Vine & Dine

Picchetti Winery

wine glassAfter enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

There is no label, just a beautiful gold peacock feather painted on the bottle, and the word pavone, Italian for peacock, written next to it. Elegant bottles such as this make attractive candle holders, especially when the wax has dripped down the side.

Picchetti’s Red Pavone, as it calls its “table wine,” is no ordinary blend. Consisting of 46 percent Petite Sirah, 21 percent Zinfandel, 18 percent Petit Verdot, and 15 percent Malbec, the winery considers this rich, full-bodied cuvee to be the very best Red Pavone that they have produced. Brimming with vibrant red fruit flavors of raspberries and dried cherries, and fragrant highlights of leather and toasted oak, this beautiful wine ($34.95) has a firm texture and extended finish. Pair it with any red meat or grilled vegetables—or enjoy a glass by itself.

Picchetti is one of the oldest wineries in California, having started in the 1890s, and boasts a historic tasting room and grounds. Open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily for wine tasting and picnics, it’s a place to visit and linger. With 24 public picnic tables, and beautiful grounds to meander through, Picchetti Winery is worth a day’s visit, for sure. As Picchetti says, “Save yourself the drive to Napa and experience historic Picchetti Winery & Ranch.”

Picchetti Winery, 13100 Montebello Road, Cupertino, 408-741-1310. Picchetti.com. Tasting fee is $10 for a build-your-own flight of five wines. They also have a tasting room in Tahoe.

Date Night Expands

Most people heading out for an evening movie like to combine it with dinner. For some time now, various restaurants and the Nickelodeon Theatres group—including the Nickelodeon, Del Mar and Aptos Cinema—have been running the Dinner and a Movie plan, which has proven to be very successful. For $45-$50, you can have a superb dinner and see a movie on certain weekdays. What a deal! More restaurants have jumped on the bandwagon: Assembly, Au Midi, Café Sparrow, Café Rio, Chocolate, 515 Kitchen & Cocktails, Gabriella Café, Hindquarter Bar & Grille, Hoffman’s, Hula’s Island Grill, Laili, Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar, and Soif. Tickets are available at any of the participating restaurants or theaters. For more information visit thenick.com  

Pino Alto Restaurant

As part of the Cabrillo College Culinary Program, the Pino Alto Restaurant in the historic Sesnon House is open to the public during each semester. Students go all out to make interesting dishes and the cost is reasonable. Open for lunch noon to 1:30 p.m. Monday to Thursday, dinner 5:30-8:30 p.m. Wednesday to Friday, and for wine and small bites on the terrace weekdays from 5 p.m.

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