Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 21st
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Vine & Dine: Pine Ridge Vineyards

dinning pineridgeChenin Blanc + Viognier 2012

On a recent trip to Palm Springs, I came across Pine Ridge Vineyards’ Chenin Blanc + Viognier at a new downtown restaurant called Lulu. Superbly decorated in Hollywood-esque style and with a very hip vibe, this California bistro is one of the hottest new dining spots—and the Chenin Blanc was just the right wine to pair with some of Lulu’s Happy Hour tapas-style food. And eating outdoors in the desert’s warm night air makes a chilled white wine taste even better.

This unique blend of two varietals has a refreshing bouquet of succulent fruit and delicate floral notes. Honeydew melon, sweet white peach and ripe green plum touched with hints of spiced white tea and soft apple blossom add expansive depth to this lovely white wine. And priced at around $15 (more if served in a restaurant, of course), it’s not going to break the bank.

Pine Ridge is celebrating 35 years in business, so next time you’re in Napa, stop by and taste their range of excellent wines.  Located on the famous Silverado Trail, they’re smack-dab in the center of beautiful wine country.

Pine Ridge Vineyards, 5901 Silverado Trail, Napa, 800-575-9777. Lulu California Bistro,

Greek Food Faire in Downtown Santa Cruz
Head to Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church for the seventh annual Greek Food Faire, where you can satisfy your cravings for delicious Greek food such as moussaka, spanakopita and souvlaki. Typical pastries will also be available, and do try some hand-whipped frappes at the kafenio (coffee shop). At the taverna you can quench your thirst with Greek beer and wine, as well as traditional Greek spirits. This three-day event features a huge array of authentic fare, so eat like a Greek and have fun trying these traditional foods. All this and live Greek music will be served up on May 17, 18 and 19 at 223 Church St., Santa Cruz. Call 429-6500 or visit Admission is free.

Los Gatos Wine Walk
Many of our local wineries will be participating in the annual Los Gatos Wine Walk—taking place in downtown and Old Town Los Gatos from 1:30-5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 18. It promises to be particularly exciting this year as a brand new store called SAMANA will be celebrating its grand opening that day—in the former Domus location—and hosting Pietra Santa Winery. So head on over the hill and celebrate fine wines, live music and great shopping in charming Los Gatos. Tickets are $40 in advance (until 11 p.m. on May 16) and $50 on day of event. Visit or call (408) 354-9300 for more information.  SAMANA is at 40 Santa Cruz Ave., Suite C, Los Gatos. (408) 395-2333.

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