Vine & Dine

Have Mercy!

wine glassLooking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.

Grapes for this dry-ish Sauv are harvested from the “wind battered and rock strewn” Zabala Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA, an ideal place to grow distinct Sauvignon Blanc with its well-placed geographic location and maritime influences.

After lunch at Redd in Healdsburg recently, we opened up this wine to enjoy with family in Walnut Creek over a light dinner of cheese, salami, crackers and other munchies—a delicious liquid ending to a beautiful day out, and a mercy-full experience, indeed.

Named by a San Jose newspaper as one of the top five “must-see” wine-tasting destinations in the Carmel Valley, you can head to Mercy Vineyards’ tasting room to try their other varietals as well—Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir and Syrah. A flight of seven wines is $10, and includes the glass as a souvenir.

Mercy Wine Sales & Tasting Room, 40 W Carmel Valley Road, Suite A, Carmel Valley, 831-659-4321. Mercywines.com.

Napa Vinjus

In The True Olive Connection recently, a customer came in looking for VinJus. He had been on a quest for it ever since tasting the young grape “juice” on a salad in Napa. Actually, Food & Vine, the Napa-based creators of Salute Sante grapeseed oil, are now also producing Napa VinJus, a delicious nonalcoholic drink made from a single ingredient: virgin grape juice. Apparently it has taken off like a rocket and can now be found in many restaurants and stores. While it is primarily a beverage, it is sometimes used as a salad dressing. Try The True Olive Connection’s oils and vinegars in downtown Santa Cruz—and they plan on carrying VinJus soon. Visit napavinjus.com and Trueoliveconnection.com for more information.

Glass on Glass

Annieglass continues with its wine pouring events at their Watsonville showroom, with featured wines from Santa Cruz and Monterey counties. The pours are from noon to 4 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Informative tours of the facility take place at 2 p.m. to demonstrate how Annieglass is made. And if you shop that day, you’ll get 10 percent off your purchase. Taste three wines for $6—the fee is waived if you purchase a bottle. Visit annieglass.com for more information.

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