Integrity Wines’ 2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon is a dazzling display of all that a good Cabernet should be–smoky, earthy and nutty, with a ton of up-front fruit.
Cabernet is known for its distinctive black currant, coffee, tobacco and mint notes, and this one shines like a star with all of these features and more. Gorgeous aromas of cedar, toast, coffee, and a smidgeon of spearmint highlight this superbly made Cabernet ($40) by Mark Hoover. A glass or two of this inky nectar will pair perfectly with a juicy steak and other hearty fare.
Hoover also makes a 2015 Barrel Select Cabernet Sauvignon for $24, which you will be able to sample at Gourmet Grazing on the Green, along with many other wines he produces. Integrity also participates in the quarterly Passport event organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (the next one is Nov. 17).
“Integrity is not just about the wine itself,” says Hoover on his website. “It’s about everyone who helped create this wine experience.”
INFO: Integrity Wines, 135 Aviation Way, Suite 16, Watsonville. 322-4200. Integrity.wine. Tasting room open noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Gourmet Grazing on the Green
Gourmet Grazing on the Green is an annual food and wine extravaganza put on by the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group—with all proceeds going to local beneficiaries. Vendors number around 70—with an abundance of local wineries and restaurants showcasing their wares.
INFO: Noon-4 p.m. Oct. 6 in Aptos Village Park. Tickets are $65. Visit sccbg.org for more info.
Café Bittersweet is a charming small-cafe offshoot of Bittersweet Bistro serving breakfast and lunch. I had breakfast with a friend there recently, and we shared a delicious Greek Goddess Omelet ($13)—which was plenty for two. Two things to note are the reduced-price ($8.50) Breakfast Busters, served from 8-11 a.m., and that pooches are welcome on the shaded outdoor patio.
Café Bittersweet is open for breakfast 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and for lunch 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday to Sunday.
INFO: Café Bittersweet, 787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos, 662-9899. cafebittersweet.com