One of the handy things about where we live is the number of healthy to-go food options. When I don’t feel like cooking, I like to try something different—in this case the newly opened Buzen Japanese take-out, which I wrote about recently, located in Seascape Foods Market in Aptos. The food is delicious, nourishing, and not loaded with preservatives or MSG. We opened a chilled bottle of Paraiso Vineyards Rosé of Pinot Noir to pair with our Buzen food, which turned out to be a delicious match.
Paraiso makes high-quality wines—all produced by the Smith Family, and reasonably priced. The newly released 2016 Rosé of Pinot Noir—with grapes harvested from their vineyards in Monterey County—is $20, but sells for only $13.50 if you buy three or more bottles. I bought my bottle in Aptos Natural Foods for about $18. Crafted using modern French methods, this elegant, pale pink wine has delightful aromas and flavors of melon, strawberry and cedar, and a lot of pizzazz.
Paraiso has a tasting room in Soledad where you are welcome to lounge on the back deck with a picnic lunch and enjoy the view of the valley and vineyards. The other tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea is at Court of the Golden Bough, Ocean Avenue between Lincoln and Monte Verde, 250-7123. smithfamilywines.com.
Gourmet Grazing on the Green
The number of vendors participating in this year’s Gourmet Grazing on the Green has swelled to more than 70 wineries, breweries, restaurants, jewelers and more, including a Greek ceramicist called Skyros Ceramics. Cinnamon Bay will be there with its eclectic women’s clothing, as well as local SunRidge Farms with a plethora of healthy snacks to sample. This fundraiser is put on by the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group, and it’s always a fabulous event. All proceeds go to local beneficiaries. The event is noon-4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 7 in Aptos Village Park. Tickets are $65. Visit sccbg.org for more info.
Scott Dexel of Kiss Catering is now operating a café—appropriately called Kiss Café. It’s at 214 Disc Drive in Scotts Valley. Visit kisscatering.com or call 840-1355 for more info.