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Oct 13th
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dining_roudonsmithPinot Noir 2008

Roudon-Smith is one of the better-known wineries in the area. Their wines are to be found in good wine stores and on the menu of many local restaurants. If you haven’t visited the winery’s tasting room down the long and winding Bean Creek Road in Scotts Valley, then you’re in for a treat. Hidden away under a redwood canopy, it’s in a beautiful bucolic setting. And some good wines await you when you get there.

The Pinot Noir 2008 Santa Cruz Mountains Private Reserve ($30) is a resoundingly good wine that will complement a wide variety of food. This is the sort of wine I like to enjoy on a cold night because it’s robust and hearty–the sort of wine that warms the cockles of your heart. Bold flavors of cherries and cinnamon–with just the right amount of toasted oak–fill the mouth with characteristic earthiness. Here is a wine that would grace anybody’s table. Winemaker Brandon Armitage really shows his winemaking skills in this 2008 Pinot.

Roudon-Smith Winery, 2364 Bean Creek Road, Scotts Valley. 438-1244. Open Saturday noon to 4:30 p.m. and for group appointments.

Wine Events:

Roudon-Smith will be putting on its fifth Holiday Party on Saturday, Dec. 4 from noon to 5 p.m. Local bell ringers will be there playing all the classic holidays songs, and there will be tasting samples of Theo organic chocolate to pair with Roudon-Smith’s wines. Tasting fee is $15 per person, which includes souvenir wine glass, chocolates and wine tasting. Wine club members pay $5 for themselves and a total of four guests.

Tasting Room Tuesdays at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose

On two Tuesdays every month until August 2011, San Jose’s most iconic hotel is featuring wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains. A winery representative will pour and be available for “vine talk” from 5-7 p.m. in the Lobby Lounge. Dec. 7 and 14 features Sarah’s Vineyard, and Jan. 11 and 25 features Poetic Cellars. Info:

Winemaker Wednesdays at Shadowbrook

Martin Ranch will be the featured winery on Wednesday, Dec. 8 in the Rock Room of Shadowbrook Restaurant from 5-8 p.m. Info:

Windy Oaks Winemaker’s Dinner at Cin-Cin in Los Gatos

Chef Chris Schloss has created a beautiful menu to pair with the wonderful wine of Windy Oaks on Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 6:30 p.m.  Cost is $90 per person exclusive of tax and gratuity. To RSVP call the restaurant directly at (408) 354-8006,

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Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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