Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 27th
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McIntyre Vineyards

dining mcintyreMerlot 2010

When my husband and I attend events in the Monterey and Carmel areas, we often stay over at the Hyatt Monterey. It’s conveniently located just off Highway 1 and the facilities are top notch.

The hotel’s main restaurant, TusCA Ristorante, combines an amazing blend of flavors from two gastronomic regions, Tuscany and California. Our last dining experience there was superb with delicious food and courteous service. TusCA has an extensive wine list, offering a good selection from Italy and California, and a few from other countries as well.

We selected a McIntyre Vineyards Merlot 2010, Kimberly Vineyards, Arroyo Seco ($40), a beauteous nectar that fills the mouth with voluptuous flavors. With an abundance of red currant, cedar and spice, this opulent Merlot is perfect to pair with TusCA’s Italian-themed food.

Made by experienced winemaker Steve McIntyre, his wines have been garnering accolades far and wide for years. Known for his sustainable winegrowing in the Santa Lucia Highlands, McIntyre also makes wine organically and biodynamically for many other wineries.

At the recent Big Sur Food & Wine Festival, I was happy to meet Steve McIntyre pouring his wines at one of the events. It was also an opportunity for me to taste some of his other wines and I was impressed with all of them.

The good news is that McIntyre Vineyards has a Tasting Salon inside the Hyatt Monterey. Situated right next to TusCA, this is an opportunity to not only taste the wonderful wines made by Steve McIntyre, but also dine at TusCA.

Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa, One Old Golf Course Road, Monterey, 372-1234. and

Passport Day: Saturday, Nov. 17
Passport Day comes around every three months, and it’s a good opportunity to go wine tasting. This is the day when you can visit wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), providing you have a Passport, which will cost you $45 and can be purchased at any winery. When you visit each winery, you get your Passport stamped (it doesn’t expire)—and with around 80 wineries belonging to SCMWA, it will take you a very long time to fill it up. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Info: 685-8464, or or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery
Fall Passport Day at Alfaro’s promises to be fun. Live guitar with Paul Butler will be featured from 1-4 p.m., and wood-fired pizzas will be available for purchase—with picnic spots available, too. By-the-case specials will be the deal of the day. Noon to 5 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17. 420 Hames Road, Corralitos, 728-5172,

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