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Sep 18th
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Wine

Dining - Wine Reviews

Santa Clara Wine Trail

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Soquel’s Pinot Winner

Soquel’s Pinot Winner

When you taste Soquel Vineyards’ extraordinary 2012 Partners’ Reserve Pinot Noir, you will know why it won a Double Gold in June at the 2014 San Francisco International Wine Competition.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Ser Wine Company’s Pfeffer

Ser Wine Company’s Pfeffer

I am actually drinking a glass of Ser Wine Company’s 2012 Cabernet Pfeffer as I’m writing this.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

A Cab To Be Coveted

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Clowning Around With Armitage Chardonnay

Clowning Around With Armitage Chardonnay

Four of us headed to Brandon Armitage’s new tasting room in Aptos Village recently to try his well-made wines.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Have Mercy!

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Regale Winery’s Zinfandel

Regale Winery’s Zinfandel

On a visit to Regale Winery and Vineyards in Los Gatos with a group of friends, I tasted an outstanding Zinfandel 2006, Dry Creek Valley ($45). Now here’s a wine to make your heart beat faster. Balanced and elegant, this not-too-jammy Zin is total sensuality with its soft and spicy berry notes, crushed violets and light minerality. Earthy aromas of tobacco and coffee with touches of spice add to the warmth of this concentrated full-bodied wine. Pair it with red meat or enjoy it with appetizers and cheese.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir

Muns Vineyard Rosé of Pinot Noir

This vivacious cherry-pink Rosé is a simply beautiful summer wine.

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Dining - Wine Reviews

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.

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Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.