.Equinox Wines’ Celebration-Worthy Reserve Cuvée Ultra Brut 2016

Opening up a bottle of fabulous sparkling wine usually means there’s something to celebrate. And with Father’s Day coming up on June 20, it’s an ideal time to pop the cork!

Barry Jackson is an absolute whiz when it comes to making vino, especially his famous Equinox sparkling wine. We would love to call it Champagne, but legally it has to come from the Champagne wine region in France. But as a generic term, Champagne is used for any sparkling wine.

Jackson’s Equinox 2016 Monterey Reserve Cuvée Ultra Brut consists of 49% Chardonnay, 47% Pinot Noir and 4% Pinot Meunier.

With decades of experience under his belt, Jackson is able to blend the ideal quantities and perfect varieties to make a superb “sparkler.”  

This beautiful Reserve Cuvée is aged “en tirage” (aging a sparkling wine “on the yeast”) for 32 months. It takes a good deal of time and effort to make a fine Champagne, and Jackson does not cut any corners.

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Barry and his wife Jennifer run their successful business on the Westside of Santa Cruz in the Swift Street Courtyard complex. They are always gracious and welcoming, even when their tasting room is packed—both inside and outside. Barrels and wine crates are piled up to the rafters in the back part of the tasting room, imparting a corking good vino vibe to imbibing customers. 

At a recent tasting of Jackson’s sparkling wines, he also gave me some of his special tawny port to try. It was simply fabulous. And then there’s his other label, Bartolo Wines, so don’t miss tasting those when you visit.

Equinox Sparkling Wine, 334 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz. 831-471-8608, equinoxwine.com.

Dark Chocolate and Marzipan

Don’t feel guilty when you eat dark chocolate. It’s high in tryptophan, a mood-boosting amino acid proven to reduce the negative effects of stress. It’s also packed with antioxidants, magnesium and potassium, which improve cognitive functions. And marzipan, which I love, is high in magnesium, which reduces migraines, regulates blood sugar and fights depression.


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