Jerold O’Brien has been in the wine biz for over four decades. It’s guaranteed he knows more than a thing or two about turning out excellent vino. This experienced winemaker puts all his accumulated knowledge into every bottle of wine he makes.
O’Brien’s voluptuous 2013 Syrah ($34) is the perfect companion for meat-driven dishes—think Fourth of July barbecue. Blackberry, cassis and a smidgeon of baking powder on the nose are the first signs of what’s in store—followed by mouthwatering flavors of ripe plum that give way to deep black cherry mid-palate with green olive and spice. O’Brien calls this full-bodied wine “very seductive” with its rich flavors and a lingering finish of dark baking cocoa. It’s a typical smoky-peppery-meaty Syrah full of dark fruit and lip-smacking flavor. Two well-known vineyards provide lush grapes for this wine: Muns Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains (40%) and Weideman’s Vineyard in the Santa Clara Valley (60%).
Silver Mountain Vineyards has two places to taste its wonderful wines—one on O’Brien’s property up Old San Jose Road—where picnics are welcome and his certified organic vineyards stretch to infinity—and one in the Swift Street Courtyard complex (home to several shops and other tasting rooms, and the popular West End Tap and Kitchen gastropub).
Silver Mountain Vineyards, 269 Silver Mountain Drive, Los Gatos; and 328D Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 408-353-2278. Open noon to 5pm July 4-5 at both locations. silvermtn.com.
Love Apple Farms and Dig Gardens
If you’re thinking about planting a summer vegetable garden, Love Apple Farms most likely has just what you need.
Dig Gardens is a good place to treat yourself to an amazing plant or two, or some herbs and edible flower seeds. Santa Cruz and Aptos locations.
Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Fed up with your boring old face mask? Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing is selling its own cool bandanas for $8. Buy online or head to SCMB and check out their new Drink Tanks, which they say is everyone’s favorite way of drinking fresh, cold draft beer.