Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards

Dining_ThomasFogartyCabernet Franc and Fish and Chips
My little British group of women holds a get-together once a month and the hostess usually makes dinner. Joanna always makes typical English grub such as shepherd’s pie and hearty stews, so I was a bit surprised to find she hadn’t actually cooked this time. Instead, she had gone to the Britannia Arms in Aptos and bought everybody fish and chips – a sure-fire hit for any Brit.

With beef stew and other such concoctions in mind, I had thought a bold Thomas Fogarty Cabernet Franc (on a cold night, to boot) would be just the ticket. I have always enjoyed the wines of Thomas Fogarty Winery and imagined that this particular Cab – a 2006 Santa Cruz Mountains priced at $30 – would go well with whatever Joanna had cooked. But I wasn’t expecting fish and chips!

Nevertheless, I opened it up for everybody to try – and nobody complained. In fact several thought it went well with the moist, battered fish. Although it says on the Cab’s label that a Cab Franc “lends itself to a variety of cuisines,” I’m sure the winemaking team of Michael Martella and Nathan Kandler did not have fish and chips in mind. But let’s face it, if the wine is good and you’re enjoying it with the food you’re eating, well, that’s all that matters. Pairing wine with the right food can often get too involved – especially when it says on the label “Pairs well with venison, wild boar, rabbit and caviar.” I mean, how often do we actually eat these delicacies? 
I have always enjoyed the wines of Thomas Fogarty – a professor of surgery at Stanford University who has a passion for making ultra-premium wine. He found expert winemaker Martella and brought him on board when the winery started in 1981, and it has been a very successful partnership. The 2006 Cab Franc is blended with a small percentage of Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as well – adding to the aromatic complexity and the luscious flavors of dark red fruit and savory herbs.

So we all drank the Cab Franc, plus a white wine I had taken as well, relished the delicious fish and chips, and finished off with cups of hot tea – in true British style. Enough said!

Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards, 19501 Skyline Blvd., Woodside. Tel: (650) 851-6777. fogartywinery.com. Open for wine tasting Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tasting fee is $8 and $12, but complimentary on Wednesdays.

Wine News at Johnny’s Harborside: Every time you buy a glass or bottle of Rodney Strong wine from now until Jan. 1, 2011, Johnny’s will donate a portion of their sales to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County. Also, there will be a Rodney Strong Wine Dinner held at Johnny’s on Thursday, Nov. 11.
Johnny’s Harborside, 493 Lake Ave., Santa Cruz. 479-3430. johnnysharborside.com.

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