One of my favorite go-to wines is Rosé. Today’s Rosés are such a far cry from those of yesteryear. Remember when Mateus Rosé was all the rage? I was living in Greece many moons ago when it first became available—and we used to drink gallons of it. It’s still around and remains inexpensive.
But, thank heavens, Rosés have taken a turn for the better, and wineries such as Windy Oaks are making good-quality Rosé from grapes harvested in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County. Their 2016 Bastide La Combe Rosé is a terrific wine for around $20, and, with warmer spring weather now, it’s a handy wine to take on a picnic, especially with its easy-to-open screw-cap top.
Made in the French Provençal style from 100-percent Grenache grapes, it’s harvested at low brix. Brix measures sugar in wine grapes and determines how much alcohol a wine will have. So, in this case, the Rosé has a low alcohol content (13.2 percent). Only 120 cases were produced, so you had better head to one of Windy Oaks’ tasting rooms and load up on this easy-to-drink salmon-pink wine.
Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery, 550 Hazel Dell Road, Corralitos, 786-9463. Windy Oaks operated a tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea, and has moved to a new tasting room in Carmel Valley. windyoaksestate.com.
Pelican Ranch Winemaker’s Dinner at Gabriella Café
Mark your calendars for a guaranteed-sumptuous dinner at 6 p.m. May 1 at the delightful Gabriella Cafe—featuring four special wines by winemaker Phil Crews of Pelican Ranch, including a late-harvest Zinfandel with dessert. Seating is limited, so early reservations are recommended. Tickets are $60. Contact Gabriella Café for more info.
Gabriella Café, 910 Cedar St., Santa Cruz. 457-1677. gabriellacafe.com.
Spring Forward Against Cancer
The Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group’s annual event will be held at Chaminade from 5:30-11 p.m. on Saturday, April 14—an extravaganza of fine dining, dancing and auctions. Take this opportunity to bid on outstanding wines—local and international—and remember that by attending this event you are supporting local cancer-related beneficiaries. Tickets are $185. Visit sccbg.org for more info.