Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 07th
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Le P’Tit Paysan

dining_leptitpaysan2006 Syrah

Practically all the wines that Vinocruz sells are local, so I often go in there for a browse around. Owner J-P Correa urges me to try this, that and the other—and he’s always so enthusiastic and informative, especially when he’s discovered some little gem.

Such was the case when Correa asked me to try Le P’Tit Paysan’s 2006 Syrah ($19), Windsor Oaks Vineyard, Russian River Valley. The nose is rich with blueberry, boysenberry and raspberry, and these dense berry flavors add immense depth. Peppery overtones add an interesting spiciness to this Syrah.

Le P’Tit Paysan (which translates to “the little peasant”) has one of the more interesting labels I have seen in a while. It depicts an elderly gent eyeing a rooster with a large cock’s comb. Turn the bottle around and the back label shows the gent making a grab for the rooster – just as it takes off, feathers flying.

Ian Brand is the talented winemaker responsible for Le P’Tit Paysan, in partnership with vineyard owners John and Julie Allen of Coastview Vineyard in Monterey. Brand has garnered an abundance of expertise from quite a few local wineries. When he first came to Santa Cruz from Utah, he worked at Bonny Doon Vineyard, honing his skills over time and sealing his destiny in winemaking. He also did a stint at Big Basin Vineyards in Boulder Creek, Nicholson Vineyards in Corralitos and Pierce Vineyard, located in the newly designated San Antonio Valley in the south of Monterey County.

Contact Ian Brand at Coastview Vineyards, P.O. Box 2476, Salinas, 212-3660. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Wine Happenings:

Wine & Crab Taste-Off, Jan. 16

Crab, wonderful crab. It’s the best time of year to enjoy this delicious crustacean. And what better way to indulge than participating in the 8th annual Wine & Crab Taste-Off.  Organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), the participating restaurants this year are Michael’s on Main and Café Cruz in Soquel; and Ma Maison and Sanderlings in Aptos. Each crab dish is paired with a local wine – and you get to be a judge by voting which crab dish you like the most. Get your tickets early from SCMWA. Info: 685-8464 or or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


Winemaker Wednesdays at Shadowbrook

Winemaker Wednesdays continue in Shadowbrook’s Rock Room with Bargetto’s as the next featured winery on Jan. 12. The winemaker will be at the restaurant from 5-8 p.m. pouring flights of wine; and complimentary hors d’oeuvres are also served. A special half off discount is given on all wines from the featured winery that evening. Visit

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

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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