Vine & Dine

Byington Vineyard & Winery

Wine-GT1544A family trip to the Gold Country in mid-October included a birthday celebration. And what better way to celebrate another trip around the sun than with a bit of bubbly? In this case Byington Vineyard & Winery’s 2013 Pinot Noir Sparkling Rosé ($39).

Produced in the méthode Champenoise style, this exotic sparkler is an absolutely gorgeous rosé with nuances of wild strawberry and Bing cherry that pairs well with lighter foods. It’s just the bottle to crack open as you sing “Happy Birthday.” Six of us had taken an abundance of lovely hors d’oeuvres and easily demolished all the Sparkling Rosé before dinner.

To increase the dry sparkling wine’s mystique, 25 ml of Santa Cruz Mountains late-harvest wine was added after the bottle fermentation was complete—and then fortified with Pinot Noir brandy. This “dosage” adds a “very unique character and a whisper of sweetness.”

Santa Cruz native Andrew Brenkwitz is the dedicated winemaker we have to thank for all the good varietals produced at Byington. And although the winery changed hands in 2013 from the original Byington owners, what has not changed is the winery’s attention to detail and their great wines.

Byington Vineyard & Winery, 21850 Bear Creek Road, Los Gatos. 408-354-1111.

Raise a Glass for Hospice

Be sure to stop by the Sockshop & Shoe Company on First Friday as they put on their fourth annual Kelly Short Memorial Fundraiser for Hospice of Santa Cruz County. Donations of wine and beer are from Sante Arcangeli Family Wines and Discretion Brewing, and Harley Farms Goat Dairy will be there with their delicious cheeses. Music is by the Joint Chiefs. Sockshop is donating a percentage of sales to HSCC all weekend. The event is from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 at the Sockshop & Shoe Company, 1515 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz.

Evening of Wine & Roses

The Evening of Wine & Roses event is an annual fundraiser put on by the Pajaro Valley Health Trust board of directors and staff, with proceeds helping to support low-income Pajaro Valley families. Local wineries and restaurants supply an abundance of wine and food for tasting; the silent and live auctions are always spectacular—and donated California Pajarosa roses can be bought by the dozen. This splendid event is from 6-9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 6 in the Crosetti Building at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $75. Info and tickets:

CAUSE FOR CELEBRATION Byington Vineyard & Winery’s exotic Pinot Noir Sparkling Rosé uses grapes grown in the Santa Cruz Mountains, as well as Pinot Noir brandy. PHOTO: COURTESY OF BYINGTON VINEYARD & WINERY

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