Pinot Noir 2010
There are times when a really good bottle of wine gets your attention. I first tasted this lovely Pinot in January at the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association’s Wine & Crab Taste Off, and it’s very impressive.
Five restaurants participated this year in the delicious crab fest – Ma Maison, Paradise Beach Grille, Michael’s on Main, Café Cruz, and Sanderlings Restaurant at Seascape Resort. About six or seven wineries are featured at each restaurant and winemaker Neil Perrelli was pouring his Villa del Monte wines at Ma Maison in Aptos. I tasted his 2010 Pinot, Santa Cruz Mountains Regan Vineyard ($28), and just loved every mouthful of this dark beauty.
Layers of black pepper, cloves and rich jam linger on the palate of this 100 percent Pinot, which is barrel-aged in oak. The winemaker suggests it’s a perfect accompaniment to hearty pastas, lamb, pork chops, turkey or beef. As far as I am concerned, I would enjoy this wine alone—savoring every mouthful—with a superb wedge of cheese or with some good dark chocolate.
Villa del Monte is an award-winning, family-owned boutique winery in the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountains. Although they are not open every weekend, I would check their website to find out when they are open and to see a list of events in which they are participating.
Villa del Monte Winery, 23076 Summit Road, Los Gatos, (888) 788-4583. Villadelmontewinery.com. Pinot Paradise
The annual extravaganza for Pinot Noir lovers is coming up on March 31 and April 1. This very popular event, put on by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA), is often a sell-out, so be sure to get your tickets early.
Saturday, March 31 is Pathway to Pinot Paradise—an opportunity to go barrel tasting with a self-guided tour to many of the wineries participating in the event; and Sunday, April 1 head to Villa Ragusa in historic downtown Campbell where around 30 wineries from the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation will be pouring their best Pinot Noirs, including Villa del Monte Winery. Many upscale restaurants provide an abundance of delicious food, so you can expect some tasty bites to go along with the Pinot. For tickets and information: 685-VINE (8463), scmwa.com.
California Wine & Cheese Classes at Cabrillo College
Register now for two special educational wine and cheese classes by roving fromage gurus Melissa Schilling, and Rebecca King of Garden Variety Cheese. You will learn basic winemaking terms and become comfortable drinking and choosing wines for entertaining and enjoyment. May 8 and June 5 from 7-9:30 p.m. Register with Cabrillo College.