Some little time ago, I wrote about Pearl of the Oceanâ€™s White Pearl Chardonnay. Now itâ€™s time for the Red Pearl Cab.
Pearl of the Oceanâ€™s owner, Ayoma Wilen, has had these wines specially made for her restaurant to pair with its organic Sri Lankan cuisine. On our last visit to Pearl of the Ocean, we enjoyed sampling her wines with two of Wilenâ€™s exotic curries. And although the restaurant focuses on vegan and vegetarian food, meat and fish dishes are available as well.
Made with the finest grapes from Californiaâ€™s world-famous wine-growing region, â€œthe Cabernet Sauvignon pairs perfectly with all Sri Lankan dishes,â€ says Wilen. She has gone to great lengths, tasting many different wines, to find a zesty Cab (Red Pearl) as well as a crisp Chardonnay (White Pearl), that match the delicious cuisine of Sri Lankaâ€”a tea-growing island, known as Pearl of the Ocean, which used to be called Ceylon.
With a good dose of black currant, tobacco and coffee notes, and distinct aromas of cedar and toast, itâ€™s well worth buying a bottle of the Cab ($42) to pair with the restaurantâ€™s rich and vibrant cuisine.
Wilen partnered with the well-known Pat Paulsen Vineyards in Livermore, who bottled the wine for her, and she has â€œpoured the same creativity and passion into each and every bottle of wineâ€ that she pours into her food.
Pearl of the Ocean, 736 Water St., Santa Cruz, 457-2350. pearloftheocean.net.
The Pantry at the Food Lounge
After a lunchtime event at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge, I checked out their new Pantry store, where a wide assortment of local goods are for sale, including local honey, gluten-free Makse Bars, Friend in Cheeses jams, vanilla from Patricia Rainâ€™s Vanilla Company (including Rainâ€™s book Vanilla on the cultural history of this exotic plant), and Farm Fresh Coffee from Hidden Fortress Micro Farmâ€”now with a new coffee shop on Hangar Way in Watsonville. The Food Lounge is at 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz. Visit scfoodlounge.com for more info.