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  • September 12, 2014 Wine Pick of the Week

    Dry Creek Vnyd 2012 Old Vine Zin Picmonkey

    2012 Old Vine Zinfandel

     

    Dry Creek Vineyards

    Dry Creek Valley

    Alcohol: 14.5%

    Suggested Retail: $30

     

    “Sourced from vines over 90 years old, this Zinfandel shows aromas of blackberries and some of that briary aspect that's hard to describe, but happy to discover in modern Zins. The flavors are deep and complex with lots of blueberry ad blackberry backed up by a wall of spiciness in the background.”

    Food Affinity: “Will take a substantial main dish to match this powerful wine. We think beef is the way to go, but a spicier treatment of lamb would likely also work.”

  • Greenhorn Creek Resort to Host Rescue Horse Charity Golf Tournament

    Greenhorn Creek golf scene Picmonkey

    TASTE News Service September 11, 2014 - Saddle up and hit the links to support the rehabilitation of rescue horses at the 5th annual ReHorse Rescue Charity Golf Tournament at Greenhorn Creek Resort, October 10, 2014.

    The tournament, open to the public, will be played on the Robert Trent Jones, Jr. redesigned 18-hole championship course, nestled in the Sierra Foothills where pastoral views of grazing horses and cattle are commonplace along the Highways 4 and 49 routes to Angels Camp and Greenhorn Creek Resort.

    Rescue ReHorse Ranch is a non-profit hidden treasure in the gold country, where Raquelle Van Vleck, the founder, has dedicated herself to providing a temporary or permanent loving and healthy environment for abandoned, neglected and abused horses. Under her team's nurturing, the animals are provided veterinary care and nutrition until they are ready for adoption. The ranch also maintains a program for children that have suffered abuse and another for veterans suffering from PTSD, whereby, working with animals, especially horses, healing can occur.

    "Having owned and loved horses has been a lifelong experience for both of us,” says Phyllis Grupe, whose husband, Fritz, developed Greenhorn Creek Resort. “These animals deserve to be cared for with dignity and love and we commend Rehorse Rescue, its staff and volunteers for its devoted service to horses.”

    For more information or to register for the tournament visit www.greenhorncreek.com

    About Greenhorn Creek Golf Resort

    Located in Angel Camp, California, two hours from the San Francisco Bay Area, Greenhorn Creek Resort, is nestled among the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. This picturesque setting is home to an 18-hole championship golf course redesigned by Robert Trent Jones II, dining at CAMPS Restaurant, lodging with on-site condo villas, cottages and the five-bedroom Caddy Shack. Greenhorn Creek Resort is conveniently situated close to 30 local wineries and world-class outdoor adventure.

    Editor's note: Planning on visiting the Sierra Foothills? The Gold Country sections at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory offer links to the websites of hundreds of Lodging and Dining options, as well as links to

    area wineries and craft beer purveyors.

  • A Coastal Option to the Bustle of LA

    Santa Monica Pier PicmonkeySanta Monica Pier offers many activities

    TASTE News Service September 8, 2014 - Santa Monica is a charming seaside town with aspects of the culture, events and urban amenities of a metropolis. The blend of natural beauty with quality hotels, restaurants and shopping options creates an attractive seaside destination. National Geographic ranked Santa Monica as one of the “Top Ten Beach Cities in the World” – putting it in a class with Barcelona, Sydney and Rio de Janerio.

    Perched on the Pacific Ocean at the crossroads of Pacific Coast Highway and California Interstate Highway 10, this city of 94,000 is bordered by the smaller seaside communities of Malibu and Venice. Santa Monica is just eight miles from Los Angeles International Airport and 13 miles from Union Station, the Los Angeles Amtrak terminal.

    Broad, glistening beaches stretch for 26 miles along the scenic Santa Monica Bay, with 3.5 of those miles falling within city boundaries. Primary beaches include Santa Monica State Beach and Will Rogers State Beach, both of which are popular for swimming, surfing, running and beach volleyball.

    Accommodations

    Santa Monica is home to some of the most unique, celebrated hotels in Southern California. Thirty-six properties, ranging from high-style boutique hideaways to oceanfront resorts, provide more than 3,500 hotel rooms. Many of the hotels offer ocean views and are within walking distance from the beaches, pier, shopping, as well as dining and leisure activities.

    DiningLa Vecchia Cucina PicmonkeyLa Vecchia Cucina is a fixture on Main

    Santa Monica emerged as an international culinary destination in the 1980s and has remained in the top echelon of American dining thanks to its many celebrity chefs and the new generation of culinary innovators who continue to invigorate the city's dining scene. In the vanguard of the local foods movement long before it became mainstream, Santa Monica embraces use of sustainable, organic ingredients.

