Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Bonny Doon Vineyard

dining rieslingRiesling 2006 – Riesling to Live

Although Randall Grahm and I have met many times over the years, we had never sat down one on one and had a lengthy conversation. The occasion was to chat over dinner at Le Cigare Volant, Grahm’s newly named restaurant which used to be called Cellar Door, and to talk about wine (what else!).

We were joined by my husband, Randall’s partner Chinshu Huang and their young daughter, Amelie.

While tasting some of Bonny Doon’s impressive wines, we talked about wine and travel, including Grahm’s recent visit to Australia and various other wine-related trips he has planned for the future.

One wine that evening particularly caught my attention, a vibrant 2006 Riesling. Gorgeously playful and bubbly, it has all the nuances of fine champagne and it is, in fact, made in the traditional méthode champenoise style. Grapes for this delicious nectar were hand harvested from Grahm’s Ca’ del Solo estate vineyard close to Soledad in Monterey County, fermented to dryness in stainless steel, and aged for 30 months. No dosage (sweetener) was added to the wine so it’s crisply refreshing with a bracing minerality. Most Champagnes come with a cork, but this fabulous Riesling ($35) is bottled with a beer-cap top, and imaginatively packaged (in Bonny Doon’s avant garde style) with a purple ribbon over the cap. This is one of the best Rieslings I have ever tasted, and I am totally smitten with it. And in true Grahm tongue-in-cheek manner, it’s called Riesling to Live.

Grahm also has some interesting wines from overseas that he’s carrying in his restaurant, including a lovely 2009 Fronton De Oro from the Canary Islands—awash with minerality from the flinty soil of those volcanic isles—which was paired with imaginative food of Le Cigare Volant. Executive chef Ryan Shelton came out to greet us and to see if we were enjoying his inventive dishes. My effervescence about his cuisine almost matched that of the Riesling.


Bonny Doon Vineyard, 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 425-4518. Bonnydoonvineyard.com.


Passport Day: Saturday, July 21

Passport Day comes around every three months, and it’s a good opportunity to go wine tasting. This is the day when you can visit wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), providing you have a Passport, which will cost you $45 and can be purchased at any winery. When you visit each winery, you get your Passport stamped (it doesn’t expire)—and with more than 70 wineries belonging to SCMWA, it will take you a very long time to fill it up. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Info: 685-8464, or scmwa.com or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

Latest Comments

 

Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management