Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Dec 28th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

DaVine Cellars

dining winemjaCabernet Sauvignon 2008

Fandango in Pacific Grove is one of the most popular restaurants in the area. It has gained a fine reputation over the years due, in no small part, to the expertise of chef and owner Pierre Bain, who runs this upscale restaurant with his wife Marietta.


Friends had invited us to stay overnight in their house in Pacific Grove, along with another couple, and had made a reservation at Fandango. The restaurant is about 10 minutes’ walk away from our friends’ house, so Fandango is a regular haunt for them.

My husband and I had the most wonderful evening with our friends. Food and service at Fandango are more than impressive—and all six of us enjoyed every single dish we chose. I had one of the specials on the menu—wild abalone that was unbelievably delicious.

As well as ordering wine from the menu, I took along a bottle for our friends to try—a DaVine Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 ($45), cellared and bottled by Serene Cellars in Napa. This dark ruby beauty is loaded with wild blackberries, dark chocolate, cardamom and cassis. Roasted smokiness on the nose and a palate brimming with strawberry, currant, pomegranate and brown sugar make every mouthful pure pleasure. With its peppery flavors and a delightful finish of cherry jam and mocha accents, this is a bold and luscious wine to be reckoned with. My friends loved it and I was glad I had taken this dynamic wine to pair with such splendid food.

Operated by MJA Vineyards and owner Marin Artukovich, who is just as adept at growing superb coffee beans as he is at making fine wine—100 percent pure Kona on his plantation in Hawaii—other varietals made under the DaVine label are equally impressive. Head to the tasting room on the Westside of Santa Cruz and try MJA’s other offerings as well. The tasting room is open daily from noon to 6 p.m. in the Swift Street Courtyard complex, and each tasting ends with an excellent cup of pure Kona coffee.

Happy New Year to you all.


MJA Vineyards, 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 421-9380. mjavineyards.com. Fandango Restaurant, 223 17th St., Pacific Grove, (831) 372-3456. Fandangorestaurant.com.


The Bench at Pebble Beach
Perched above the 18th green at Pebble Beach is a new restaurant called The Bench—a bright and cheery casual restaurant which has all been redone and replaces the rather dark Club XIX. I had a delicious lunch there recently and loved the bright open space of the new sun room. The Bench also sells wine on tap—four whites and four reds. I had a lovely Tangent Winery Albarino for $10 a glass. 17-Mile Drive, Pebble Beach, 800-654-9300, pebblebeach.com.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her