Fiano is a white Italian grape that many people are not familiar with. It’s a high-quality grape used widely in Southern Italy, particularly in Campania. With its aromatic floral and honey notes and distinctly nutty flavor, it is gaining in popularity and achieving something of a renaissance.
Winemaker Barry Jackson embraces the Fiano grape by making a beautiful sparkling 2015 Fiano Brut Ultra ($45) under his Equinox label, and a still-wine Fiano under his Bartolo label.
With its vibrant flavors and spritzy bubbles, the fun and fabulous Equinox methode champenoise Sparkling Fiano is perfect for any celebration. I remember staying in the South of France with friends, and a splendid bottle of chilled Champagne was waiting for us as we entered their home. How delightful to celebrate the arrival of guests with a drop of bubbly.
Head to Equinox’s tasting room in the Swift Street Courtyard complex to try Jackson’s other sparkling wines—especially his classic 2001 Brut Reserve—he’s an ace at making them.
Equinox, 334C Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 471-8608. equinoxwine.com.
I tasted some very delicious pies at a recent event in Aptos, all made by Rogue Pye. Around two dozen different kinds are available, including lamb curry, meat pye, chicken leek, chicken pot pie, and some veggie-centered ones such as cheese and onion and vegetable tikka masala. Owned by a couple from South Africa, Ed and Uandi Fordyce, Rogue’s pie crusts are made with real butter pastry and contain a plentiful filling. And for the Brits out there, Cornish pasty, sausage roll or a stout steak and mushroom pie are made, too. Rogue pyes are fully cooked and can be ordered online frozen. The Fordyces’ pies are in big demand—and they are turning them out like crazy and taking them to various events to sell. Try them at the Steel Bonnet Brewing Company in Scotts Valley from 4:30-8:30 p.m. on Sept. 7, and at the Capitola Art & Wine Festival on Sept. 8 and 9, and you can find a limited selection every day at East Cliff Brewing.
Visit roguepye.com or email [email protected]