Practically all the wines that Vinocruz sells are local, so I often go in there for a browse around. Owner J-P Correa urges me to try this, that and the other—and he’s always so enthusiastic and informative, especially when he’s discovered some little gem.
Such was the case when Correa asked me to try Le P’Tit Paysan’s 2006 Syrah ($19), Windsor Oaks Vineyard, Russian River Valley. The nose is rich with blueberry, boysenberry and raspberry, and these dense berry flavors add immense depth. Peppery overtones add an interesting spiciness to this Syrah.
Le P’Tit Paysan (which translates to “the little peasant”) has one of the more interesting labels I have seen in a while. It depicts an elderly gent eyeing a rooster with a large cock’s comb. Turn the bottle around and the back label shows the gent making a grab for the rooster – just as it takes off, feathers flying.
Ian Brand is the talented winemaker responsible for Le P’Tit Paysan, in partnership with vineyard owners John and Julie Allen of Coastview Vineyard in Monterey. Brand has garnered an abundance of expertise from quite a few local wineries. When he first came to Santa Cruz from Utah, he worked at Bonny Doon Vineyard, honing his skills over time and sealing his destiny in winemaking. He also did a stint at Big Basin Vineyards in Boulder Creek, Nicholson Vineyards in Corralitos and Pierce Vineyard, located in the newly designated San Antonio Valley in the south of Monterey County.
Contact Ian Brand at Coastview Vineyards, P.O. Box 2476, Salinas, 212-3660. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wine & Crab Taste-Off, Jan. 16
Crab, wonderful crab. It’s the best time of year to enjoy this delicious crustacean. And what better way to indulge than participating in the 8th 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; and Ma Maison and Sanderlings in Aptos. 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@example.com.
Winemaker Wednesdays at Shadowbrook
Winemaker Wednesdays continue in Shadowbrook’s Rock Room with Bargetto’s as the next featured winery on Jan. 12. The winemaker will be at the restaurant from 5-8 p.m. pouring flights of wine; and complimentary hors d’oeuvres are also served. A special half off discount is given on all wines from the featured winery that evening. Visit shadwobrook-capitola.com.