Category Archives: Wine

A Taste of Santa Cruz 2016 with 30 restaurants, wineries and breweries

A Taste of Santa Cruz includes lots of bites from local restaurants

A Taste of Santa Cruz includes lots of bites from local restaurants

The 12th annual “A Taste of Santa Cruz,” at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove Thursday, Nov. 10, features 30 restaurants, wineries, and breweries. The event runs from 5:30-9 p.m. and benefits first-time home buyers. Tickets are $40 in advance or $50 at the door. Buy tickets online or at the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS (2525 Main St., Soquel). For more information, visit the site atosc.com or call 831-464-2000.

 

Attendees sample food and drinks, and all proceeds from the event benefit the Santa Cruz Association of REALTORS Housing Foundation grant program that provides closing costs for first time, low-income home-buyers in Santa Cruz County. Several hundred people attend this event, raising approximately $30,000 annually. Over the years, more than $430,000 has been awarded to 200 families and individuals. Purchasing your tickets in advance is recommended.

 

Participating food providers include Home (the new restaurant from chef Brad Briske, in the former Main St. Garden location), The Hideout, Aldo’s, Café Hanna, Paradise Beach Grille, Hula’s, Burger, The Point, Little Owl Italian Kitchen, Ristorante Italiano, and Woodstock’s Pizza. Breweries include Santa Cruz Ale Works.

 

Other highlights include more than 100 silent and live auction items from local businesses and artisans. Prizes include a San Jose Giants package (10 general admission tickets plus a family pass for two adults & two kids); tickets to places like Gilroy Gardens and Winchester Mystery House; wine including bottles from Beauregard; and handcrafted wood pieces by artist Andy Orsini. There is also live music with the Jazz Birds & Friends.

Event location: Cocoanut Grove, 400 Beach Street, Santa Cruz

 

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Trifecta of food events in Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley Friday, Oct. 28

Food from vendors  in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G's Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi's sundae

Food from vendors in the Oct. 28 Food Trucks A Go Go event: Choke Coach carne asada fries, Ate3One poke nachos, G’s Mexican Tacos taco plate, Aunt LaLi’s sundae

There are several food- and wine-related events in the Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley areas this weekend; here are three going on tonight, Friday Oct. 28 — actually they all start in the late afternoon, at 4 or 4:30 p.m., depending on the specific event.

Scotts Valley Dinner & Movie with Food Trucks A Go Go

Food Trucks A Go Go has organized dinner & a movie at Scotts Valley Community Center. The original venue was the outdoor Skypark one block away, but that was changed due to the rain forecast. Dinner service is from 4:30-7:30 pm. The movie, Transylvania 2, begins at 6:30pm. Valley Churches United is hosting a Beer & Wine Garden and is also collecting canned goods. People who come dressed in a Halloween costume and who make a canned good donation will receive a treat. The food truck line-up is Ate3One, G’s Mexican Tacos, Aunt LaLi’s and Choke Coach.

Location: Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road, Scotts Valley

 

Tanglewood Halloween Popup at MJA

Chef Rachel Hughes of Tanglewood Catering is collaborating with MJA Vineyards for Pop Up in the Cellar: Halloween by Tanglewood at the Westside Santa Cruz wine tasting room. The menu is influenced by Halloween and the wines of MJA. Food will be available from 4 p.m. until it’s sold out; items are sold individually. The menu is Carrot Ginger Soup with a Sour Cream Web ($5), Meatballs in a Red Sauce with Alfredo ($8), Green-eyed Deviled Eggs with Red veins ($6), Bleeding Panna Cotta ($7) and Medusa Chocolate Mousse Cake ($7). There will be a costume contest as well.

Location: MJA, 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz

 

My Mom’s Mole at Food Lounge

My Mom’s Mole is doing a “Dia de los Muertos” night of dining and dancing at the Food Lounge.  Costumes are encouraged. It starts with Happy Hour from 4-6 with dinner service from 5 to 9 pm (or until sold out). There will be rueda de casino (Cuban-style salsa) dance throughout the night. Beverages (beer, wine, cider & cocktails) will be available from the bar. The food choices will be roasted chicken, pulled pork, roasted root vegetables, and wild rice & butternut squash with fall herbs, all served with My Mom’s Mole (vegan), Mole Poblano (Gluten Free), or Mole Verde (Gluten Free).

Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

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Fun October class topics at New Leaf Community Markets include apple butter, candy apples, tapas & wine pairings

Drop the kids off at New Leaf to learn how to make candy apples with organic toppings Photo credit: New Leaf

Drop the kids off at New Leaf to learn how to make candy apples with organic toppings
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has lots of cooking classes this month, including many with autumn-related themes (apple butter anyone? Yum). Here are a few highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Saturday, Oct. 15

Apple Butter and Jam Making Workshop

Learn how to make easy and delicious apple butter and seasonal fall jam with Home Chef Lisa Bono using natural sweeteners. This class will cover equipment, ingredients, canning methods and storage. Take home two jars of your own creation.
Time & Cost: 2–4pm, $25.

 

Thursday, Oct. 20
Date Night: Spanish Tapas and Wine Pairing

New Leaf invites you to sign up with your sweetheart and work together to create a variety of tasty Spanish-style tapas while sipping wine with Chef Kristen Valenza and Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian. Classic tapas ingredients that may be used include Marcona almonds, manchego cheese, prociutto, chorizo, shrimp and eggplant.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $85 for two people.

 

Friday, Oct. 28

Kids’ Class: Candy Apple & Marshmallow Making

Drop your kids off for class and they will make candy apples using a variety of organic toppings while enjoying homemade ginger soda, while you can enjoy a date night.
Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $25.

 

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Soif in Santa Cruz hosts Italian biodynamic wine tasting event Saturday

Soif is hosting a wine tasting with Italian estate Manincor  Photo credit: Manincor Facebook page

Soif is hosting a wine tasting with Italian estate Manincor
Photo credit: Manincor Facebook page

On Saturday, Oct. 15 from 2 to 4 p.m. Soif Wine Shop – connected to Soif Restaurant – is hosting Count Michael Goëss-Enzenberg, the proprietor of Italian estate Manincor, for a tasting event. The cost is $20 which includes wine and snacks. Reservations are required; email alyssa@soifwine.com to reserve a seat.

The property Manincor, in Italy’s Alto Adige, is a 400-year-old estate founded by Hieronymous Manincor in 1608.  Manincor comprises a single estate of vineyards, orchards, meadows and woodlands which are “Demeter certified Bio-dynamic as a single entity,” says Soif Wine’s John Locke. “It is one of the most interesting estates we have ever had the pleasure of dealing with.  Manincor has won numerous awards for their wines as well as their special prowess in sustainable environmental practices.”

Guests will taste the following wines:

2013 Manincor “Contessa Bianco” Pinot Blanc/Chardonnay/Sauvignon Blanc
2014 Manincor “Eichorn” Pinot Bianco
2015 Manincor “Kelterersee Keil” Schiava
2016 Manincor “Mason” Pinot Nero 
2012 Manincor “Rubatsch” Lagrein
2013 Manincor “Conte Rosso” Lagrein/Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon

Goëss-Enzenberg has administered the property since 1991. At Manincor, hens and sheep graze through the vineyards. Teas, infusions and other herbal remedies are produced from plants grown on the property. A skin care product line, recently started being produced, is principally derived from sap which drips from vines’ wounds after pruning. The new underground cellar is naturally insulated by the soil. No fuel oil or natural gas are required for heating. “In short, Manincor is virtually without equal with regards to their environmental practices,” says Locke. “All of which would be admirable though irrelevant for our purposes, if the wines were not interesting. They are outstanding. The wines reveal a style we greatly appreciate – bell tone clarity, elegance, great complexity, persistence and a high high level of deliciosity. They are exceptional.”

 

Location: 105 Walnut, Santa Cruz

Date/Time: Saturday, Oct. 15, 2-4 p.m.

Cost: $20, refundable with the purchase of six bottles

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Santa Cruz food event highlights for Friday, October 7

Gluten-free Cocomojo’s by Makse Bar, one of several vendors at the Choose Santa Cruz pop-up market Oct. 7 Photo credit: Makse

Gluten-free Cocomojo’s by Makse Bar, one of several vendors at the Choose Santa Cruz pop-up market Oct. 7
Photo credit: Makse

If you’re lucky enough to be in Santa Cruz on Friday, Oct 7, you have an incredible array of one-night-only food choices. Here are details for three events.

Ocean2Table will be at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center selling dinner from 5 to 8 p.m. The Pescatarian Popup will showcase three items: wild morel mushroom soup ($8), fresh sablefish tacos ($12) and fresh sablefish cakes ($8, similar to crabcakes but made with Monterey Canyon sablefish). Ocean2Table is participating in honor of an event at the Center which celebrates the Leatherback Sea Turtle.

