.Odonata Wines’ Grenache 2015

Recently, a few hours with my Wild Wine Women group at Odonata’s tasting room was an informative and fun experience.

Denis Hoey, Odonata owner and winemaker, took us on a tour of his facility in Salinas and poured a tasting of all of the different wines he makes. A delicious and healthy lunch was prepared by Beverlie Terra, who was once executive chef at Chaminade and is now an adjunct instructor with the Cabrillo College Culinary Arts program.

Hoey recently closed his tasting room in Santa Cruz to focus solely on his tasting room and property in Salinas—with plans for expansion into an events venue—and he now sells his wines directly from there. And, thanks to Hoey’s expertise in winemaking, his top-quality wines are selling well.

Hoey’s 2015 Grenache ($32), made with grapes harvested from Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County, is a peppery spicy red with gorgeously layered aromas of orange zest, clove and red fruits.

With its full body and chewy texture—giving way to exotic flavors of “raspberry framboise” and white pepper spice—it’s an earthy solo star to enjoy on its own. Hoey suggests pairing it with lamb and roasted veggies, and I’m sure it would go well with your Thanksgiving dinner, too.

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“The richness and depth of this Grenache erupts with every sip, while conveying texture and balance,” Hoey says. “This wine has serious personality and can handle a wide variety of dishes.” I bet that includes turkey and stuffing!

Odonata Wines, 645 River Road, Salinas. Open daily 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 566-5147, odonatawines.com.

Local Wine in Maui

We recently had a first-time visit to Maui, soaking up glorious sunny weather and some terrific food and wine. I was glad to see quite a few local wine labels on supermarket shelves and in restaurants.

We enjoyed a superb seafood lunch one day in Mama’s Fish House, paired with some 2015 Chalone Estate Chardonnay. Chalone Vineyard is just a stone’s throw from Pinnacles National Park in Soledad—very handy for wine tasting after a taxing hike!

Chalone Vineyard, 32020 Stonewall Canyon Road, Soledad. 707-9333235, chalonevineyard.com.

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