Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 17th
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Muccigrosso Vineyards

dinng_muccigrossoPinot Noir 2008

Dozens of bottles of wine had been generously donated by Muccigrosso Vineyards for silent auction at a fundraiser I attended recently. The event was for a friend’s brother whose house needs remodeling—as he’s now wheelchair bound after brain surgery. Held at Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery—whose owners had donated their beautiful location and gallons of wine—the turnout was amazing and several thousand dollars were raised. I find the wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains to be extraordinarily generous in supporting the community. Hunter Hill and Muccigrosso wineries are but two of the many in the area who step up to the plate to give a helping hand when needed.

Muccigrosso’s Pinot 2008 ($35) is particularly impressive—winning a Silver Medal in this year’s Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association commercial wine competition. This is a bold and racy Pinot that’s not for the faint of heart, and it should be appreciated for its big-bodied complexities. Lots of black cherry and vanilla notes dazzle the senses, and drinking it is pure pleasure. Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of it available, so my advice is to get some now. You can buy it at Vinocruz in downtown Santa Cruz and at Pleasure Point Wine & Spirits on Portola Drive.

Muccigrosso Vineyards will be pouring their wine on Passport Day (info: at Byington Winery on Nov. 19. Muccigrosso Vineyards, 21450 Bear Creek Road, Los Gatos, (408) 761-5030. 

Premier Cruz – Tasting of Fine Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernets

If you love Cabernet Sauvignon, then this is an event you won’t want to miss. Around 20 wineries will be participating in this premier

tasting—which will include several rare vintages of Cabernet 10 years or older. These world-class wines will be accompanied by light food pairings. The event will be held at the historic Opera House in Los Gatos from 3-7 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 13. Tickets are $75. Info: 685-VINE (8463),

Big Basin Vineyards Dinner at Sent Sovi in Saratoga

The excellent restaurant Sent Sovi is the host for a special winemaker’s dinner with Bradley Brown of Big Basin Vineyards at 7 p.m. on Nov. 17. Cost is $130 per person. Call Sent Sovi for reservations: (408) 867-3110.

Spanish Tapas at the Sesnon House

A large variety of small plates will be served for the final weeks of the Cabrillo College culinary program’s semester. Try these wonderful Spanish appetizers with a cocktail or a nice glass of wine. Available in the Pino Alto Restaurant until Nov. 30.

Sesnon House at Cabrillo College, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 479-6524.

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