Location: Exploration Center, 35 Pacific Ave. (across from the Wharf)

 

Efi’s Dutch-Indo will be at POPUP for dinner from 5:30-9 p.m. The menu will include Indonesian-style Satay (with yellow rice, Indonesian style peanut sauce, and a side of picked cucumber); Gato Gato (vegetarian) with steamed and fresh veggies, rice and Indonesian-style peanut sauce; and Resoles (ground beef and green onion mix rolled in hand made crepes, breaded and deep fried). Creator Michelle McKay says, “Inspired by my mother, Efi’s (pronounced Afee’s) will be a Dutch-Indo culinary delight. The Netherland once ruled the spice trade in the 17th century. Indonesia with its wealth of spices was once the colonial crown of the spice trade. The Dutch wholeheartedly embraced Indonesian food, not only in the colony, but back home too. I plan on cooking the Dutch-Indo foods that I grew up with.”

Location: POPUP, 1108 Pacific Ave.

Several food/drink vendors are participating in the “Choose Santa Cruz” pop-up market at design agency Cosmic from 5-9 p.m. Food and drink vendors include Coffeeville, Makse Bar, Farmer Freed Culinary Salt Blends, Companion Bakeshop, Santa Cruz Winegrowers Association, and Lupulo Craft Beer House. Other participating local businesses include Childish Santa Cruz, Agency, Hive & Hum, A’zaht Designs, and Glow Candle Lounge (soon to open on Pacific, candle-making studio Glow is an offshoot of Petroglyph ceramics studio). The City of Santa Cruz Economic Development Office is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the Choose Santa Cruz brand and web site. They are also launching the Choose Santa Cruz coloring book, a collection of drawings from local artists of their favorite sights and scenes around Santa Cruz. The books will be available for sale at the event and online afterwards, and there will be space available, along with colored pencils (supplied by Palace Art), for people to color in books they buy. 

Location: Design by Cosmic, 115 Cooper St.

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Food, wine and beer at 2016 Grazing on the Green benefiting cancer research

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The 13th annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green—Saturday, Sept. 24 at Aptos Village Park, features 70-plus vendors including local restaurants and caterers, other food businesses, and local wineries, breweries, and spirits distilleries. Proceeds benefit the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group (SCCBG).

 

The event is from noon to 4 p.m. Buy $65 tickets at New Leaf Community Markets (downtown, Westside or Capitola locations) or online http://sccbg.org or it will be $70 at the door if it’s not sold out. If you have a group of 10, you can get tickets for $60 each. Adult admission includes food, drinks and a souvenir wineglass. Kids 10 and under are free; kids ages 10-20 are $35.

 

Participating restaurants, farms, and food vendors for 2016 include The Crow’s Nest, Café Cruz, Café Rio, Real Good Fish, Niman Ranch, SunRidge Farms, Ashby Confections, Zameen Mediterranean Cuisine, Cremer House, Ella’s at the Airport, Surf City Sandwich, Hula’s, Hollins House and Sid’s Smokehouse.

 

Participating wineries, breweries and distilleries include Alfaro Family Vineyards and Winery, Beauregard Vineyards, Hallcrest Vineyards, Kathryn Kennedy Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard, Sones Cellars, Wargin Wines, Wrights Station Winery, Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing, Discretion Brewing, Seabright Brewery, New Bohemia Brewing Co. and Venus Spirits.

 

Proceeds from SCCBG’s events benefit these local cancer support and research organizations: Hospice of Santa Cruz County, Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Association, Katz Cancer Resource Center, researchers from UC Santa Cruz, the Teen Kitchen Project, and WomenCARE Cancer Advocacy.

For more information on the event, see www.sccbg.org.

There is free shuttle service every 15 minutes from Cabrillo College; parking is also free.

Aptos Village Park: 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos

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Venus spirits event, winemaker dinner and more at Santa Cruz Food Lounge this week

There is an MJA Vineyards winemaker dinner at the Food Lounge Aug. 19

There is an MJA Vineyards winemaker dinner at the Food Lounge Aug. 19

Attention fine wine, spirit and beer lovers: the Santa Cruz Food Lounge is hosting events you can enjoy on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Aug. 18-20, 2016.

Thursday: Venus Spirits Meet the Maker & Tasting

The event is from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. with local spirit maker Sean Venus of Venus Spirits. At 5:30, doors open and the kitchen begins serving food; there is a limited selection that night (cheese plate and/or chicken entrée) and people can pre-purchase online to receive a discount and ensure the food doesn’t sell out. At 6:30 p.m., guests will learn the story behind the local distillery and the craft of making spirits as Venus leads attendees through six tastings of his award-winning agave, gin, and whiskey. A special crafted cocktail by Venus mixologist Andrew Hansen will conclude the evening. Cost for the spirit tasting and talk is $25; buy tickets at eventbrite.com.

