Vine & Dine

Sarah’s Vineyard

wine glassSarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

My husband and I went for dinner recently to the Pino Alto Restaurant in the historic Sesnon House in Aptos, where students in Cabrillo’s culinary program learn how to create amazing dishes. A huge part of learning the art of preparing quality food is by making everything from scratch—even bread.

To go with the food we ordered from their menu of culinary treats, we got a Sarah’s Vineyard Viognier 2012—a wine that can be a bit difficult to pair with food because of its high alcohol content and low acid. But sometimes I throw caution to the wind and just order a wine that takes my fancy. When I saw that Pino Alto carries the well-crafted Sarah’s Vineyard wines, I just had to try their Viognier ($28). Full-bodied and with typical heady aromas of spices and flowers, this Viognier is chock full of flavor, and enjoyable to drink just by itself.  

We enjoyed delicious spring onion and spinach puree with pine nuts, salads of roasted beets, arugula and chevre, and impressive entrees of lobster ravioli and very tender lamb chops. A shared dessert of chocolate stout cake with stout ice cream was not only imaginative, but also mouth-wateringly good. Try the Viognier at the Pino Alto if you go there for dinner.

Sarah’s Vineyard, 4005 Hecker Pass Highway, Gilroy, 408-842-4278.  sarahsvineyard.com. Open daily from noon to 5 p.m. Visit go.cabrillo.edu/pinoalto for information and opening times at the Pino Alto Restaurant.

Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group Gala

The Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group will hold its 20th annual Spring Forward Against Cancer black tie event on Saturday, May 2 at the Sesnon House. This year’s theme—”A Night in Casablanca”—will transport attendees to Rick’s Café Américain to enjoy a fabulous gourmet dinner and wine. The upscale event includes a huge art, wine and lifestyle auction, a gourmet dinner, dancing and more—with all proceeds going to SCCBG’s beneficiaries. Tickets are $175. For more information, visit sccbg.org or call 465-1989. 

Tailgate Wine Event

If you love the Paso Robles area and you love wine, then you won’t go wrong with a fabulous event coming up on Saturday, April 25. Eight notable wineries are loading up their pickups, and will arrive at a beautiful hilltop ready to share their favorite new releases, appetizers and stories. Join winemakers, vineyard managers and staff members for a relaxing afternoon with good wine, food and views. The event will be held at Rotta Winery in Templeton and tickets are $120.  Visit tailgatetasting.com for more information.

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