It’s easy to fall in love with Denis Hoey’s sparkling wines, particularly his Sparkling Rosé of Sangiovese. I opened up this 2019 bubbly for my birthday last month, and not only fell in love with the wine, but also with everybody around me. The world seemed like a more sparkling place!
Once you pour the Sparkling Rosé ($42) in your glass, you’ll immediately notice the pretty blush color, which to me adds a touch of excitement even before opening. “The tiny bubbles you see emphatically making their way towards the surface of your glass will bring you a feeling of sheer joy,” says Hoey. The nose has red fruits, baked bread and white peach—with a palate of plentiful fruit and spice. If you’re celebrating something special, this is the ideal sparkling wine to crack open. The Sangiovese grapes are from Machado Creek Vineyard in Santa Clara Valley.
Hoey lives on his property in Salinas with his wife and two sons on what is now the River Road Wine Trail.
Odonata Wines, 645 River Road, Salinas, 566-5147. odonatawines.com.
Bittersweet Bistro’s Happy Hour
I recently met with friends for happy hour at Bittersweet Bistro, which offers some well-priced food and drinks—served only in the bar area or on their heated outdoor patio. Six of us nabbed a table in the bar (we could see the cooling fog rolling in) and ordered some of their Bar Bites specials such as Mushroom Pizzetta ($12), Crayfish and Artichoke Dip ($12), Chicken Scallion Taquitos ($10) and more. Draft beer is $5, well drinks and house wines are $6. One of my friends ordered a Miracle Margarita ($9) and declared it “wonderful.” Happy Hour is from 3-6pm Wednesday-Friday and Sunday, and everything is also available to go. To add to the enjoyment, Bittersweet is presenting a live music series in August called Sundays on the Patio–2-5pm on Aug. 8, 15, 22 and 29.
Bittersweet Bistro, 787 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Aptos, 831-662-9799. bittersweetbistro.com.