 

Friday: MJA Winemaker’s Dinner

Chef Rachel Hughes of Tanglewood Catering is collaborating with MJA Vineyards for a multi-course dinner with wine pairings beginning at 6:30 p.m. Kristy Dawn Silveira and winemaker Marin Artukovich of MJA Vineyards will be present. Wines served will be Sauvignon Blanc (paired with watermelon/feta skewers), Chardonnay (with Burrata, beet and pancetta salad), Pinot Noir (pork medallions with smoked cherries and apple/potato mash), Merlot (“Forest Floor” savory nut crumble, roasted wild mushrooms, micro scallions and braised short ribs). The dessert course is Cabernet Sauvignon with bittersweet chocolate pot de crème with chocolate-covered coffee beans. Tickets are $75 with wine and $65 without. Buy online at eventbrite.com.

Saturday: Biergarten

The Food Lounge debuted a summer beer garden series in June, and it continues today from noon to 7 p.m. There will be many beers available plus German-style food. There is lots of patio seating and a relaxing atmosphere. Free admission; attendees pay separately for food and drinks. The event is pet- and family-friendly.

 Location: Santa Cruz Food Lounge, 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

Contact Info: www.scfoodlounge.com, info@scfoodlounge.com

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Three Sunday events: Soif & Ocean2table in Santa Cruz, fire benefit with food/wine at Monterey Aquarium

Santa Cruz’s Soif hosts 4th annual waiters race

Santa Cruz’s Soif hosts 4th annual waiters race

There are many food and wine and events this weekend in the Santa Cruz and Monterey area. Here are details on three occuring Sunday, Aug. 7: a fun waiters race at Soif, a delicious seafood and wine popup with Ocean2table and MJA Vineyards, and an epic benefit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium with more than 20 chefs and wineries.

 

Noon to 3pm: Waiters Race at Soif

Soif Restaurant & Merchants is hosting the fourth annual Waiters Race on Walnut Avenue.  As in previous years, three-person teams from several area restaurants will navigate an outdoor course, demonstrating many of the skills members of the service industry bring to work every day.  The event is billed as “not only a friendly competition among area restaurants, but also a celebration of the skill and dedication of members of the service industry.” This event is free; teams from Soif, Woodstock’s Pizza, 99 Bottles, Ulterior @Motiv, and Assembly are participating. The three judges are David Kinch (chef/owner of Michelin 3 Star restaurant Manresa in Los Gatos and owner of Bywater in Los Gatos, he’s a Santa Cruz resident); Sue Slater (Department Chair/Instructor in Cabrillo College’s Department of Culinary Arts and Hospitality Management); and Paul Mekis (Director of Wine for Rosewood Hotels and Resorts and winner of an SF waiters race many years ago).

Location: 105 Walnut, Santa Cruz

 

5 to 8pm: Ocean2table Pescetarian Popup at MJA Vineyards

MJA Vineyards is hosting a popup with Ocean2table. There will be several a la carte dishes available featuring Ocean2table seafood and there will be optional wine pairings. Food dishes are subject to change depending on what the fishermen catch on Saturday. All seafood is local, wild and sustainable and all vegetables are local and organic. A tentative menu includes sablefish cakes drizzled in spicy garlic aioli; lettuce wraps with pan-fried lingcod, parsnip slaw and chipotle crema; tacos with pan-fried petrale from Half Moon Bay; and wild morel mushroom soup.

Location: 328 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz

 

6 to 8pm: Soberanes Fire Relief Benefit at the Aquarium

The Monterey-based restaurant group Downtown Dining (Tarpy’s Roadhouse, Montrio Bistro, Rio Grill) is partnering with the Monterey Bay Aquarium for a benefit. There is free admission and free coffee; tickets for food, beer and wine will be sold at the event. More than 20 chefs are participating including Todd Fisher (Tarpy’s), Tony Baker (Montrio), Cy Yontz (Rio), Michelle Lee and Matt Bolton (C Restaurant+Bar), Yulanda Santos (Aubergine), Tom Snyder (Esteban at Casa Munras); Mo Tabib (The Fish Hopper); Johnny DeVivo (Porter’s in the Forest); Tim Wood (Valley Kitchen at Carmel Valley Ranch); and Angela Tamara (Peppoli at Spanish Bay). Aquarium exhibits will be open during the event. 100% of all proceeds collected will go to those impacted by the fire through the “Soberanes Fire Fund” of the Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC). The Community Foundation for Monterey County (CFMC) created the Soberanes Fire Fund to assist communities affected by the Soberanes Fire which began July 22, 2016. Donations will provide both immediate relief and support in the aftermath of the fire.

