Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 20th
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Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards

dining_savannahchanelleChardonnay 2009

I tasted this lovely Chardonnay at Paradise Beach Grille in Capitola at the Wine & Crab Taste-Off held last month. (Other participating restaurants in the Taste-Off were Café Cruz, Ma Maison and Sanderlings.) This splendid event is not only a golden opportunity to compare some specially presented crab delicacies—as the restaurants compete for best dish—but also to sample some excellent local wines. This crustacean-centered event takes place every January, and is organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association.

The Wine & Crab Taste-Off happened on a perfectly warm Sunday in January, which led me more to tasting white wines that day. White wines are also an excellent accompaniment to fish and shellfish. I found Savannah-Chanelle’s Chardonnay, Santa Lucia Highlands, Tondre’s Grapefield ($24), particularly appealing when paired with our much-prized, pincer-endowed friend—the crab. Here’s a delicious Chardonnay that shows an abundance of tropical and stone fruits with crisp acidity. Although tank fermented—not aged in oak—this delightful fruity wine was kept on its yeast right up to bottling.

Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards, 23600 Congress Springs Road, Saratoga. (408) 741-2934. Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wine Events

The Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association is putting on its annual Ultimate Winemakers Dinner at Shadowbrook Restaurant on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Around 20 winemakers offer exclusive tastes of their wines in the Rock Room Lounge and then join guests for dinner in the restaurant’s dining rooms. Cost: $105 all inclusive. Contact SCMWA at 685-8463.

Greatest Showcase on Earth

This is the 25th anniversary of the annual business showcase – held every year in Capitola Mall. Around 200 exhibitors are expected to be there – showcasing their businesses and giving out information and samples. After checking out the businesses, I always make a beeline for the Food & Wine Pavilion, where local restaurants and wineries are giving out delicious food and libations. As it says on the Greatest Showcase on Earth flier, “Put the “Social” Back in Networking!”

Capitola Mall, 1855 41st Ave., Capitola. Thursday, Feb. 24 from 3:30-7:30 p.m.

Wine Wednesdays at Sanderlings

Sanderlings at Seascape Resort continues with its fun Wine Wednesdays. From 5:30-7 p.m. every Wednesday, enjoy a flight of wine from local wineries, tapas and live music for $10 a person, plus tax and gratuity.

Sanderlings Restaurant Atrium, One Seascape Resort Drive, Aptos, 662-7120. Check the website for featured winery.

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