At a recent visit to Silver Mountain Vineyards’ tasting room on the Westside, I tried a Rosé of Pinot Noir 2010 Central Coast which is truly delightful. Grapes for this Rosé are sourced from Tondre Vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands, Miller Hill and Muns Vineyard in the Santa Cruz Mountains—and the wine has a bright crispiness associated with classic Rosés.
With a gorgeous salmon pink color, the Rosé is delightful to behold before even taking a sip. And a lovely bouquet of fragrant fresh strawberries greets the nose as you swirl it around the glass. But there’s more to come. Flavors of watermelon, cherry and tangerine linger on the tongue, urging you to forget all about the Chardonnays and Merlots of this life.
Winemaker Jerold O’Brien smiles when I wax lyrical about his Rosé of Pinot. He knows that he has made a good one, and acknowledges my enthusiasm with a nod. He always goes to great lengths to make the very best wine possible. The grapes for this Rosé are de-stemmed and partially crushed, and after a while he “bleeds” the must.* Then a small amount of juice is drawn off to ferment alone—and this eventually becomes the Rosé.
This Rosé of Pinot sells at $17, but you get a 15 percent discount if you buy a case. *Must is freshly pressed grape juice that contains skins, seeds and stems of the fruit.
Silver Mountain Vineyards, 402 Ingalls St., Santa Cruz, 466-0559. Open Thursday through Sunday. The winery off of Old San Jose Road in the Santa Cruz Mountains is open every Saturday from noon to 5 p.m. Info: silvermtn.com.
Dare to Pair
Cabrillo College’s culinary students are teaming up with the Surf City Vintners group on the Westside for the third annual Dare to Pair food and wine challenge. The competition will take place from noon to 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 29 at the tasting rooms of the Surf City Vintners wineries—all located within two blocks of each other off of Swift Street and Ingalls Street—and at the Old Sash Mill on Potrero Street. This is your opportunity to enjoy food and wine pairings and then vote on your favorites. Local chefs and restaurateurs will also be judging the competition. Silver Mountain Vineyards will be participating along with 11 other wineries (see surfcityvintners.com). Tickets are $50 in advance; $60 day of event and are available at pinoaltorestuarant.org (click on Dare to Pair).