawines.com.


Wine Events
Passport Day comes around every three months, so don’t miss this opportunity to go wine tasting on Saturday, Nov. 20. This is the day when you can visit wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA–providing you have a Passport, which will cost you $40 and can be purchased at any winery. When you visit each winery, you get your Passport (which doesn’t expire) stamped–and with more than 70 wineries belonging to SCMWA, it will take you a long time to fill it up. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Info: 685-8464, or scmwa.com or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Vino Tabi is putting on one of the first in a series of food and wine pairings in conjunction with Coastal Catering. Sunday, Nov. 21 from 2-4 p.m. $30. 334 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 426-1809. vino-tabi-wine.com.


Ma Maison’s chef, Lionel Le Morvan, is presenting a wonderful Thanksgiving menu–all ready to pair with some of the 10 local wines this lovely French restaurant carries. Ma Maison, 9051 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-5566. mamaisonrestaurant.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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