Vine & Dine

Windy Oaks Estate Vineyard

wine glassI recently got together with a group of friends at Cantine Winepub in Aptos, which accommodates groups well with its spacious interior and west-facing wooden deck (with a fire pit), which makes a sunset glass of wine all the more enjoyable. Located in the heart of Aptos Village, Cantine also offers small plates of food, such as bruschetta, marinated kale salad, a cheese tray, and other tasty morsels that are perfect for sharing.

They carry a number of local wines, and I ordered an easy-drinking Windy Oaks Sauvignon Blanc 2013 to pair with our food. Bright and zingy, this frisky white wine adds pizazz to your chai-cured duck confit or roasted beets. Crisp and uncomplicated, it’s a good match for many of the tapas-style food offered at Cantine.

This 2013 Sauvignon Blanc is made with fruit from Remde Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and expert winemaker Jim Schultze has selected the best grapes to make a cool-climate wine with complex floral aromas. Crisp and refreshing with notable acidity, it sells for a mere $15 at the winery.

The eye-catching label on the Sauvignon Blanc is a drawing of a woman on a swing with a feather in her hat, a boa around her neck, and her skirt billowing. Designed by famous French poster artist Jean-Pierre Got, it’s colorful and festive—with Got’s distinctly joyful touch.  The limited edition poster is currently available at Windy Oaks for $35.

Windy Oaks, owned by Jim and Judy Schultze, now has two tasting rooms—one at their impressive estate in Corralitos and a fairly new tasting room in Carmel. Check windyoaksestate.com for hours.

Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards & Winery, 550 Hazell Dell Road, Corralitos, 786-9463. Tasting room at Su Vecino Court between Dolores and Lincoln streets in Carmel.

Cantine Winepub, 8050 Soquel Drive, Aptos, 612-6191. Cantinewinepub.com

Champagne at the Nick

On Thursday, June 18, Nickelodeon Theatres is putting on a special screening of A Year in Champagne, a follow-up film to the documentary A Year in Burgundy. The event includes a Champagne-tasting flight of the Champagne featured in the film, hosted by Deer Park Wine & Spirits of Aptos. The Champagne is being procured by Martine Saunier of Martine’s Wines, based in San Francisco. Champagne tasting starts at 6 p.m. and the film starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $14 for the special-event tasting and film screening at the Del Mar Theatre, and available at the Del Mar box office only. More info: thenick.com

The Jerk House

A new restaurant is coming to Santa Cruz next month: a Jamaican grill called The Jerk House, set to open on Soquel Drive. So let’s look forward to a touch of the Caribbean.  

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