Easily recognizable by its striking yellow “A” label, Alfaro Winery’s Estate 2013 Chardonnay ($22) is also easy to single out with its intense flavors of pear, apple and white peach, followed by a “hint of lemon and honeyed oak.” Even if you’re not that big a Chardonnay fan, this one may win you over with its refreshing taste and bright aromas.
Winemaker Richard Alfaro doesn’t cut corners when making wine—using good barrels (the Chardonnay was aged for eight months in 20-percent new French oak) and, in this case, fruit he has grown on his estate.
Seven of us were celebrating two friends’ birthdays at Bittersweet Bistro in Aptos, and this flexible Chardonnay paired well with an abundance of appetizers we ordered, including crispy Monterey Bay calamari, sweet potato fries and a couple of Bittersweet’s delicious little pizzettas—which come with an assortment of toppings.
Mark your calendars for the last of the farm-to-table dinners at Chaminade on Oct. 7, which will feature Alfaro’s wines.
Alfaro Family Vineyards & Winery, 420 Hames Road, Corralitos, 728-5172. alfarowine.com.
Wine Program Graduates
Congratulations go out to new graduates of the Cabrillo College Wine Education Program: Cathy Bentley, Jory Berdan, Stephanie Smith-Berdan, Diane Muszynski, Beverly Starling, Amalia Laugesen, Jennifer Grey. Certification includes Wine and Wine Service Skills; Wine Tasting Room Management Skills; World Wine Skills. Cheers!
Local Lemon Curd
As a Brit, I grew up eating lemon curd, and I’m always in search of a good one. After sampling Malabar Trading Company’s tangy curd blend of fresh lemon juice, butter, sugar, and eggs (it’s all good natural stuff) at the Saturday Aptos Farmers Market, I came home with some. It’s delicious on toast, scones, crumpets, and more—not to mention spooning a bit straight out of the jar. Malabar is where I stop at the farmers market for hot chai. My favorite is the Kashmiri Chai, but try the traditional Malabar Chai, too, a spicy blend of ginger and cardamom. Their new one is Spicy Chocolate Chai; a blend of cacao nibs, spices and rooibos that has proven ideal for a foggy Aptos morning. And, check out the company’s impressive assortment of teas. Malabar Trading Company, P.O. Box 622, Santa Cruz, malabartradingcompany.com