Location: Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey

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August cooking classes at New Leaf Community Markets in Westside Santa Cruz

Learn about gluten-free baking with apples at a New Leaf cooking class Photo credit: New Leaf

Learn about gluten-free baking with apples at a New Leaf cooking class
Photo credit: New Leaf

New Leaf Community Markets has a lot of interesting cooking classes coming up this month. In addition, they have a few “tasting events” and nutrition/education lectures; some of these are free. Here are a few highlights; these are all at the Westside Santa Cruz location at 1101 Fair Ave. (831-426-1306).

Preregistration is required at newleaf.com/events.

 

Tuesday, August 16: All About Apple Gluten-Free Baking
Learn how to utilize gluten-free grains and flours in delicious, gluten-free apple recipes. Nutrition Consultant Stephanie Horning will also teach you how specific ingredients support your health.

Time & Cost: 6–8:30pm, $35 per person/$60 for two.

Thursday, August 18: Summer Pies and Galettes
Nutrition Consultant Madia Jamgochian will teach students how to assemble a pie crust from scratch and create delicious pies and galettes. Teams of 3 will prepare three different fillings: peach, rhubarb and blackberry.

Time & Cost: 6pm–8:30pm, $35 per person/$60 for two.

Monday, August 22: Mushrooms for Mind, Body and Heart
Discover which mushrooms improve immunity, lung function, brain function, athletic performance, the nervous and cardiovascular systems, and the whole body, with Host Defense National Science Educator Gina Rivers Contla.
Time & Cost: 6:30pm–7:30pm, Free (pre-registration required).

Thursday, August 25: California Wine and Food Pairing
WSET-Certified Kristen Valenza will share how to properly pair different California varietals with local and seasonal farm-fresh cuisine. The class will include several wine and food pairings.

Time & Cost: 6–8pm, $40 per person/$70 for two.

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Tickets available for Friday farm to table wine dinner at Chaminade

Wrights Station is one of three wineries being featured at the Chaminade dinner July 8

Wrights Station is one of three wineries being featured at the Chaminade dinner July 8

 

The second installment of Chaminade Resort’s annual Farm to Table Dinner summer series is Friday, July 8, and there are still some tickets available for this event with local libations from Summit to Sea Wineries and fresh ingredients from Fiesta Farm. In case you missed it, here is my preview article which describes the series in more detail. You can also visit the Chaminade web site for more information.

 

The cost is $110 inclusive per person and this includes hors d’oeuvres (served at the 6 p.m. reception with wine), a multi-course family style dinner with wine pairings (6:30 p.m.), and dessert. Call (831) 475-5600 for reservations.

 

For this Friday’s dinner, Executive Chef Nicholas Church is utilizing produce from Fiesta Farm; see menu below. Three wineries from the Summit to Sea wine group will be featured: Burrell School Vineyards, Loma Prieta Winery and Wrights Station.

July 8 menu

Reception:

Flat Bread

Crostini with Grilled Vegetables and Fava Bean Puree

Bacon wrapped Figs

Pork Satay

Wines:

2013 Burrell School “Teacher’s Pet” Estate Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains

2012 Wrights Station Unoaked Chardonnay, Santa Cruz Mountains

2013 Loma Prieta Pinotage, Amorosa Vineyard, Lodi

2013 Wrights Station Pinot Noir, Arena Block, Santa Cruz Mountains

 

Starter:

Seared Day Boat Scallop with a Prosciutto and Mango Relish

Wine: 2013 Loma Prieta Viognier, Amorosa Vineyard, Lodi

 

Appetizer:

Crispy Pork Belly with Quail Eggs

Apple Puree

Wine: 2013 Wrights Station Pinot Noir, Arena Block, Santa Cruz Mountains

 

Salad:

Grilled Romaine with Smoked Pork Loin and Peaches

Ancho Vinaigrette

Wine: 2012 Burrell School Estate Cabernet Franc, Santa Cruz Mountains

 

Entrée:

Pork Osso Bucco

Soft White Polenta

Roasted Vegetables

Wine: 2013 Loma Prieta Pinotage, Amorosa Vineyard, Lodi

 

Dessert:

Cherry Bombe

Cherry Mousse, Almond Genoise

Salted Caramel

 

The Details

Farm to Table Dinner

July 8, 2016 at 6 p.m.

Courtyard Terrace at Chaminade Resort, One Chaminade Lane, Santa Cruz

(831) 475-5600

$110 per person

 

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