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Feb 10th
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Bartolo

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. equinoxwine.com.



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. pelicanranchwinery.com. 


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 sundaysuppersessions.eventbrite.com. 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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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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