Bottle Jack Winery owner and winemaker John Ritchey recently released an enjoyable wine called Sabina’s Blend—named after his 7-year-old daughter. The equation: 60% Merlot, 20% Cabernet and 20% Sangiovese, this crimson elixir is a fabulous amalgam. In the 2018 Sabina’s Blend ($40), all three varieties come together seamlessly, forming a complex mix of exotic flavors of plum, black cherry, red currant and pomegranate. Dark plum, dark cherry and chocolate aromas add to the wine’s mystique—along with cedar, licorice, tomato leaf, cinnamon and earthy clay.
Ritchey says Sabina’s Blend is “expressive and bold”—just like his daughter!
“Bottle Jack was founded on the idea of doing what we love and loving what we do,” says Ritchey. “We are a family-run winery that makes very limited, handcrafted wines from local vineyards. Our goal is to make great wines to be shared with family, friends, laughter and love.”
If you haven’t visited Bottle Jack, I highly recommend you put their two tasting rooms on your list.
Bottle Jack Winery, 1088 La Madrona Drive, Santa Cruz; Bottle Jack Tasting Room, 328D Ingalls St., Santa Cruz. 831-227-2288; bottlejackwines.com.
Fire Grounds Coffee
I ordered some Fire Grounds Coffee to try, and it is packed with flavor. Produced in Dallas, the operation supports firefighters and veterans. Their mission: “At Fire Grounds Coffee Co., it is our duty to give back to those who have given so much.” I tried the medium roast Bubba Brew and loved it. firegroundscoffeecompany.com.
A company called Good & Tasty Bakes makes super-duper cheesecakes. Free from refined sugar, white flour, preservatives and additives, they are made with butter and pure cream cheese and vanilla. They’re gluten-free and keto friendly too. I tried the chocolate and loved it. It tastes homemade and irresistible. Other flavors are Key lime and classic, and they are sold in various sizes. goodandtastybakes.com.