Vine & Dine

Soquel Vineyards

Wine-GT1545A new Intreccio to splurge on over the holidays

In early June, I was invited by the owners and winemakers of Soquel Vineyards, Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan, to watch a bottling session. It’s an amazing sight to see the smooth choreography of hundreds of bottles whizzing by to get filled with wine, then labels being slapped on, and corks and foil topping everything off.

We tasted a few wines over lunch, including their impressive new Intreccio 2013 ($75). The Intreccio, Italian for “weave,” is an absolutely gorgeous blend of 20 percent each of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, and Petit Verdot. Awash with aromas of tobacco, cedar and blueberry, and full-on berry fruits to tantalize the tongue, the well-crafted Intreccio is a lush mouthful of rich red wine.

“The purpose of interlacing these five varieties is to enhance their combined flavors, textures and aromas which makes more apparent their complexities,” say the Bargettos and Morgan on their label. “In creating this Napa Valley Bordeaux-style blend, Intreccio possesses a length beyond measure.”

It’s absolutely perfect to drink right now, especially to enjoy over Thanksgiving and Christmas. When you’ve splurged on turkey and all the trimmings, it makes sense to get a special wine such as this to enhance the whole meal.

Soquel Vineyards, 8063 Glen Haven Road, Soquel, 462-9045. soquelvineyards.com.

Fruitcake made by Monks

I recently sampled a brandy-dipped fruitcake and a brandy-dipped date-nut cake from New Camaldoli Hermitage Famous Gourmet Cakes, made by Camaldoli monks in Big Sur as one of their prime sources of income, especially over the holiday season. Most Brits love fruitcake, and I’m one of them. The monks have been making these cakes for years, and are well known for producing quality products. Their granola, too, is tasty and packed with good stuff. Included with the samples was a note from Brother Michael saying he hoped we would enjoy the cake and the “Holy Granola.” I certainly felt blessed when I’d eaten it. Info and to order: 866-886-0544 and hermitagebigsur.com

Downtown Santa Cruz Wine Walk

The next Santa Cruz Wine Walk is from 3-6 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 15. Around 10 wineries and 10 businesses are participating, so there will be plenty of fun to be had as you stroll around. Check in at the Food Lounge for your pass and to get your glass, as well as a map of the pouring locations. Tickets are $30. Many downtown restaurants will be offering specials on the same evening, so stay for dinner! Info: downtownsantacruz.com/wine-walk.


DREAM WEAVER Soquel Vineyards’ Intreccio, which means ‘weave’ in Italian, combines five different grapes.

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