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Oct 09th
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dining_bartoloGrenache 2009
About a year ago, I wrote about Barry Jackson’s Cioppino Rosso, a blend of different wines that winemaker Jackson laughingly calls Cioppino because he “throws all the leftovers in a pot.” He’s referring, of course, to his vivacious blend of several wines—just as the cioppino fish stew is a mixture of fish and shellfish thrown into a pot.

Now, on a somewhat more serious note, it’s time to write about Jackson’s Grenache. A majority of Grenache grapes (there is only 4 percent Syrah added), this wine has the typical enticing aromas of earth and stewed fruits.

And the good news is that this 2009 Grenache, Santa Clara Valley, Mann Vineyard, Gilroy, sells for only $15 a bottle – a bargain for such a lovely drinkable wine. It’s aged for 10 months in neutral barrels – and only 210 cases were produced, so it’s not going to be around forever. As it says on the label, “Enjoy the Wine. See the Enigma Revealed.”

Jackson, who, in case you didn’t know, is the winemaker of Equinox, a fine sparkling wine made in the methode champenoise style, also makes wines under his Bartolo label. You can find him every weekend at his tasting room on Swift Street, where he will happily serve you some samples of his fine wines.

Equinox, 427 Swift St., Unit C, Santa Cruz, 423-3000.

Wine News

Pelican Ranch Winery has left their tasting room on Ingalls Street and moved to a new location. Set to open up on Feb. 15, their home will be in a prime spot in Capitola in a brand new building. Winery owners Phil and Peggy Crews are excited about their move and having more space. “This new building has the potential to become a mini destination,” says Peggy Crews of Pelican Ranch. “We are looking forward to expanding our business.” They are the first tenants, but possibly a brewery and bakery will be setting up shop in the building as well.

Pelican Ranch Winery, 102 Kennedy Drive, Capitola, 426-6911. 

Valentine’s Dinner by Jake Gandolfo Jake Gandolfo, of Fox TV’s MasterChef fame, will be cooking up a splendid Valentine’s dinner—featuring some wonderful wines—on Sunday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. in the Center Street Grill. Sign up by logging on to Gandolfo says the five-course menu will be “sultry, passionate and sexy” in an intimate setting of not more than 50 guests. Cost: $40, exclusive of tax and tip. For more information e-mail Gandolfo at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Center Street Grill, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz.


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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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