Odonata Wines

dining_wineodonataRiver Skimmer 2010 and Garden Variety Cheese

Rebecca King is a professional chef, farmer, cheese maker and shepherdess. As we arrive at King’s Monkey Flower Ranch in Royal Oaks, Calif. last month for an open house, her flock of about 100 sheep are busy grazing, and barely look up to greet us. One solitary black goat catches my eye—standing alone in the middle of a flock of his white and woolly ovine friends.

We start by sampling some of King’s fine cheeses, then taking a tour of the property—which includes the milking area and cheese-making facility—before heading to the picnic table for lunch.

I am delighted to see Denis Hoey and his wife Claire pouring their wonderful Odonata wines that day. Hoey’s winemaking skills are impressive, and it’s always thrilling to try one of his new wines. On a hot day such as this, his well-chilled 2010 River Skimmer ($20) is the perfect libation to pair with King’s fine cheeses and some plum and peach cobbler with plentiful whipped cream—a delicious country-style dessert made by King’s mother. The River Skimmer has a convenient screw cap—just perfect for picnics.

Odonata takes its name from an order of dragonflies, so it’s easy to see how River Skimmer gets its title, too. Clean and crisp yet complex enough to make it enticing, this is a wine that would pair easily with either spicy or light fare, or just as a nice pre dinner drink. A blend of 55 percent Viognier and 45 percent Roussane, the passion fruit and citrus flavors are just what we need on a particularly warm and sunny day.

Odonata Wines, 334-A Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 566-5147. odonatawines.com. Check out the Preview Program – Odonata’s wine club.

Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing’s Sausagefest

There is another libation out there besides wine, believe it or not. It’s called beer. On Saturday, Oct. 8 Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is holding its fifth annual Sausagefest on the corner of Western Avenue and Mission Street. Expect all kinds of delicious sausage from El Salchichero, Freedom Meat Lockers and Corralitos Market – as well as Bavarian pretzels, beer-fermented pickles, sauerkraut, an abundance of fine ales, and much more. Proceeds go to Camp Joy Gardens in Boulder Creek. Admission: $5. Info: Emily [email protected]

Generosa Wine Sale

This is an opportunity to buy wine that will soon not be available as the winery owners are having a closeout sale. The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon is being sold off for $14 a bottle; there’s a 2005 Monte Bello Cab for $14; a Sangiovese for $12—and it’s all ready to drink now. Further discounts by the case. Info: [email protected]

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