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Oct 07th
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Kirigin Cellars

wine glassCalifornia Champagne – a Delicious Sparkling Wine

I love to open up a nice sparkler when friends come to visit—and a drop of bubbly always puts one in a celebratory mood.

For about $20, Kirigin Cellars’ sparkling wine is a pretty good deal. Naturally fermented, with a secondary fermentation before bottling, it’s not too sweet and has a touch of finesse present in higher-end sparklers. Using the Charmat method, also used in the making of Prosecco, the second fermentation is done in a large stainless steel tank—rather than in the bottle, as with the traditional méthode champenoise. So if you’re looking for a nice sparkler without breaking the bank, then this one fits the bill. And California certainly tops the list in making Champagne-style bubblies.

Kirigin Cellars was founded in 1916, and is one of California’s oldest wineries. They are particularly famous for a very sexy dessert wine called Vino de Mocha, which is infused with coffee, chocolate and a touch of orange. Kirigin calls it “the Kissing Wine,” which is very appropriate, I’d say.
Tasting is always complimentary at Kirigin, and they don’t use outside distributors, meaning you can only buy their wines direct from them, but the prices are quite reasonable because of this. Even better deals can be found if you buy six bottles (30 percent discount), or a case (50 percent discount). And three or more cases will cost you a flat $100 per case. They also make a Luigi’s Pride 100 percent red wine vinegar for $9.90 a bottle.

Kirigin has a newly built Tuscan-style clubhouse, a 7,000 square-foot state of the art facility for weddings, corporate events and private parties. Surrounded by rose bushes, redwoods and with parking for 130 cars, this beautiful property is a gorgeous spot to hold an event. There is even a cricket pitch where games are regularly held in the summer months. You can visit the sports fields and take a picnic, and the entire family is welcome, including the dog.

Kirigin Cellars, 11550 Watsonville Road, Gilroy. 408-847-8827. Open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Amazon Juices

After setting my teeth into Amazon Juices’ delicious Salmon Salad—an ultra-fresh cornucopia of wild King Salmon on a mixed spring greens salad of roasted beets, cherry tomatoes, hearts of palm, carrots, sprouts, fresh mozzarella cheese, caramelized onions and brown rice, I will definitely be heading to their store to try more. Their breakfast and lunch offerings include sandwiches, salads and fresh juices. Co-owners Luis Frota (who also owns Café Brasil on Mission Street in Santa Cruz) and Natasha Malia-Reber, who both hail from Brazil, are all about fresh and vibrant juices and foods, and keep a watchful eye on the planet by using 100 percent biodegradable to-go containers and utensils.

1066 41st Ave., #105, Capitola, 854-2225. Check out the menu, and order online at

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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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