Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 28th
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Mica Cellars

dining micaCabernet Franc 2009 

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it’s time to start thinking about stocking up your wine rack with a few bottles of good local wine. As the weather gets colder, I always like to have some robust wines at hand, especially those that go with the heartier meals served over the holidays.

Mica Raas of Mica Cellars is turning out some really excellent Zins and Pinots these days, and all the other wines Raas is making are impressive also. I especially enjoyed a delightful pink Rosato I tasted in the summer, and his Cab Franc is gorgeous.

The 2009 Cab Franc, Suisun Valley Babcock Vineyards North Coast AVA ($30) is awash with aromas of luscious cherry, stone fruit and spicy pepper, so much so that the flavor leaps out of the glass before you even take a taste. And when you do finally take that first sip, you will appreciate all the work that Raas has put into his winemaking. Earthy chocolate, toasted coconut and hints of tobacco and raspberry make up this excellent wine, which is bursting at the seams with flavor. Cab Franc is a pretty flexible wine to pair with food, and although it would go really well with pork chops, pizza, chicken and ham, I would also pair it with cheese and crackers or some crusty bread and salami. I believe in drinking what you like with food—even though some wines definitely pair up better with certain dishes.

Mica Cellars’ wine can be purchased at the tasting room in Watsonville or at Vinocruz on Front Street in Santa Cruz. As well as the Cabernet Franc, Vinocruz carries eight other wines by Mica Cellars.

Mica Cellars, 18 Hangar Way, Suite C, Watsonville, 288-5921. Open Saturday noon to 5 p.m.

Wine Events 

Summit Wineries’ Mountain Holiday
Join the Summit Wineries for a Mountain Holiday with festivities including gifts, food, music and more. This fun weekend takes place from noon to 5 p.m. on Dec. 8 and 9 at each winery belonging to the group —Burrell School Vineyards & Winery; MJA Vineyards; Regale Winery & Vineyards; Silver Mountain Vineyards; Villa Del Monte Winery. For more information on this “Top of the World” experience, visit

Sparkling Wine and Oysters at Vinocruz
For this tasty event, Vinocruz will be serving a selection of five sparklers, including a dark red sparkler of Pinot Noir. Bill the Oyster Man will be there with his delicious bivalves—and what better way to shop for local wines as you try oysters and drink sparkling wine. A $12 fee includes your first oyster and then oysters are $12 each. The event is from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. Vinocruz, 725 Front St., Santa Cruz, 426-8466.

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