Vine & Dine

Martin Ranch Winery

wine glassFriends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

Tables were laid out far and wide over the property to accommodate all the people who turn out for this event, and everybody has at least one thing in common—they love Martin Ranch wine. It’s a ton of work for winery owners Dan and Therese Martin, even with their many helpers, but they spent the whole day mingling with guests; glowing with happiness to be in the business of turning grapes into the special nectar we love to drink.

We bought a Carignane 2011 Santa Clara Valley ($24) wine to go with our barbecue, and to share with our friends, or with anybody who wanted to try some. Carignane has become one of my favorites and the Martins make an excellent one—it garnered a silver medal in the 2014 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. With hints of bright raspberry and brambleberry, and a middle of “rich Hungarian oak and a whisper of cinnamon,” the wine finishes with the pleasure of subtle oak tannins. Although the winemaker recommends pairing it with Italian food, it sure went down well with our barbecue.

As we left at the end of the day, I saw Therese whirling like a dervish on the dance floor as the party continued and the sun began to dip.

Martin Ranch Winery, 6675 Redwood Retreat Road, Gilroy, 408-842-9197. Martinranchwinery.com.

Whiskies of the World at Chaminade

The upcoming one-of-a-kind tasting event and educational seminar with Stephen Beal, Master of Scotch, provides you with an evening of tasting a variety of whiskies from such well-known companies as Bulleit Bourbon; Dickel Rye Whiskey; Bushmills Irish Whiskey; Dalwhinnie Single Malt Scotch Whisky; and Crown Royal Monarch 75th Anniversary Canadian Whiskey. The event includes themed appetizers pairings and an opportunity to learn a lot about whiskey and whisky. The event is from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 25 and the cost is $50. Info: Chaminade Resort & Spa, One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz, 475-5600. Chaminade.com.

Wine Notes for Your Calendar

Roudon-Smith will pay the sales tax on all purchases in the month of October; Di Tierra Vineyards is doing a Haunted Harvest Dinner with Chef Brad Briske from La Balena in Carmel on Oct. 16. The Haute Enchilada & Social Club will hold its inaugural fundraiser for the YWCA on Saturday, Nov. 1. An Evening of Wine & Roses will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 7; Passport Saturday is on Nov. 15; Saratoga Holiday Wine Stroll is on Nov. 28. Happy autumn!

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