Vine & Dine

Sones Cellars Torrontés 2011

wine glassLooking for an interesting wine to kick off the New Year? Then try Sones Cellars’ Torrontés.

I came across this wine after a fun Friday night of eating out with friends at West End Tap & Kitchen in the Swift Street Courtyard complex. When most other tasting rooms were closed, my husband and I were surprised to find Michael Sones still around. Although he was getting ready to head home to his wife Lois and daughter Michaela, he waved us in to try a few wines.

Sones is an expert winemaker—and this time, he ventures into a premiere wine grape of Argentina called Torrontés, which is now becoming more known outside of this South American country. Grapes for Sones’ Torrontes are grown at the Silvaspoons Vineyards in the Altsa Mesa, near Lodi—in an area that is well suited to this varietal.

This wonderfully fragrant wine pairs well with Mexican fare, seafood and grilled chicken. But a glass of Sones’ Torrontés all by itself is simply lovely. “The heady honeysuckle, melon, peach and citrus aromas are reflected in the round mouth feel and complex flavors to follow,” says Michael of his Torrontés.

Try all Sones’ other well-made wines when you stop by his tasting room. His Torrontés is available there fo $21. Sones Cellars, 334-B Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 420-1552.

Zizzo’s Expansion – I had coffee recently with a friend at Zizzo’s in the Brown Ranch Marketplace near Great Clips and Trader Joe’s.  As co-owner Christine Shelton made me a delicious chai latte, she informed me about Zizzo’s exciting plans to extend into the vacated Weight Watchers property next door and create a wine bar. Weight Watchers moved to another location in Capitola. More to come on the wine bar news as plans take shape early in 2014. Zizzo’s Coffee, 3555 Clares St., Capitola, 477-0680.

Chocolate’s New Sandwiches – The lovely little downtown café Chocolate, owned by David Jackman, is now featuring El Salchichero products in several new sandwiches, including pastrami on Gayle’s Bakery rye bread and delicious sauerkraut from local Farmhouse Culture. Visit for more info.

Holman Ranch Tours – Holman Ranch, located at 60 Holman Ranch Road in Carmel Valley, is offering a Vine to Wine experience from 2-4 p.m. through the end of February. consisting of a series of educational tours for wine lovers. The ATV tour will take guests from the tasting room to the Vineyard for an in-depth look at how their estate grown wine is made from barrel to bottle. Each tour is two hours and by reservation only. The tour ends with small bites and your favorite glass of wine. Cost: $50. For info and to make a reservation, call 831-659-2640 or email [email protected]

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