We discovered a great way to have our Pinot and drink it too, so to speak. These half-bottles of Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Noir, Santa Cruz Mountains 2007, are available at New Leaf for a mere $18.99. You can enjoy the complex licorice and black cherry spice of winemaker Jim Schultze’s elegant creation for significantly less than the larger, full size bottle. Although, let’s face it, in the case of elegant Pinot Noir, more is always better.
Check out the glass-to-bottle ratio in this image. Rather Alice in Wonderland, no? We enjoyed a demi-bouteille recently with a dinner of homemade chile verde. Sensational combination.
An elegant Sauvignon Blanc, 2009 by bay area winery La Honda, made from Sonoma grapes. We loved its infusion of stargazer lily and cantaloupe, its middle of grassy minerals and grapefruit, and its crisp citrusy finish.
We loved the way it partners Black Forest ham as well as scallops. And we also loved its $14.99 pricetag. At New Leaf.
Don’t miss next week’s Pinot Paradise festival, March 26-27, which begins with a self-guided tour of the region’s pinot-producing wineries $25, and culminates on Sunday with the Grand Cruz Tasting at Villa Ragusa in Old Town Campbell ($55/65). Find all the details you need at SCMWA website – or by calling (831)685-8463.
Just in case you think that wine tasting is a piece of cake, check out this sea of stemware—and this is only partial snapshot—up at the historic Burrell Schoolhouse, yesterday, where a few dozen of us worked through four flights of Santa Cruz Mountain pinot noirs for ranking at this year’s Pinot Paradise.
(That’s Hallcrest’s John Schumacher at far left and Big Basin’s Bradley Brown right, front.)
Here is something rococo—and delicious—we sampled last week from the hand of Cellar Door chef Jarod Ottley. A froth of tender local squid, accompanied by pink grapefruit and pea sprouts dotted a long mound of quinoa. Brilliant crimson beet puree accompanied and a slick of rich date confit provided the sweet visual accent.
A lot going on. All of it good. We partnered our meal last week with glasses of never-better Nebbiolo and Cigare 2006, from the oeno-mind of Randall Grahm. And yes, Cellar Door service is outstanding.
The lovely Pino Alto dining room at Cabrillo’s historic Sesnon House, formed a graceful backdrop for some cool jazz and exciting food and wine pairings last Wednesday evening.The highlights for me were the elegant sounds of Hot Club Pacific trio (who also hold down the house at Soif each Monday night), and the well-trained students from Mike Wille‘s advanced culinary class, who served, cleared endless dishes and stemware, and served some more throughout the evening. The evening, this year’s version of the recent “Dare to Pair” wine & food event, marked the mid-term exam of Wille’s young team.
Another highlight was an engaging match of Continue reading “Cabrillo Wine Dinner”
Last Friday I watched one of many busy forklifts in the immediate vicinity of Kelly’s, gently placing its load of pinot gris grapes down at the front door of Pelican Ranch Winery.
Offered a taste, I savored the robust sweetness of this future 2010 vintage, grapes freshly picked out at vineyards near the Mission San Antonio. One of the best flavors of fall in our next of the woods. Freshly-harvested wine grapes.
That rich, sweet, musky aroma you smell this week is wine grapes overflowing their fermenting bins all over the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Why not visit some small wineries and see how the crush of 2010 is going?
This weekend, October 16 and 17, the Summit Harvest Festival opens the tasting room doors of Burrell School, Hunter Hill, Loma Prieta and Poetic Cellars — come taste wines, savor special harvest decor and some treats involving pears, apples and pumpkins as you talk with winemakers about their new harvest of grapes.
A ruby rosé Kalmuck Zweigelt 2009 made the perfect partner for a hearty plate of duck sausage, sauteed napa cabbage and roasted figs at Soif last Sunday, part of the special Octoberfest menu at the popular downtown boite, er, Weinstube.
Bonny Doon Vineyard will host a special dinner to commemorate the recent bottling of the 25th vintage of Le Cigare Volant. Taking place on Friday, October 15, at the Cellar Door Café in Santa Cruz, the menu will include retrospective wine flights of library wines and unreleased vintages of the flagship southern Rhône-style blend. This is a rare chance to taste the most consistently laudable wine made by BDV, introduced and deconstructed by the winemaker himself.
Winemaker and President-for-Life Randall Grahm will host the evening’s celebration. Cellar Door Executive Chef Charlie Parker will create the food pairings to complement these rare vintages.
October 15 – 6pm, $125 per person, ($100 for Club Members) multi-course dinner including wines, Le Cigare Volant flights include a splash of the 1991 (!) and each are matched with such dishes as:
Foie gras torchon with grapes, Continue reading “Liquid Retrospective: 25 Years of Cigare”