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Oct 08th
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Villa del Monte Winery

wine glassPinot Noir Reserve 2011. Wine Events.

During Restaurant Week at the beginning of October, when participating restaurants offer three courses for $25, I met up with a couple of friends at Booka for dinner. One of my friends particularly wanted to go to this fairly new Aptos restaurant because her son is a chef there.

I took along a bottle of Villa del Monte Pinot Noir Reserve 2011, Santa Cruz Mountains William Vincent Vineyard to share. We all had different appetizers and main courses, but the very drinkable Pinot paired nicely with everything. My friends also ordered cocktails from the bar, but I wanted to simply enjoy the well-made Pinot. Smooth and silky, it’s bursting with red fruit and characteristic earthiness. Aromas of spice, leather and caramel and some vanilla and spice in the mouth add to the overall pleasure of drinking this impressive wine ($34). We all loved it.

Villa del Monte winemakers John Overstreet and Neil Perrelli produce excellent wines—made in small lots with the utmost care. Their tasting room is not open every weekend, but they will be open for Passport Day on Saturday, Nov. 16 (visit for information on that). Check Villa del Monte’s website for tasting room times before heading there to try this Pinot and all their other fine wines.

My friend’s son sent out a plate of bite-size desserts he had created—an exquisite assortment of chocolate truffles and other mouth-watering treats. Swooning with delight as we tasted each one, we enjoyed what was left of the Pinot. Villa del Monte Winery, 23076 Summit Road, Los Gatos, 888-788-4583,

Wine Events

Lago di Como hosts Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard
Lago de Como Ristorante & Pizzeria in Santa Cruz will be preparing a special six-course Italian dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 paired with the wines of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. Tickets are $62 per person plus tax and gratuity. Visit or call 454-8257 for more information.

Johnny’s Harborside Dinner
Johnny’s Harborside will be hosting the wineries of Cannonball and Astrolabe for a special “Put Your Heart In It” six-course wine dinner fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz and the Institute of HeartMath. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7 and tickets are $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For tickets email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it '; document.write( '' ); document.write( addy_text52861 ); document.write( '<\/a>' ); //--> This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 479-3430.

Morgan Winemaker’s Dinner at Ventana Big Sur
Carmel-based Morgan Winery and the Restaurant at Ventana in the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur have teamed up for a splendid winemaker’s dinner at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, with a reception starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $125 plus tax and gratuity. For reservations call 831-667-4242.

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Mercury Direct in Libra, Columbus Day, Libra New Moon

Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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