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Feb 14th
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Have Mercy!

wine glassLooking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.

Grapes for this dry-ish Sauv are harvested from the “wind battered and rock strewn” Zabala Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA, an ideal place to grow distinct Sauvignon Blanc with its well-placed geographic location and maritime influences.

After lunch at Redd in Healdsburg recently, we opened up this wine to enjoy with family in Walnut Creek over a light dinner of cheese, salami, crackers and other munchies—a delicious liquid ending to a beautiful day out, and a mercy-full experience, indeed.

Named by a San Jose newspaper as one of the top five “must-see” wine-tasting destinations in the Carmel Valley, you can head to Mercy Vineyards’ tasting room to try their other varietals as well—Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir and Syrah. A flight of seven wines is $10, and includes the glass as a souvenir.

Mercy Wine Sales & Tasting Room, 40 W Carmel Valley Road, Suite A, Carmel Valley, 831-659-4321. Mercywines.com.

Napa Vinjus

In The True Olive Connection recently, a customer came in looking for VinJus. He had been on a quest for it ever since tasting the young grape “juice” on a salad in Napa. Actually, Food & Vine, the Napa-based creators of Salute Sante grapeseed oil, are now also producing Napa VinJus, a delicious nonalcoholic drink made from a single ingredient: virgin grape juice. Apparently it has taken off like a rocket and can now be found in many restaurants and stores. While it is primarily a beverage, it is sometimes used as a salad dressing. Try The True Olive Connection’s oils and vinegars in downtown Santa Cruz—and they plan on carrying VinJus soon. Visit napavinjus.com and Trueoliveconnection.com for more information.

Glass on Glass

Annieglass continues with its wine pouring events at their Watsonville showroom, with featured wines from Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. The pours are from noon to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Informative tours of the facility take place at 2 p.m. to demonstrate how Annieglass is made. And if you shop that day, you’ll get 10 percent off your purchase. Taste three wines for $6—the fee is waived if you purchase a bottle. Visit annieglass.com 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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