A visit to the tasting room of Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley is an absolute treat. The wines are superb, the staff knowledgeable and friendly and there’s an outdoor patio where you can relax and enjoy the experience. It’s good to know in advance that Bernardus tastings start at $12 for a flight of four, which is refundable if you spend $75, and for a further $12 you can also get a fromage tasting; or a fromage and charcuterie tasting for $17.
A wine that’s reasonably priced is the 2013 Pinot Noir Monterey County ($25). With its notable intensity and fruit-forward expression, this full-bodied Pinot has an abundance of warm earthiness on the nose and intense flavors of smoke, spice and caramel. It’s a really lovely Pinot that’s very drinkable as we enter into the cooler days of fall.
Bernardus Winery, 5 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, 298-8021. Toll free: 800-223-2533. The tasting room is open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Evening of Wine & Roses
The Evening of Wine & Roses event is an annual fundraiser put on by the Pajaro Valley Health Trust board of directors and staff, with proceeds helping to support the needs of low-income Pajaro Valley families. Local wineries and restaurants supply an abundance of wine and food for tasting; the silent and live auctions are always spectacular, and local Pajaro Valley roses can be bought by the dozen. This splendid event is from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4 in the Crosetti Building at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $75 ($85 at the door). Info and tickets: pvhealthtrust.org.
Beer, Brats, Blues, and Boos
Enjoy the rhythm and groove of the Vinny Johnson Band, a spooky adult costume contest, local craft beer and an Oktoberfest-inspired menu at the fourth annual Beer and Sausage Fest. The event is from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30 at the beautiful Chaminade Resort & Spa in Santa Cruz. Tickets are $40 all inclusive. Call 475-5600 or visit chaminade.com for more info.