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Sep 17th
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Ridge Vineyards

dining_ridgevineyardThree Valleys 2008
When seven women go out for dinner, it’s not necessarily guaranteed that the noise level will be kept to a minimum. We decided to dine at Center Street Grill because we could have our own cozy corner in the spacious restaurant and a few decibels of heated conversation would not disturb other diners.

Center Street Grill now has a full bar, so it’s a good spot to go for that after-work glass of wine or gin and tonic. They carry some Santa Cruz Mountains wines, too, a fact which always gains high marks in my book.

Ridge Vineyards has long been a member of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA) and is a very well known and prestigious winery. I was pleased to see Ridge on the wine menu at Center Street Grill and I ordered a bottle of Three Valleys ($30) for us all to share.

The Ridge Three Valleys is a blend of 74 percent Zinfandel, 11 percent Petite Sirah, 5 percent Carignane, 4 percent Mataro, 3 percent Syrah and 3 percent Grenache. It takes a knowledgeable and experienced winemaker to blend all these different wines together and get it all just right. But then, Ridge has been in business for five decades, and has a fine team of expert winemakers to make sure that every bottle of wine is made to a high standard.

Three Valleys contains grapes from seven different vineyards, with all the hand-harvested fruit being carefully selected. Zinfandel is the most prominent grape, so the wine’s varietel character is decided from that. Zinfandel lovers will appreciate the typical characteristics of raspberry, cherry and peppery spicy fruit. This really is a lovely wine–aged nine months in the barrel–full of flavor and ready to be drunk now or a few years down the road.

I had ordered one of Center Street Grill’s Tuesday specials—a hearty plate of fettuccini and chicken, which came with a lovely fresh garden salad. The luscious and zesty Three Valleys was a delicious accompaniment.


Ridge Vineyards, 17100 Monte Bello Road, Cupertino, (408) 867-3233. Tasting room open Saturday and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and until 5 p.m. from April through October. And 650 Lytton Springs Road, Healdsburg, (707) 433-7721. Open daily. Ridgewine.com. Center Street Grill, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz, 423-4745. thecenterstreetgrill.com. Check out the website for excellent dinner specials, including a three-course dinner for $16.95 and bottles of wine half price on Thursdays.

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A Different Revolution

Aries Moon late Wednesday and Thursday. We think new thoughts and initiate new ideas. Sun in Virgo with Saturn in Scorpio help disciples to create orderly structures to anchor and bring forth new ideas. Stabilizing Taurus moon Friday and Saturday. We anchor new ideas into form and matter, like seeds planted in the soil. We tend them, waiting for green shoots to emerge. Like the gestating Virgo Sun Madonna, awaiting the birth of the holy child, the Soul, the new light at winter solstice. Mercury and Chiron converse about what hurts and what heals.Saturday is a complex day with Mercury (communication), Mars (action!) and Uranus (revolution). Mercury in Libra is opposite Uranus in Aries. Oppositions (recognizing something new appearing over there somewhere) eventually synthesize. Mercury in Libra calls for Right Action and Right Relations, especially with money. Uranus in Aries—the revolution this time must be different.  Also on Saturday, Mars enters Sagittarius. Where are we going, what are our goals, where’s justice, where’s the mountain, do we have good shoes? Sunday Venus trines Pluto—in-depth assessment of money, values and resources. Gemini moon Monday; we talk a lot, tending to tasks in gardens and neighborhoods. Cancer Moon Tuesday and Wednesday; we nurture and nourish. The stars and planets remind us.Note: William Meader, esoteric author & international teacher, will be speaking on “The Soul of Humanity Evolving Through Crisis” at Meditation Mount, 7pm, Friday, Sept. 12.

 

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