Vine & Dine


wine glassWhen some friends invited me and my husband to a dinner of “gourmet food,” and mentioned that they had just brought back some foie gras from France, I decided to take along an earthy Chesebro 2011 Pinot Noir ($23) to pair with the special treat.

Six of us made short work of this Pinot, and the worthy wine (it won a silver at this year’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition) matched up well with the silky smooth pâté.

Made from grapes grown in Cedar Lane Vineyard in the Arroyo Seco AVA, its classic aroma of red fruit and earth, along with its velvety texture, make for a delicious palate-pleasing starter. The 2011 vintage has some lighter elements, such as cranberry and tangy pomegranate, so it pairs quite well with hors d’oeuvres.

An impressive main course of beef Wellington, mushroom bread pudding and sautéed spinach, followed by “very runny” French cheese—also brought back from France, were paired with a couple of other superb locally made wines.

We finished with St. John Comandari, a sweet and fruity dessert wine from Cyprus—and my favorite Greek dessert, galaktoboureko. (Pronounced galak-to-BOO-reko)/

Mark Chesebro, winemaker and grower, is producing some beautiful wines lately. You can try them all at his delightful tasting room in Carmel Valley Village. Open Thursday through Sunday, $10 gets you six different tastings—refundable with a $40 purchase.

19 East Carmel Valley Road, Suite D, Carmel Valley, 659-2125.

Summit Wineries Celebrate Valentine’s

Looking for a romantic tasting with your loved one over Valentine’s weekend? Look no further than the Summit Wineries—including Burrell School, MJA, Silver Mountain (open only on Feb. 14 for this event), Villa del Monte, and Wrights Station. To check what each winery is doing for Valentine’s, check out  The wineries charge a tasting fee of $5 to $10.

Valentine’s Day Dinners

Lago di Como Ristorante & Pizzeria in Santa Cruz will be serving up a six-course prix fixe Italian dinner for $68 per person on Valentine’s Day. Also, LionFish Supper Club and  Heart Tribe are teaming up for a fun five-course Valentine’s dinner at the Art Bar & Café at the Tannery Arts Center.

Heavenly Roadside Café

Well-known local Joe Ferrara will be singing and playing guitar from noon to 2 p.m. on Valentine’s Day at the Heavenly Roadside Café. So take your sweetie out to breakfast or brunch and soak up some good music at the same time. Heavenly Roadside serves up tasty breakfast goodies including scrambles, omelets, house specialties, and delicious Benedicts with freshly made hollandaise sauce. They also serve sandwiches, salads, sandwiches and very juicy burgers made with choice Angus beef. Oh, and don’t miss the onion rings!

Heavenly Roadside Café, 1210 Mt. Hermon Road, Scotts Valley, 335-1210.

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