Vine & Dine

Silver Mountain Vineyards

wine glassChardonnay 2011

Silver Mountain Vineyards owner and winemaker Jerold O’Brien has been in the business a long time, and the expertise he has garnered over the years shows in every bottle he produces.

His 2011 Chardonnay is a refreshing easy-drinking wine made from grapes harvested from Tondre’s Grapefield in the prestigious Santa Lucia Highlands. Delicious fruity flavors of lychee, papaya and lemon greet the palate, with some cardamom, almond and vanilla adding additional pizzazz. Food friendly and uncomplicated, it’s easy to pair with just about anything.

The Chardonnay sells for $28 a bottle, but there’s a discount of 15 percent if you buy a whole case.

Silver Mountain Vineyards participates in dozens of events, including the upscale Cooking for Solutions from May 16-18 at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and the fun Dare to Pair on May 18 (see below for information).

Silver Mountain Vineyards, 402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 466-0559. Open Thursday through Sunday.  The winery off of Old San Jose Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains is open every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Visit

Dare to Pair        

Cabrillo College Culinary Arts students are teaming up once more with Surf City Vintners for the annual Dare to Pair food and wine challenge. The competition will take place from noon to 3 p.m. Sunday, May 18 in the Surf City Vintners’ tasting rooms in the area of the Swift Street Courtyard complex in Santa Cruz. The event will feature enticing appetizers prepared by Cabrillo’s culinary students, paired with fine wines from around a dozen wineries, and an After Party at Equinox Wines from 3-5 p.m. Advance tickets are $60 or $70 day of event. Visit, or call 435-3000 for more information.

Cabrillo College Farm-to-Table Dinner

Students in the culinary program at Cabrillo College will be preparing a four-course feast featuring Fiesta Farms organic chickens and Watsonville-based Belle Farms, makers of superb olive oil. 37th Parallel Winery, out of Scotts Valley, will be pouring their wines. The event begins at 6 p.m. with passed hors d’oeuvres, and dinner will be served at 7 p.m. $65 per person includes wine, dinner and meet and greet with farmer and winemaker. Call 479-6524 for reservations, and visit Facebook to see the menu. The dinner will be held on Friday, May 9 in the Sesnon House, 6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos.

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