Santa Cruz Good Times

Apr 20th
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Beauregard Vineyards Pinot Noir 2012

wine glassLooking for a fabulous wine to spice up your Christmas dinner? Then let me recommend Beauregard Vineyards’ Pinot Noir 2012, Coast Grade Vineyard ‘667’—a simply gorgeous Pinot that will impress any lover of this varietal.

Mouth-watering flavors of dark cherry, strawberry, black tea and Christmas spice (how appropriate!) fill the mouth with pure pleasure.  With its elegant bouquet, medium body and soft tannins, it is a bold and full-bodied wine—and not too fruit-dominated.

This is a big-gun, complex wine so you might not want to serve it with light hors d’oeuvres. It’s better to bring it out with your roast meat, baked ham, game, or a hearty steak. This well-made velvety Pinot ($45) is smooth on the palate and an all-round beautiful earthy wine.

Since the Coast Grade Vineyard in Bonny Doon is owned and farmed by Jim Beauregard—whose son Ryan Beauregard is the talented winemaker—this wine is readily available at his store, Shopper’s Corner in Santa Cruz. You can also buy it at Vinocruz wine shop, a local store which carries wines of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Or visit Ryan’s tasting room and try this Pinot and his other wonderful wines.

Beauregard Vineyards, 10 Pine Flat Road, Santa Cruz, 425-7777.


Alfaro Family Vineyards - Alfaro announced that their 2011 Lester Family Vineyards Pinot Noir has been chosen by the San Francisco Chronicle for their magazine’s "Top 100 Wines of 2013.” Visit Alfaro for more info.

Jewelry—A Last-Minute Gift - Still looking for that last-minute gift? Mark Areias Jewelers in Aptos offers a wonderful range and great service. I was there several times this year helping a friend choose a lemon-colored diamond for a ring. Jeweler Isauro Martinez was tremendously helpful in suggesting various settings. Martinez also repaired a clasp on a gold chain of mine that I was told was impossible to fix. Visit

Chaminade’s New Chef - Changes at Chaminade include a new executive chef, Kirsten Ponza, and a new beverage director, John Hanrahan. Ponza takes the spot formerly filled by Beverlie Terra, who is now a culinary instructor at Cabrillo College. Visit

Twist Floral and Event Design - At a recent party, I came across a stunning floral arrangement by Shelayne Hammack, who has just started her own company, Twist Floral and Event Design. Visit for more info.

Merry Christmas and Happy Wine Drinking to all Good Times readers.

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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.


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