Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 23rd
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Thomas Fogarty Winery

dining thomaswineGewürztraminer 2009

When looking for a bottle of wine, Gewürztraminer is not the first to come to mind. Given the popularity of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir – to name but a few – Gewürztraminer sits low on the totem pole. Somewhat sweeter than most wines, Gewürztraminer is often drunk with dessert – as is a Sauterne or a port wine. That doesn’t mean to say that it can’t ever be drunk with savory food.

Although the Fogarty winery is situated in Woodside, it is “local” because it belongs in the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation and is a member of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA). Wineries in SCMWA run from as far as Woodside in the north to Gilroy in the south, and there are now close to 80 belonging to the association. Thomas Fogarty, a retired heart surgeon, founded his winery in 1981 and has had a very successful second career. His award-winning wines can be found in a number of local restaurants and on many a supermarket shelf.

This Monterey Gewürztraminer ($18) is full of exotic aromatics and floral notes. Aromas of jasmine, lime and poached pear greet the olfactory senses, and flavors of tropical fruits, spice and lychee linger on the tongue. Scoring 89 points and an editor’s choice recognition in Wine & Spirits Magazine, this crisp and clean wine will pair very nicely with rich white meats such as chicken or turkey – and keep that in mind when Thanksgiving comes around.

And don’t be put off by the screw-cap top. Many wineries are giving up expensive corks these days and going for screw caps. I was wine tasting in the Barossa Valley in Australia several years ago – and I noticed that most wineries there now are going the screw-cap route. It’s certainly makes it easy when taking a bottle of wine on a picnic – especially if you’ve forgotten the corkscrew.

Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards, 19501 Skyline Blvd., Woodside. Tel: (650) 851-6777. Open for wine tasting Monday noon to 4 p.m. and Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tasting fee is $8 and $12, but complimentary on Wednesdays.

Farm to Table Dinner at Chaminade

The next Farm to Table dinner to be put on by Chef Beverlie Terra and her team at the beautiful Chaminade Resort in Santa Cruz will be 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 31. These wonderful outdoor feasts offer a five-course dinner of local produce and wines for $80 per person. This dinner features Belle Farms’ olive oil and Yellow Wall Farm produce – the fine food to be paired with wines from Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery. Info:

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