I love the story behind the label on Comanche Cellars’ wines. Michael Simons, owner and winemaker, had a trusted steed called Comanche from the age of 10—a big part of his life, his paper route and his rodeo circuit. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche.
Comanche’s horseshoes are now depicted on the label of each hand-crafted bottle. But we know it’s always the contents that count, and ex-contractor Simons is turning out some very good wines. His 2011 Calaveras County Tempranillo ($28) is a standout.
“This big-boned beauty is bursting with savory sausage, caraway, sun-dried tomato, grilled figs with balsamic, soy-roasted nuts, white pepper, and roasted cherry peppers,” says Simons. “A spirited wine built for ultimate enjoyment with food, you’ll love the grippy tannins and the relentless finish. It’s a sheer joy to drink.”
After going from making wine as a hobby to producing hundreds of cases, Simons’ wines now include Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Chardonnay, and a red blend called Maverick. The good news is that Simons recently opened a tasting room to showcase his excellent wines. He’s even started another brand called Dog & Pony—what else would it be called!— featuring several old-world “forgotten wines.”
Comanche Cellars Wine Room, 412 Alvarado St., Monterey. 747-2244, comanchecellars.com.
Burrell School Vineyards will be celebrating everybody’s favorite crustacean with a Wine & Crab Feed featuring Chef Kyle Davis—and at the same time, releasing their 2017 Chardonnay. We can also look forward to tasting more of Burrell School’s wonderful wines, including a “surprise tasting” of cellar wines and an unreleased varietal.
Fresh local crab, homemade clam chowder, fresh sourdough, mixed green salad and—wait for it—crab-themed cupcakes. Bring out your finery because a bottle of wine will be given to the best dressed.
2-5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, and Sunday, Jan. 27. Burrell School Vineyards, 24060 Summit Rd., Los Gatos. $55, cash requested for gratuity. [email protected] for tickets.