Bonny Doon Vineyard’s wines were flowing at the opening of the new Marriott Fairfield Inn last month on the Westside of Santa Cruz. Sipping on A Proper Claret 2014, I carried my wine around as I toured the beautiful rooms. This cleverly named wine is only $14.99 a bottle at Shopper’s Corner! What could be more perfect, when you’ve spent a load of money over the holidays, than a delicious well-made wine for under 20 bucks?
And then there’s expert winemaker Randall Grahm to factor into the mix. Not only does he turn out some fabulous wines, but he also conjures up catchy names for them—hence A Proper Claret. This luscious red is a blend of 36 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 22 percent Petit Verdot, 22 percent Tannat, 9 percent Syrah, 7 percent Merlot, 3 percent Cabernet Franc, and 1 percent Petite Sirah. It’s a frisky red wine that won’t break the bank, and it won a gold in the 2016 Critics Challenge. Doesn’t that pique your interest?
Other Bonny Doon wines were available to try at the Marriott, but I plumped for a second glass of the Claret as I checked out a king suite on the first floor.
Bonny Doon Vineyard has a lively tasting room in Davenport where you can try the rest of Grahm’s “doon-home” wines.
Bonny Doon Vineyard, 450 Hwy. 1, Davenport, 471-8031. bonnydoonvineyard.com
First Annual Culinary Mushroom Week
Mark your calendars for this year’s annual Fungus Fair. The three-day event features hundreds of species of local fungi, as well as mushroom experts available throughout to help identify the mushrooms you’ve found. The event is Jan. 13-15 at the Louden Nelson Community Center, and you are sure to have a fun(gus) time. New this year is the participation of local restaurants featuring mushrooms on their menu from Jan. 6-15 (the week leading up to the Fungus Fair). Signed up so far are Ulterior Kitchen & Cocktail Lounge; Café Mare; 99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall; and Tanglewood. Each restaurant is putting its own twist on its mushroom creations. Check the website for more info at ffsc.us/fair.