One of my friends had a group of women over for dinner. Since she always makes the most fabulous healthy dishes, I took along a bottle of wine that I hoped would match up with her cuisine – a Viognier 2008 from River Run Vintners, even though Viognier is not always the most food-friendly wine. Most white wine drinkers love Chardonnay, but it makes a nice change to try something els
Sure enough, my friend produces a splendid main course of curried chicken salad—delightful in its simplicity and packed with flavor. I open up the Viognier for the six of us, already wishing I had brought more. This golden-hued beauty has an intriguing heady bouquet of peaches and flowers. Thanks to the warm climate of the Tanimura-Antle Vineyard where the grapes are grown, the fruit ripens perfectly in October—producing this marvelous white wine with a weighty mouthfeel.
But it’s all thanks to owner and winemaker J.P. Pawloski that this Viognier is so drinkable. In existence since 1978, this family-operated winery has gradually built up a fine reputation. The 2007 Viognier won a silver medal (86 points) in last year’s Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Commercial Wine Competition—plus six more silver medals and one bronze for various other wines.
Viognier has long been known as a blending grape in France’s Rhône Valley. It’s an ideal wine to drink on its own because of its high alcohol and low acid. It’s not always easy to find on supermarket shelves, but I bought this particular bottle at DeLuxe Foods of Aptos for $17.
River Run Vintners, 65 Rogge Lane, Watsonville, 726-3112. riverrunwines.com. River Run will be open for Passport Day on Saturday, July 17 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, July 18 is bottle-your-own day.
Local wineries will be providing libations at a fundraiser for Mariposa’s Art, a nonprofit with programs to foster youth leadership, music and art creativity. Main Street Garden & Café in Soquel will host the event in their beautiful garden setting. As well as wine, there will be food, music and a wonderful silent auction. Monday, June 28 from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Tickets are $75. Info: Sally Green at [email protected] or 254-2354.
Thursday Night Music Series: Bargetto Winery will host a series of live music concerts to be held in the Creek Side Courtyard overlooking Soquel Creek. There is no cover charge, and food and wine are available for purchase. From July 1 to Aug. 26 from 6-8 p.m. Bargetto Winery, 3535 N. Main St., Soquel, 475-2258. bargetto.com.