.Silver Mountain Vineyards’ 2012 Syrah

My husband and I were lucky to find Jerold O’Brien manning his tasting room one Sunday last month. With two locations for tasting his wines, plus a constant string of wine-related events to take care of, O’Brien is always busy.

One of the wines we tasted was a superb 2012 Syrah, Santa Cruz Mountains ($34). Rich and full-flavored, this bursting-with-fruit Syrah is laden with stewed plum, blackberry and an abundance of earthy spices. Aromas of licorice, jam, smoke and tar let you know in advance what deliciousness awaits.

O’Brien’s wines don’t miss out on any score. With nearly 40 years of winemaking under his belt, all of his varietals are impressive and well-made. His hefty Syrah comes with the expected “meat and pepper” flavors—although this is not the criteria for a good Syrah.

Silver Mountain is participating in the Silicon Valley Wine Auction, May 19-20, a prestigious event organized by the Santa Cruz Mountains Winegrowers Association. Visit scmwa.com for information. And last month O’Brien participated in the fun Dare to Pair food and wine competition—pairing his well-known Alloy (a rich Bordeaux-style blend) with a delicious tri-tip.

Silver Mountain Vineyards, 42 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, and 269 Silver Mountain Drive, Los Gatos. 408-353-2278. silvermtn.com.

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Farm-to-Table Wine Dinner Series

Chaminade is gearing up for its 11th annual farm-to-table dinner series—an outdoor feast featuring a five-course meal paired with local wines. Enjoy panoramic views of the Monterey Bay as you listen to live music and watch the sunset. Dates for the dinners are: June 1, July 13, Aug. 10, Sept. 7 and Sept. 28. Visit chaminade.com for more info or call 475-5600.


Wine, Beer & Art Walk

The City of Watsonville is celebrating its 150th anniversary and putting on its first annual Wine, Beer & Art Walk in the Civic Plaza Lobby, at 275 Main St. in Watsonville. Special tastings include local wines, craft beer, hard cider and non-alcoholic beverages. Cost is $25 in advance (before May 4) and any remaining tickets will be sold at the event—from 1-5 p.m. on Saturday, May 12—for $30. Visit watsonville150.org.


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