.Lester Family Vineyards’ Event-Ready Rosé

Looking for some celebratory bubbly that will knock your socks off? Look no further than Lester Family Vineyards Rosé of Syrah (about $30). Sparkling-pink excellence encapsulated in a bottle just about sums it up. With its enticing ruby color and bold, delicious flavors, this dry sparkling wine is delectable pleasure—perfect to crack open for any special occasion.

My husband and I met with friends at Cantine Winepub recently, and the four of us shared a bottle of Lester’s Rosé of Syrah. Refreshing and clean, with brisk acidity and subtle minerality, we all loved its bright red fruit up front, raspberry being the dominant note. Winemaker John Benedetti has produced this impressive sparkler, and recommends pairing it with Korean pork, salmon and grilled shrimp. I recommend pouring a glass and just kicking back.

Lester Family Vineyards is open for tasting from 1-5 p.m. on the first two Saturdays of the month. A tasting includes five wines for $20, and you can also reserve a gourmet picnic to go along with it. The winery is now doing a safari wine adventure in a restored 1981 Land Rover Defender. For $75 you get to tour the bucolic 210-acre property, enjoy a delicious gourmet picnic and taste “The Big 6” Lester estate wines. Check the website for more information and reservations.

Lester Family Vineyards, 1950 Pleasant Valley Rd., Aptos. 728-3793, lesterestatewines.com.

British Wine and Spirits

Although most of the wine consumed in the U.K. is imported, there is now quite a thriving market for locally made wines. I was in England (the land of my birth) recently for a couple of weeks visiting friends and family—and enjoyed quite a few glasses of British-made wines. Although the weather is very unpredictable (to put it mildly), warmer counties in the south of England, such as Sussex, are producing some excellent wine, especially sparkling. I also downed some British gin with a dash of elderflower at the Hurlingham Club in Central London, where my husband and I were invited guests.


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