“Grenache is really making a comeback in California,” says Jeff Emery, proprietor and winemaker of Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard.
And Grenache has the pizzazz to work with exotic, spicy foods. It also goes well with roast turkey or ham. “It can be a very versatile wine that will go with foods that you may not normally drink wine with, such as Indian, Mexican or Asian food,” Emery adds.
Grapes from Hook Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands make this classic old-style Grenache. “When you put Grenache in this climate, you get bright fruit along with some zippy spicy elements,” says Emery. Raspberries and white pepper aromas with fruit and spices in the finish make this an easy-pairing wine. “There is a brightness and tartness that allows it to fit with less hearty fare as well,” says Emery.
This zesty Grenache ($24) is ideal to to serve with holiday fare. Emery also makes a Grenache Rosé, which he says is totally dry with crisp acidity, very complex with guava, strawberry, floral elements, and spice.
Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, 334A Ingalls St., Santa Cruz. 426-6209, santacruzmountainvineyard.com.
Verve Merch and Instant Coffee
That hectic time of year is here again when we have to think about Christmas and stocking stuffers. For coffee lovers, the perfect gift would be Verve Coffee’s cool new merchandise: coffee mugs and tumblers, stylish hats, scented soy candles, tote bags, shirts, hoodies, and more! But the real lifesavers are Verve’s Dripkits and Streetlevel Instant Craft Coffee.
My husband and I took some of Verve’s instant coffee with us on a trip to China in October. On a recent camping trip, it was so easy to boil water and pour it over Streetlevel coffee. Voila! You can get all this stuff from the terrific local Verve Coffee, which started right here in Santa Cruz in 2007 and now has stores on the Westside, downtown, mid-town and Pleasure Point.