Vine & Dine

Thomas Fogarty Winery

NathanKandler WineWhen looking for a bottle of something to have with dinner, Gewürztraminer 2012 is not the first wine to come to mind. Given the popularity of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir—to name but a few—Gewürztraminer sits low on the totem pole.

Somewhat sweeter than most wines, Gewürztraminer is often drunk with dessert—as is a Sauterne or a port wine. That’s not to say, however, that Gewurz can’t ever be drunk with savory food. With its rich body and moderate acid, it pairs very well with turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes—but you don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to try some.

Although the Fogarty winery is situated in Woodside, it’s part of the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation and is a member of the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association (SCMWA). Wineries in SCMWA run from as far as Woodside in the north to Gilroy in the south, and there are now around 70 belonging to the association. Thomas Fogarty, a retired heart surgeon, founded his winery in 1981 and has had a very successful second career. His award-winning wines can be found in a number of local restaurants and on many a supermarket shelf.

Fruit for this Gewurz ($19) was harvested from the Scheid Viento Vineyard in Salinas Valley, where the climate produces excellent Gewurz grapes, especially in 2012. The result is a beautiful Gewurz with classic rose and ginger aromatics. Floral notes, tropical fruit and spice flavors make this a standout wine.

Thomas Fogarty Winery & Vineyards, 19501 Skyline Blvd., Woodside. Tel: (650) 851-6777. Open for wine tasting Monday noon to 4 p.m. and Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you visit the tasting room, look online for directions. The winery recommends that you don’t use GPS.

Flour Sack Dish Towels

The Warmth Company is always bursting at the seams with beautiful stuff—fuzzy robes, luxurious blankets, cashmere jackets—not to mention a huge space filled with unusual furniture. But, particularly fun and different are some well-made Flour Sack Dish Towels at $14. Made from natural flour sack fabric in Washington state by Rendezvous Kitchen, these 100 percent cotton towels come with sweet sayings: “I’m so happy it’s happy hour”; “The beach is my happy place”; “I’m much more me when I’m with you,” and more. Warmth Company, 140 Post Office Drive, Aptos Village, 688-3200.

New Restaurant in Soquel

Main Street Garden & Café changed its name last month to La Gioconda, and it’s now under new Italian ownership. The restaurant has been completely renovated and reopened on Feb. 18. The focus is on Northern Italian contemporary cuisine using 100 percent fresh organic ingredients. La Gioconda is at 3101 N. Main St., Soquel. Info: [email protected] or call 477-9265.

PHOTO: Nathan Kandler is associate winemaker for Thomas Forgarty Winery.

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