    Shopping

    A collection of global retail brands, haute boutiques and unique local offerings has turned the beachside city into an internationally celebrated shopping destination. From Downtown's Third Street Promenade and Santa Monica Place, to upscale boutiques along the celebrity-filled Montana Avenue and the eclectic retail mix on Main Street, a day of shopping in Santa Monica immerses the visitor in the diverse character of the city.

    Among the Area's Attractions

    • Santa Monica Pier: This Southern California icon was built in 1909 and is one of Santa Monica's most well-known landmarks. It is home to an amusement park and the Santa Monica Aquarium, in addition to dining options that range from gourmet fare to cotton candy and ice cream cones.

    • Pacific Park: Pacific Park is located on the Pier with rides and attractions such as the five-story West Coaster roller coaster, the nine-story Pacific Plunge tower ride, and the nine-story Pacific Wheel, the only over-water ferris wheel in California.

    • Pacific Wheel: Pacific Park's 13-story Pacific Wheel is the world's first and only solar-powered ferris wheel. The ferris wheel's 160,000 energy efficient LED lights create an 85-foot high computer generated light show for nighttime beach-goers to enjoy. It also provides riders with spectacular views of the Santa Monica coastline and is a central focal point on the Santa Monica Pier.

    • Third Street Promenade: The sprawling Third Street Promenade is the hub of Downtown Santa Monica. This pedestrian-only, open-air shopping destination is only two blocks from the city's popular beaches and is noted for its weekly farmers' market, terrific shopping, street performers, ample dining options, and of course, people watching.

    • Farmers' Markets: Santa Monica offers four weekly farmers' markets where the city's residents and chefs pick up the country's freshest produce, flowers, meats, cheeses, nuts, fish, and more. Travel + Leisure even named Santa Monica's Downtown Farmers' Market as the top farmers' market in the United States!

    • Tongva Park: A brand-new, seven-acre park in the heart of Santa Monica. Designed by James Corner Field Operations, the team behind New York's celebrated High Line, Tongva Park was inspired by the Southern California arroyo landscape of washes and ravines that once defined the site. The urban landscape features an abundant and ambitious plant scheme, contemplative walking paths, soothing water elements, and two viewing platforms offering majestic views of the Pacific Ocean.

    • South Bay Bicycle Trail: At 22 miles long, the South Bay Bicycle Trail is the world's longest oceanfront bike path. It begins at Will Rogers State Beach, the northernmost point of Santa Monica, then scenically winds its way past Santa Monica State Beach, the famous Santa Monica Pier, through the Venice Boardwalk and past the Venice Pier, all the way through Hermosa and Redondo Beaches to end at Torrance County Beach.

    • Santa Monica Place: Santa Monica Place reopened in 2010 after an extensive remodel as a three-story, entirely outdoor shopping complex, located just two blocks from the beach and steps away from the famous Third Street Promenade. Anchored by Bloomingdales and Nordstrom, Santa Monica Place also features a wide range of luxury and specialty shops such as Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Michael Kors, and Emporio Armani. A third floor rooftop deck features gorgeous ocean views and an entire floor of dining, including 'The Market”, where diners will find artisanal cheese, wines, chocolates, olive oils, fresh produce and flowers, and more.

     

  • September 5, 2014 Wine Pick of the Week

    Beringer 97 P Reserve Cab S Picmonkey

    2007 Pvt. Res. Cabernet Sauvignon

     

    Beringer

    Napa Valley

    Alcohol: 14.6%

    Suggested Retail: $180*

    *This wine not currently available at the winery. Several internet sources have it for $125-$150.

     

    “Beringer's Private Reserve is a reliable example of top echelon California Cabernet and the 2007 vintage may be among their best efforts. It's 100% Cabernet Sauvignon with two-thirds of that coming from the Bancroft and Steinhauer vineyards atop Howell Mountain.

    “Powerful, rich . . . you could even describe it as opulent. Aromas of cassis, blueberry and anise announce that this is a wine to be reckoned with. Lush flavors incorporating blackberries and currants are followed by subtler aspects if the wine's personality. These include a bit of sage, some cocoa and dark chocolate notes and a touch of licorice. Long and satisfying finish. Expensive, but not in that stratospheric price category of Napa cult Cabs favored by the nouveau riche consumer. Though wonderful when tasted this week, this vintage will be even better in a few more years. It's a good wine to put away for a special occasion.”

    Food Affinity: “Whatever you serve with this wine, make it special. Our choice would be rack of lamb served with mashed potatoes incorporating some sour cream and horseradish”