My husband and I were going through a wine flight at Silver Mountain’s tasting room a couple of weeks ago, and came across Oscar’s Blend—a hearty red wine with an abundance of intriguing flavors and aromas. It was the label that first caught my eye, with its delightful illustration (by Kathleen Bertrand) of a sweet-looking dog named Oscar—long gone but still remembered. Winemaker Jerold O’Brien, it turns out, adopted Oscar at age 3 and had him for 10 years. When someone names a wine after his dog, you know that canine was like a family member.
A Bordeaux-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, the Wild Red has distinct aromas and flavors of black currant, coffee, spice, tobacco, herbs, and red fruits—a mouthwatering mélange that will pair well with many meals, including your Christmas turkey.
Oscar’s Wild Red ($28) is a good choice for your festive table, and we can thank O’Brien’s expertise for that. He’s been making wine for 30 years, and his wealth of experience shows in every bottle.
Silver Mountain has two tasting rooms—a double opportunity to try another Bordeaux blend called Alloy, as well as other wines such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Syrah, and a delightful pale pink Rose of Pinot Noir. Check out the winery’s special offers and online sales, too. The Los Gatos tasting room sits high on a hill in a bucolic spot off San Jose-Soquel Road. The views are amazing.
Silver Mountain Vineyards, 42 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 408-353-2278. silvermtn.com.
Wine for Christmas
When it’s time for last-minute holiday shopping, don’t forget that wine makes a great gift. Supporting our local wineries will make you feel good, too. Many tasting rooms also have a plethora of wine-related gifts. Bargetto Winery in Soquel has cheese boards and cheese knives; corkscrews; gift packs of wine already tied up with red bows; wonderful fruit wines such as blackberry and pomegranate; Black Muscat dessert wine, and much more. And if you want to do something fun with the family over the holidays, take them on a tour of Bargetto’s historic wine cellars—daily at 2 p.m. Visit bargetto.com for more info.