.Burrell’s High School Sweethearts

Burrell School Vineyards has the perfect wine to celebrate Valentine’s Day and the coming weekend: a Cabernet Franc-Merlot blend called “Sweethearts.” Winemaker and winery owner Dave Moulton and his late wife Anne were high-school sweethearts, and this wine honors her memory.

Moulton is well known for producing big, bold wines, each one named after a school theme in recognition of the historic 1890 schoolhouse where the winery is located.

The 2016 Cab Franc-Merlot blend ($39) has a gorgeous aromatic nose of cherries, raspberries, blackberries, dark earth, and spice, with hints of smoky oak. Sweet tobacco and anise notes abound in this voluptuous, fruity blend. Both wines in the blend are aged in French oak.

“These two grape varietals were made for each other,” says Moulton. “Cab Franc for its sleek, spicy character, and Merlot for big cherry and espresso flavors.”

Burrell School Vineyards tasting room is open 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, so grab your sweetheart and pay them a visit.

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Burrell School Vineyards, 24060 Summit Rd., Los Gatos, 408-353-6290. Burrellschool.com.

Alderwood Spirits

Alderwood opened in downtown Santa Cruz to much acclaim, and a dinner I recently enjoyed there was top notch. To pair with executive chef Jeffrey Wall’s stunning cuisine, Alderwood carries a splendid array of spirits and fine wines.

Try a glass of Taittinger champagne, the perfect partner for Alderwood’s array of ultra-fresh oysters, and add a grand finale to your meal with the sweet Chateau Pajzos Aszu 5 Tokaji from Hungary. Alderwood’s steaks are outstanding, and their menu reflects the abundant produce of the Central Coast.

Their welcoming bar is ideal for one of Alderwood’s very impressive cocktails, or just a glass of wine and a snack. Happy Hour from 4-6:30 p.m. is when select wines are only $6 and select bar snacks are $9.

And please don’t miss the wheatberry malt profiterole with dark chocolate sauce for dessert. Wall even makes the malt himself—and who goes to those lengths these days? This talented chef leaves no truffle unturned to create an outstanding dining experience.

Alderwood, 155 Walnut Ave., Santa Cruz. 588-3238, alderwoodsantacruz.com


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