Vine & Dine

Villa del Monte Winery

wine glassPinot Noir Reserve 2011. Wine Events.

During Restaurant Week at the beginning of October, when participating restaurants offer three courses for $25, I met up with a couple of friends at Booka for dinner. One of my friends particularly wanted to go to this fairly new Aptos restaurant because her son is a chef there.

I took along a bottle of Villa del Monte Pinot Noir Reserve 2011, Santa Cruz Mountains William Vincent Vineyard to share. We all had different appetizers and main courses, but the very drinkable Pinot paired nicely with everything. My friends also ordered cocktails from the bar, but I wanted to simply enjoy the well-made Pinot. Smooth and silky, it’s bursting with red fruit and characteristic earthiness. Aromas of spice, leather and caramel and some vanilla and spice in the mouth add to the overall pleasure of drinking this impressive wine ($34). We all loved it.

Villa del Monte winemakers John Overstreet and Neil Perrelli produce excellent wines—made in small lots with the utmost care. Their tasting room is not open every weekend, but they will be open for Passport Day on Saturday, Nov. 16 (visit scmwa.com for information on that). Check Villa del Monte’s website for tasting room times before heading there to try this Pinot and all their other fine wines.

My friend’s son sent out a plate of bite-size desserts he had created—an exquisite assortment of chocolate truffles and other mouth-watering treats. Swooning with delight as we tasted each one, we enjoyed what was left of the Pinot. Villa del Monte Winery, 23076 Summit Road, Los Gatos, 888-788-4583, villadelmontewinery.com.


Wine Events

Lago di Como hosts Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard
Lago de Como Ristorante & Pizzeria in Santa Cruz will be preparing a special six-course Italian dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 paired with the wines of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard. Tickets are $62 per person plus tax and gratuity. Visit lagadicomoristorante.com or call 454-8257 for more information.

Johnny’s Harborside Dinner
Johnny’s Harborside will be hosting the wineries of Cannonball and Astrolabe for a special “Put Your Heart In It” six-course wine dinner fundraiser for the Boys & Girls Club of Santa Cruz and the Institute of HeartMath. The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 7 and tickets are $75 per person, plus tax and gratuity. For tickets email [email protected] or call 479-3430.

Morgan Winemaker’s Dinner at Ventana Big Sur
Carmel-based Morgan Winery and the Restaurant at Ventana in the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur have teamed up for a splendid winemaker’s dinner at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9, with a reception starting at 6 p.m. Tickets are $125 plus tax and gratuity. For reservations call 831-667-4242.

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