I stopped by Villa Del Monte Winery recently for a tasting of their wonderful wines, including one in particular I had been wanting to try—a velvety 2012 red wine blend called Vintner’s Select Reserve.
The striking artwork on the label is the first thing to notice. Created exclusively for Villa Del Monte by artist Sonya Paz, a pattern of bold shapes and colors adds such pizzazz to the bottle, it makes you want to buy it regardless of the contents. But you have a double whammy here: a truly well-made nectar in an extremely eye-catching bottle. It’s the perfect holiday gift, in fact.
Luscious and intense, this delicious blend of Santa Cruz Mountains Cabernet Sauvignon and Carneros Merlot is a gorgeous mouthful of dark fruit with well-balanced structure. Aged for 24 months in French and American oak barrels, it sells for $43, with a discount for wine club members.
Winemakers John Overstreet and Neil Perrelli take great pride in producing Villa del Monte’s extraordinary wines, and it is well worth paying them a visit for a tasting, especially if you’re a Pinot lover.
Villa del Monte Winery, 23076 Summit Road, Los Gatos, 408-353-0995 or 888-788-4583. Open just once a month; the next dates are Dec. 17 and 18. Check villadelmontewinery.com for exact dates and times.
The Turkey Boat
A cute little eatery in Pajaro called The Turkey Boat has got you covered if you’re still craving turkey. Fancy a Turkey Pesto Salad, some Turkey & Vegetable Soup, or a Turkey Boat Sandwich bursting at the seams with potatoes, stuffing, cranberries, and gravy? This is where you go: The Turkey Boat, 7 San Juan Road, Pajaro, 536-5351. Call for hours or email owner Linda Flores at [email protected].
Toque Blanche is the new name for the eclectic kitchen supply store in downtown Santa Cruz formerly known as Chefworks. The store still carries an amazing selection of goods for all your cooking and baking needs. And just in case you didn’t know, a toque is a chef’s hat. Toque Blanche is at 1527 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, 426-1351. mytoque.com