.Bartolo’s Spirited Merlot 2013

Looking for a dark and spirited brew for Halloween? Bartolo’s Merlot should do the trick. And it’s a treat for body and soul with its dynamic aromas of ripe plum, coffee, herbs, and touches of molasses. Flavors of red fruits, coffee and vanilla make this a perfect wine to enjoy with your mile-high stash of Halloween chocolate.

Produced from grapes grown in Gilroy, this 2013 Merlot ($32) is blended with 21% Petit Verdot, adding unique floral notes of violet and lavender. Blackberry and blueberry give yet more full body to this robust wine.

“Bartolo is the sibling brand to Equinox,” says Winemaker and Owner Barry Jackson, who is well known around these parts for his Equinox sparkling wines. “Born under the same family as Equinox, Bartolo specializes in still, non-sparkling wines made from grapes harvested from the bountiful Central Coast of California.” Under the Bartolo label, Jackson also makes wines such as Fiano and Grenache. Check the website for what’s in stock.

Bartolo and Equinox wines tasting room is open daily 1-7pm at 334 Ingalls St. Unit C, Santa Cruz. 471-8608, equinoxwine.com

Chia Pudding at Seascape Foods

If I had to describe ambrosia, then the Chia Pudding sold at Seascape Foods would be it. A delicious mix of organic chia seeds, organic coconut milk, seasonal fruit, and a dash of maple syrup, it’s a healthy breakfast or snack. And don’t miss the breakfast burrito or a fresh-baked muffin available in the excellent deli. Owners Julie Kellman and Dan Hunt focus on organic and locally sourced food—and they do catering, too. They were recently voted Business of the Year with the Aptos Chamber of Commerce.

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Seascape Foods, 16 Seascape Village, Aptos. 685-3134, seascapefoodsaptos.com.

Stockwell Cellars Sells Merlot Jelly

Want something other than strawberry jam on your morning toast? Try vine-ripened Merlot Jelly made by Morning Glory Farms. It sells for $9 at Stockwell Cellars. Winery owner Eric Stockwell says it’s delicious with cheese and toast.

Stockwell Cellars, 1100 Fair Ave., Santa Cruz. 818-9015, stockwellcellars.com.


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