A friend was treating me to dinner at Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, so the least I could do was buy the wine. I plumped for a Bargetto Chardonnay 2008 Central Coast ($19:50 a bottle/$6 by the glass). I knew this very drinkable wine would go with Zameen’s delicious food—with its strong Persian and Mediterranean influences.
We picked a cozy table in a corner and Zameen’s owner, Ed Watson, rushed over with the nicely chilled wine and opened it up. Although this place is casual dining—food is ordered over-the-counter–the service doesn’t reflect that. Food is always delivered to the table and service is prompt and courteous. Zameen knows how to pack a flavor punch into its offerings—and prices are very reasonable, and portions plentiful.
We take our first sip of the Bargetto wine. As expected, it’s very fruit-forward with a good balance of minerals and tropical fruit. This wine is so flexible, easily pairing with many different kinds of food—even the more exotic fare of Zameen.
My order of Falafel Wrap arrives—a mere $6.95 for a huge sandwich—with my choice of tahini sauce, and my friend’s order of Saffron Chicken Kebab. We didn’t need the Sweet Potato Fries, but we got through the whole lot. We also got through most of the bottle of Chardonnay. Although it has a rich mouthfeel, it’s not a heavy wine.
Bargetto Winery won a total of nine medals in this year’s Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association Commercial Wine Competition, including a gold for their 2007 Pinot. The 2008 Chardonnay came in with a bronze.
Bargetto Winery, 3535 N. Main St., Soquel, 475-2258. bargetto.com. Tasting room and gift shop open daily. Zameen Meditteranean Cuisine, 7528 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 688-4465. zameencuisine.com.
Shadowbrook Restaurant continues with its very popular series of Winemaker Wednesdays. Each week from now through April, a different Santa Cruz Mountains appellation wine is spotlighted – with special pricing throughout the week and half off the wine on Wednesdays. On these popular Wednesdays, the winemakers of various wineries are at Shadowbrook from 5-8 p.m., and each flight of wine comes with complimentary hors d’oeuvres. The restaurant also launches its Community Tuesdays program—now in its 13th year—which runs from November until March. Nonprofits benefit from the restaurant returning 33 percent of the profits back to the organization. Shadowbrook, 1750 Wharf Road, Capitola,475-1511, shadowbrook-capitola.com.