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Nov 26th
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Salamandre Cellars

Winemaker2006 Newt South Wells, an Aussie-Inspired Red Wine
Newts and salamanders play a big role in winemaker Wells Shoemaker’s life. Not only does his label have a salamander on it, but the cork has one also. Even Shoemaker’s e-mail address has “newt” in it. And the theme continues with his 2006 Newt South Wells (a play on words of Australia’s New South Wales)—a truly gorgeous blend with grapes from Monterey County.

I carry my bottle to Au Midi Restaurant in Aptos, one of my favorite dining spots – owned by Michel and Muriel Loubiere, a delightful French couple. I’m having lunch with a couple of friends, but one of them can’t come at the last minute, so that means we have plenty of Newt South Wells (about $30) to share. Michel opens up the bottle for us and we let it breathe a bit before taking a first sip. Although the winemaker suggests decanting it an hour before serving, there was no way we could wait that long to try it. I ask Michel to try some as well. Here’s a restaurant owner who appreciates a good wine—and it doesn’t have to be French!

The menu at Au Midi completely showcases the talents of chef Muriel, whose passion for cooking French food convinced her husband that she needed a restaurant of her own. Although I often get a plate of mussels, I thought Crispy Goat Cheese—with a baby green salad—sounded healthy and not too filling, so that I would have room for the Chocolate Passion dessert. And when you’ve got a good bottle of wine, it deserves to be paired with good food.

Some years ago, Sandie and Wells Shoemaker took a trip to Australia— admiring the bold, up-front wines made there. The Newt South Wells is in honor of “the uniquely spicy blends” of Aussie wines. When I visited the Barossa Valley wine country, just north of Adelaide, I was bowled over by some of the beautiful wines, so I know what the Shoemakers mean. For this particular wine, Shoemaker blends together 36 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 36 percent Shiraz, 18 percent Cabernet Franc and 10 percent Primitivo. He says it’s “inky, bold and bulging with fruit.” Not only would I agree with that, but also I would say it’s a versatile wine to be eaten with any food,  and it doesn’t have to be French!

 


Wine Events

Big Basin Vineyards is doing a Spring Release Celebration at their beautiful winery that you won’t want to miss. “This year we will pull out all the stops,” says winemaker Bradley Brown. And by that he means barrel samples, fabulous wines to taste, savory treats to accompany the wines and “funky, jazzy, rockin’ music.” Cost is $10 for customers picking up wines and $20 for others. The event is Saturday and Sunday, April 3 and 4 from noon to 5 p.m.
Big Basin Vineyards, 830 Memory Lane, Boulder Creek, 621-8028. bigbasinvineyards.com.

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Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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