Vine & Dine

Comanche Cellars

wine glassPinot Noir 2010

I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.

It turns out that winemaker Michael Simons not only loves making wine, especially Pinot Noir, but he also is passionate about horses. He named his winery Comanche after a horse he had when he was 10 years old, and an image of Comanche’s old worn horseshoes now grace each label on every wine bottle. A story posted online of Simons meeting up with one of the last remaining cavalrymen, 90-year-old Sgt. MacDonald, is well worth reading. The WWII veteran rode the last ceremonial warhorse, Comanche I, at Fort Ord in Monterey until 1994.

Made with fruit from Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County, the 2010 Pinot ($34) fills the mouth with robust earthy flavors. “Saddle up for a wild, fruit-driven ride through bramble bushes laden with black-fruited goodness tinged with spicy bay laurel, sage and dark licorice,” says the winemaker. Simons also makes Chardonnay, Syrah, Tempranillo and Cabernet Franc.

Comanche Cellars has no tasting room as of yet, but wine can be ordered online. They will be participating in Rivers of Chocolate at the Mountain Winery on May 4 (see below). Comanche Cellars, Marina, 320-7062,

Rivers of Chocolate

There’s nothing sweeter than spending an afternoon enjoying excellent food and wine at the gorgeous Mountain Winery. Rivers of Chocolate includes tastings of the area’s best wines, beer and spirits; tables overflowing with amazing appetizers and luscious desserts; live musical entertainment; and auctions for great vacations, sports packages, and more. Put on by EHC Lifebuilders, an organization to end homelessness in Santa Clara County, this fundraiser is for a great cause. The event is from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday, May 4 at the Mountain Winery in Saratoga.
Visit to buy tickets and for more information.

Eddison & Melrose Tea Room

I love to go out for afternoon tea with my fellow British friends. I treated a couple of them recently to tea at Eddison & Melrose in Monterey. Owned and operated by Karen Murray, whose parents emigrated from Jamaica to England back in the ’50s, her thriving little tea room offers a delightful English tea with finger sandwiches, tiny tarts, cupcakes, scones with jam and cream—and it’s all homemade. Murray also produces really healthy granola under her Eddison & Melrose label that you can find at New Leaf and other fine stores.
Eddison & Melrose Tea Room, 25 Soledad Drive, Monterey, 393-9479 or 601-4851., [email protected]

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