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Nov 30th
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Bargetto Winery CHARDONNAY 2006

dining_winebottle75The hot days of summer are finally here – the time of year when I gravitate more toward white wines than red. A light and fruity Pinot Grigio for an outdoor lunch, or a crisp Chardonnay for dinner on a warm evening seem so much more appealing than a heavy Pinot Noir or a meaty Merlot. Of course, living on the cool coast as we do, we still get those chilly evenings all through July, August and September – when the aforementioned reds can be just the right libation for one’s evening meal.

And talking of evening meals, my husband and I went to Severino’s in the Best Western Seacliff Inn quite recently. We often go into the bar area to meet friends there for a glass of wine, but the restaurant, too, is on our list of nice places to dine.

When I go for a meal in a restaurant, the wine is just as important as the food. It’s so much more relaxing eating out than having to prepare a bunch of stuff in your own kitchen, so having that first sip of wine should be exciting and fun. You’re there to enjoy yourselves, and to try something new.

Severino’s immediately scores big points in my book for carrying quite a few local wines. We order the 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains Chardonnay – a Bargetto staple, which sells far and wide for around $20. Aromas of melon, citrus and honey come through straight away in this uncomplicated wine – a blend of two clones from the winery’s estate vineyard. I polish off a glass of this nectar with our appetizer of ahi tuna – this wine goes perfectly with fish. I had set my sights on lamb chops for my entrée, but a plate of swordfish passed by on its way to a diner on an outdoor table – and it looked so good I ordered that instead. Bargetto’s Chardonnay is very adaptable and perfectly pairs with fish or meat. With its lovely nuances of butterscotch and vanilla from aging in oak barrels, this delicious wine is easy on the palate and very drinkable.

As I start on a second glass of Chardonnay with my swordfish, I can’t believe my husband is drinking a mojito with his prime rib. I urge him to try the Chardonnay, but I think the warm weather that night makes him feel like he’s in Cuba. Hasta la vista!

Bargetto’s is one of the busiest wineries in this area, and an interesting series of events is always on hand. Upcoming this weekend, July 11 & 12, is the Fine Arts Festival from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. And until Aug. 27 there will be a Thursday Night Music Series taking place from 6-8 p.m. Sip wine, listen to music and enjoy delicious food—and there’s no cover charge. Also happening in the summer months are the new Fresco Fridays from noon to 2 p.m.—where eating outdoors on Bargetto’s newly remodeled creekside courtyard is the latest local dining experience.

Bargetto Winery, 3535 N. Main St., Soquel. Tel: 475-2258. . Severino’s Bar & Grill, 7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos. Tel: 688-8987.

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