Vine & Dine

Mercy Vineyards

wine glassMercy Vineyards has garnered a wealth of gold medals for its 2010 Pinot Noir, including a double gold at the 2013 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, golds at the Critics Challenge, Orange County wine competitions, and another gold at the 2014 Pinot Noir Shootout. These are serious accolades, and most certainly well deserved.

Fruit for this velvety Pinot is combined from three contiguous vineyards in the old dry riverbed corridor of the Arroyo Seco AVA (American Viticultural Area), and aged exclusively in French oak. Red raspberry and black cherry fruit mingle with floral, mineral, vanilla, and spice—showcasing the characters of the region’s low-yielding riverbed terrain. For the $28 you spend on this wine, you’ll get a full-bodied mouthful of sensuous Pinot that is worth every penny, and we can give thanks to winemaker Alan Phillips.

“Monterey’s Arroyo Seco AVA is many things,” say Mercy Vineyards’ vintners Mark Dirickson and Mike Kohne. “It’s windblown, numbingly cold, fog laden, semi-arid, rock strewn, and austerely beautiful. In essence—the perfect grape source for Mercy Vineyards.” And perfect grapes go a long way toward making a perfect glass of wine.

Mercy Wine Sales & Tasting Room, 40 W Carmel Valley Road (Ste A), Carmel Valley, 659-4321. mercywines.com. Open 11:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.

Greek Food Faire

Don’t tell me you’ve never tasted kourabiedes, loukoumades or koulourakia! Well, now’s your chance. You’ll find all of these and many more delicious traditional Greek dishes at the Eat like a Greek Food Faire on May 15, 16 and 17. Enjoy live Greek music as you’re eating dolmades, gyros and tiropita, and imbibing on Greek spirits, wine and beer. The three-day event is at Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church in downtown Santa Cruz. For hours and more info visit: livelikeagreek.com

Special Dinner with Odonata Wines and Garden Variety Cheese

Chef Zachary Mazi of LionFish SupperClub will be creating an on-the-farm feast using cheese, meat, eggs, and yogurt from Monkeyflower Ranch in Royal Oaks, home of artisan cheese-maker Rebecca King. The evening will include a tour of the dairy and dinner in the garden, where you can watch flatbreads coming straight out of the cob pizza oven. The event is 5 p.m. on Saturday, May 23. Tickets $75, or $100 with wine pairings from Odonata Wines. For info visit gardenvarietycheese.com

Eating and Drinking Around

I had a splendid lunch in downtown Santa Cruz at Assembly a couple of weeks ago, paired with a Quinta Cruz Tempranillo; and I enjoyed a delicious plate of mussels at Salito’s Restaurant in Sausalito with a Bargetto Chardonnay. It was nice to see a local wine north of San Francisco.

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