Pelican Ranch
Food & Drink

Valentine’s Day Pairings From Pelican Ranch

A professor of chemistry serves up a sensuous Zinfandel

UCSC science professor Phil Crews and his wife Peggy Crews own Capitola’s Pelican Ranch Winery. PHOTO: Courtesy of Pelican Ranch Winery

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a sensuous Zin is a perfect pick to share with your sweetie—or keep for yourself. Either way, Pelican Ranch Winery’s Capitola tasting room is the place to go.

Their 2015 Zinfandel ($24) is made with fruit from the Rinaldi Family Vineyard in Fiddletown, Amador County, and loaded with pepper, spice, herbs, and smoke. “It’s good alone and wonderful with full-bodied foods,” likely a hearty pizza packed with meat toppings, says winemaker Phil Crews, who co-owns Pelican Ranch Winery with his wife, Peggy. And Crews should know; the tasting room has a pizza oven that he often fires up for customers.

A professor of chemistry at UCSC, Crews says Pelican’s classic, big-style Zin has a powerful structure of berry and jam, which unite in a symphony of sustained flavors (a 2016 batch was also just released).

Another hot buy for your Valentine would be Pelican Ranch’s Raspberry Dessert Wine. “Its incredible structure and jammy wild berries demand chocolate accompaniment,” Crews says.

When it comes to advice for wine lovers, Peggy Crews also recently sent out some amusing words of wisdom for 2019:

“Throw out the rulebook and do the following: Drink rose this winter—and reds this summer. Sip from a stemless glass, both at home and at the movies. Serve a Chardonnay with a steak and a Pinot Noir with fish. Open a special bottle of Pelican Ranch this Tuesday.”

Pelican Ranch Winery, 102 Kennedy Drive, Capitola. 426-6911,

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Burrell

Burrell School Vineyards is putting on a sumptuous feast for Valentine’s Day, Thursday, Feb. 14. This special dinner features an elegant, five-course feast with unique wine pairings.

Two seating times are available: a 5:30 p.m. sunset seating in the intimate tasting room overlooking the vineyard, or a 7 p.m. slot in the historic schoolhouse. Each ticket ($190) includes dinner for two, wine pairings and tax. Gratuity not included. Can’t make it on the holiday? Burrell is doing it all again on Feb. 16.

Burrell School Vineyards & Winery, 24060 Summit Rd., Los Gatos. 408-353-6290, [email protected]

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