Vine & Dine

A Pinot Worth Celebrating

wine glassLooking for a fabulous wine to star in your Fourth of July weekend? I recommend treating yourself to the 2008 Pinot Noir from the Corralitos Wine Company.

This knock-your-socks- off stunner is a dark ruby wonder with violet streaks. Winemaker and company founder Rob Marani says he held back the release of this wine “waiting for the component parts to mesh.” In retrospect, it was a good call, says Marani. A fine Pinot Noir is most certainly worth waiting for.

I did not, however, wait to open a bottle and enjoy a robust mouthful of the inky splendor. And before that first taste, sensuous aromas
of wood scents, black cherry, tea and cola offer a tantalizing preview of what’s to come—the delightful satisfaction of enjoying a really well-made wine. This sleek and silky beauty caresses the tongue with its dark fruit and earth tones. Pair it with a juicy steak or a classic beef bourguignon – but don’t waste this wine to braise the beef!

Produced from the La Tache clone in the respected Santa Lucia Highlands Vineyard in Monterey County, this beautiful Pinot sells for $56 and is worth every penny. I visited Marani last week in his tasting room to try the ’09 Pinot, which will be released “very soon.” American Idol’s James Durbin happened to stop in while I was there, and the three of us enjoyed an array of local flavors and good conversation.

Marani’s tasting room on Soquel Drive in Aptos is open only for private tastings, usually limited to about 20 people, and if you want tapas as well, Marani will provide them for around $20 per person—including the wine tasting. Corralitos Wine Company usually sells wine by the case to those on the allocation list, with a limit of two cases per customer. A significant discount is given to such customers.

Contact [email protected] com for more information. Corralitoswinecompany.com.

NEW WINERY POURING AT VINOCRUZ

Ser Wine Company is one of the new wineries on the block, and Vinocruz will be hosting them for a tasting from 3-5 p.m.on Sunday afternoon, June 29. For more information, contact Vinocruz, 705 Front St. # 101, Santa Cruz, 426-8466.

ONE DAY, THREE WINERIES

The newly formed Soquel Tasting Trail, consisting of three superb wineries in Soquel—Bargetto Winery, Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery and Soquel Vineyards—is putting on its first Main Haven Event this weekend. Look forward to wine tasting and small bites at these lovely local wineries, all of which are easy to visit in one day. Bargetto is on Main Street and the other two on Glen Haven Road in Soquel.
INFO: 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, June 29. Cost: $45. Contact any of the wineries for tickets.

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