Kirigin Cellars

dining kirginVino de Mocca—California Grape Wine with Coffee, Chocolate and Orange

I’m giving you all a heads up for Valentine’s Day so that you have time to visit Kirigin Cellars in Gilroy and get some Vino de Mocca. This voluptuous wine is available only at the winery, so you will have to go out there to get some. But it will be worth it.

Vino de Mocca is an award-winning dessert wine infused with natural coffee, chocolate and orange flavors, and it’s incredibly sensuous and delicious. With its smooth, velvety texture and stunning flavors, it’s the perfect sweet wine as an after-dinner drink—or just to imbibe by itself. This chocolate-infused port is not a wine to pair with food, unless you’re having it with dessert, of course, but if you like a sweet touch, then this offers a dramatic punch. And beware! Known as “the kissing wine” it’s highly addictive!

Kirigin Cellars was founded in 1916 and is one of California’s oldest wineries. It even has a cricket pitch where games are regularly held. You can visit the sports fields and take a picnic and the entire family is welcome—even the dog!

Kirigin Cellars, 11550 Watsonville Road, Gilroy. (408) 847-8827. Kirigincellars.com. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tasting is complimentary.

Wine Events—Two not-to-miss events coming up this weekend:

Passport Day: Saturday, Saturday, Jan. 21 Passport Day comes around every three months, and it’s a good opportunity to go wine tasting. This is the day when you can visit wineries belonging to the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), providing you have a Passport, which will cost you $40 and can be purchased at any winery. When you visit each winery, you get your Passport stamped (it doesn’t expire)—and with more than 70 wineries belonging to SCMWA, it will take you a very long time to fill it up. Passport Day takes place four times a year on the third Saturday of January, April, July and November. Info: 685-8464, or scmwa.com or [email protected]

Wine & Crab Taste-Off, Sunday, Jan. 22 Crab, wonderful crab!
It’s the best time of year to enjoy this delicious crustacean. And what better way to indulge than to participate in the annual Wine & Crab Taste-Off. Organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), the participating restaurants this year are Michael’s on Main and Café Cruz in Soquel; Ma Maison and Sanderlings in Aptos and Paradise Beach Grille in Capitola. Each crab dish is paired with a local wine—and you get to be a judge by voting which crab dish you like the most. Get your tickets early from SCMWA. Info: 685-8464 or scmwa.com or [email protected]

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