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Feb 10th
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Bruzzone Family Vineyards

wine bruzzonePinot Noir 2011

Birthdays are always fun to celebrate, and it’s also a good time to open a bottle of vino or two. My Greek friend and I took our Russian friend to dinner at Center Street Grill for her birthday, and I brought along a bottle of Bruzzone Family Vineyards’ Pinot for us all to enjoy.


Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. They started out a few years ago by making only Chardonnay, but Pinot Noir was calling to them and they eventually planted this varietal as well. Their 2011 estate Pinot Noir ($40) was hand-harvested in late fall and then aged in French oak barrels. Pinot Noir grapes are difficult enough to grow under the best circumstances, but the long winter and early rains of that year made for a really challenging time, and only a limited quantity of Pinot was produced. I imagine this delicious wine will not be around for long, so I would not waste time in getting some.

Right now, the Bruzzone tasting room is open only on Passport days, which fall on the third Saturday in January, April, July, and November (see scmwa.com for information). The next Passport is July 20 so this is an opportunity to visit the splendid estate of Rancho Don Bosco in Santa Cruz, which belongs to the Bruzzone family, and taste the Bruzzone wines.


Bruzzone Family Vineyards Tasting Room, Rancho Don Bosco, 1690 Glen Canyon Road, Santa Cruz. Or call 332-0909 for a private tasting.  Bruzzonevineyards.com.


WINE EVENTS

Windy Oaks Winery Private Tours and Tastings Walking Tours
The wonderful Windy Oaks Vineyard & Winery in Corralitos is now offering private tours and tastings for two to six people, including a walking tour of their vineyards and grounds. For $25 you get a tour and wine tasting plus light snacks, and $35 gives you an additional full glass of wine and a gourmet box lunch on the vineyard ridge.
As well as sampling wines in their tasting room, another good place to try them out is at the lovely little French bistrot Au Midi in Aptos. Chef Muriel Loubiere will be cooking up paella on Wednesday nights and bouillabaisse on Thursday nights throughout the summer, so that’s an opportunity right there. Visit windyoaksestate.com and aumidi.com for more information.

Soif Waiters Race
Why not celebrate Bastille Day by attending Soif Wine Bar’s second annual Waiters Race at Pacific and Walnut avenues in downtown Santa Cruz on July 14. This fun race starts at 1 pm and it’s a benefit for the Second Harvest Food Bank. If you can’t attend the race, you can enjoy a fabulous Bastille Day dinner at Soif for $45 a person. Visit soifwine.com or call 423-3020 for more information.

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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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