Everybody needs a bit of bubbly to welcome in the new year—and Loma Prieta Winery makes a good one. Their Alta Mesa 2015 Sparkling Pinotage ($55) is top of the line.
When it comes to Pinotage, Loma Prieta knows a thing or two. Founder of the winery, the late Paul Kemp, became fascinated with this little-known grape and planted his own vineyard. The proof of the pudding came in winning gold and double-gold medals in prestigious competitions for his outstanding Pinotage. In other words, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of this fine sparkler as we head into 2021. “Elegant, sleek and crisp, it opens with aromas of toasted almonds with a wisp of magnolia—like drinking a glass of sunshine,” is how Loma Prieta describes it. Notes of apricot, baked pear and ruby-red grapefruit, along with the right amount of dryness, round out this Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Pinotage.
Paul’s widow Amy Kemp recently sold the estate—winery and house—to local businessman Chris Arriaga, whose daughter Samantha Arriaga will run the business. “I can honestly say things are in very capable hands,” Kemp says. “I’m very happy I found such a nice family to take over—good for the winery and good for the mountains.”
26985 Loma Prieta Way, Los Gatos. 408-353-2950, lomaprietawinery.com.
King’s Fish House
A terrific new restaurant has opened in an outdoor courtyard of Valley Fair Shopping Center called King’s Fish House—and it’s swimming with ultra-fresh fish. We shared a huge crab cake as an appetizer, followed by wild black bass and fresh trout from Idaho. Lobsters and crabs galore are kept in tanks until ready to eat, and the restaurant carries Dungeness crabs aplenty in season.
Hand-cut sushi, oysters, clams, and more unusual seafood such as wild red sea urchin are served, and there’s a good selection of beer and wine from California and elsewhere. Meat eaters can choose from filet mignon, prime sirloin or a downhome wagyu cheeseburger. And King’s outdoor seating with heaters has you covered.
King’s Fish House, 2855 Stevens Creek Blvd., San Jose. kingsfishhouse.com.
UPDATED Dec. 31, 2020: This story was updated to correct the spellings of Chris Arriaga and Samantha Arriaga. We regret the error.