Francis Ford Coppola Winery

dining_franciscoppolaCabernet Sauvignon 2009

Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine is a casual, inexpensive dining spot in Aptos with a focus on Persian and Mediterranean food. It’s an ideal restaurant for seven women friends to have dinner where we can share a good laugh, and not-so-subdued conversation. And food is ordered over the counter so each can pay his own bill.

Zameen owner, Ed Watson, carries a few local wines, but plans to eventually stock a whole lot more. I order a bottle of Francis Coppola Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 ($21)—part of the Diamond Collection – with fruit from various California vineyards. A hearty Cab is just what’s needed to go with robust foods such as falafel, lamb wraps, Mediterranean meatballs and spiced chicken kebab.

The 2009 Cab has a full-bodied structure with enduring flavors of plums and black cherries. Accents of anise, clove and vanilla round off this very drinkable wine, which we finish off with two tasty desserts of baklava and dark chocolate brownie.

Francis Ford Coppola is famous for making movies, but he’s now also a shining star in the wine industry as well. With all that Italian blood running through his veins, he could not resist planting a few grapes, reaping the harvest, and turning it into that fabulous juice called vino.

Coppola’s winery is well worth a visit. A beautiful tasting room awaits you, along with some luscious wines to sample. And visit the movie gallery above the tasting room—it’s full of everything from Academy Awards to film props and costumes from Coppola’s famous films.

Francis Coppola Winery, 300 Via Archemides, Geyserville, CA 95441. Toll free: 1-877-590-3329. franciscoppolawinery.com.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing

We all know about olallieberry wine, but now there’s olallieberry ale—a.k.a. O’Berry— made by Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing. Next time you’re in the Swift Street complex visiting one of the dozen wineries belonging to Surf City Vintners, hop on over to SCMB to try their new fruity brew.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, 402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 425-4900. santacruzmountainbrewing.com.

Martin Ranch Winery Captures Double Gold

Martin Ranch Winery captured two double gold medals in two prestigious wine competitions this summer—at the San Francisco International Wine Competition for the 2009 Thérèse Vineyards Malbec; and at the California State Fair for the J.D. Hurley 2008 Merlot. They also received a gold medal and “best of show” at the 2011 Santa Cruz Mountains Commercial Wine Competition for the Malbec. Congratulations to Thérèse and Dan Martin.

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