Pinot Noir 2007
Cooking is not one of my greatest skills, so when the opportunity arose to polish up my culinary prowess by attending a cooking class, I grabbed a bottle of wine to take with me for fortification.
An evening with a couple of friends at one of Denise Ward’s Chowhound Cooking Classes turned out to be a great deal of fun. About eight people in the class chopped, peeled, diced and sliced as Ward guided us through the various stages of creating culinary wonders from scratch over a glass or two of Prosecco. When all was ready, we sat down to enjoy appetizers, a main course of lamb stew, and a fabulous dessert—strawberry and rhubarb galette.
I opened up the Muns Pinot ($40) for everybody to try with the appetizers. By the time the lamb was served, I wished I had had another couple of bottles to share as all agreed that this is one gorgeous Pinot. But I was glad to introduce winemaker Ed Muns’ Pinot to a few folks who didn’t know of it.
There are many accomplished winemakers in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and Ed Muns is one of them. His vineyards, at an elevation of 2,600 feet enjoy coastal fog, excellent soil and the right amount of sunlight—perfect conditions to grow the delicate Pinot Noir grape. Here’s a wine that is chock-full of beautiful fruit and bursting with flavors of caramel, vanilla, earth and spice. You can find it at The Fish Lady in Soquel, Vinocruz in Santa Cruz, and other places.
Muns Vineyard, PO Box 1877, Los Gatos. (408) 234-2079. munsvineyard.com. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dancing Creek Winery’s Italian Lunch Patrizia Quartucci, an accomplished chef from Italy, will be visiting the area for two weeks and is the guest chef at a special winemaker’s lunch at Dancing Creek Winery. Quartucci brings her authentic family recipes with her as well as her own recipes for what will be an amazing four-course gourmet lunch paired with Dancing Creek wines. Info: 1-4 p.m., June 10. Cost: $85.
Dancing Creek Winery, 4363 Branciforte Drive, Santa Cruz, (408) 497-7753. Dancingcreekwinery.com.
Bargetto Winery’s La Vita Release Party The Bargetto family is all set to release its 2008 La Vita wine on Sunday, June 3 with a big celebration at their winery in Soquel. La Vita (“life” in Italian) is a blend of Dolcetto, Refosco and Nebbiolo grapes, and the special label designed for it is always unveiled at the party. La Vita retails for $60, and each year a portion of the proceeds goes to a local nonprofit. Tickets are $20, which includes tasting of the new wine, live music and hors d’oeuvres, and can be purchased by calling Bargetto Winery at 475-2258 ext. 10.