.Villa del Monte Winery’s Smooth Merlot Reserve 2010

It pays to check when Villa del Monte’s spot in the Santa Cruz Mountains is open for tasting—so you can avail yourself of their delectable wines. But you can always buy online—it’s pretty easy to order a few bottles and try them out. If Villa del Monte is new to you, then all the more reason to try their varied creations.

Villa del Monte’s winemakers, John Overstreet and Neil Perrelli, make quite a few different wines—everything from Cabernet Rosé and Chardonnay to Malbec and Pinot Noir, and their own Vintner’s Select Special Blend, a hearty mix of Merlot and Cabernet “with a bit of Malbec and Syrah to finish it off.” And if you love dessert wines, check out VDM’s delicious 100% Zinfandel. Grapes are left on the vine to naturally raise the sugar, resulting in a lip-smacking mouthful of sweet wine.

Right now, VDM has some wines on sale. The 2010 single-varietal, single-vineyard 100% Merlot Reserve from the Moon Vineyard in the Carneros District of Napa Valley is a mere $10—too good to miss! Hints of blackberry, cherry and blueberry enhance this smooth Merlot—and a great fruit nose and sultry aromas add to its charm. 

Villa del Monte’s next wine tastings are noon to 5pm, Aug. 29-30. Visit their website for more info and Covid-19 protocol. Reservations are recommended.

Villa del Monte Winery, 23076 Summit Road, Los Gatos, 408-353-0995 or toll free at 888-788-4583. villadelmontewinery.com.

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Persephone’s New Outdoor Patio

The delightful Persephone Restaurant in Aptos now has a new outdoor dining area. Redwood trees in the background make this a wonderful spot to enjoy the superbly prepared food of Chef Cory Goudge-Ayer. Learn more at persephonerestaurant.com.

Artichoke Festival

If you love all things artichoke, then mark your calendars for a two-day event celebrating this delicious edible thistle, June 5-6, 2021. Yes, folks, this wonderful festival will be sorely missed this year. Already postponed from May to August, it will now take place next year at the Monterey County Fair and Event Center. Visit artichokefestival.org for more info.


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