Ice cream expert Kendra Baker is in session on Oct. 27. Photo by Chip Scheuer.

Ice cream expert Kendra Baker is in session on Oct. 27. Photo by Chip Scheuer.

Enlightened Tapas: On tap on Tuesdays, tapas to go with your amusing pour of mazanilla sherry. At Soif, that is, where I just feasted on a lovely plate of jamon Serrano, layered astride coins of Mission figs calligraphied with balsamic and olive oil. A terrific partner to glasses of big, bold Tannat/Merlot blend from Uruguay’s Artesana.

News Flash!  Kendra Baker of The Penny Ice Creamery, will give an ice-cream-making class at Love Apple Farm on Sat., October 27 from 10am-2pm ($115) Join the popular pastry chef as she demonstrates how to create organic ice cream made from scratch using local, sustainable ingredients. The class absolutely requires advance registration at

In Vinocruz Veritas: Lots of events erupting at this busy wine store in downtown Santa Cruz. A Wargin Wines pouring on Sept. 29 for example. Mikael Wargin is a Soquel native who majored in biochemistry at UCSC. He’s currently winemaker for MJA Vineyards as well as for his own eponymous label. Along with his wife Denise—a New York transplant—Mikael Wargin is busy making wines graced by the bountiful “Fairy Wine Mother” label. Stop by the VinoCruz pouring, or the Wargin boutique winery located at 328A Ingalls (facing New Leaf Market) to taste the signature Montepulciano-based blend, 2010 Big & Beautiful (75% Montepulciano, 12% zinfandel, 7% mourvedre and 6% Alicante Bouschet). Yes, it is voluptuous—as the name implies. Wargin also makes Petite Sirah, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. And yes, the crush of 2012 is on at Wargin Wines too, which means there will be big, beautiful Wargin Sangiovese and Barbera varietals in a few years.

Totally Tumescent Tomatoes:  Dirty Girl rocks the Farmers Markets with dry-farmed tomatoes of exquisite depth, multi-layered sweetness and, well, these are what tomatoes were intended to be from the very start. But choose your own favorite grower—they’ve all got amazing pomodori this very minute. For example, the UCSC Farm & Garden growers are turning out incredibly vibrant dry-farmed tomatoes and make no mistake, this is the moment for tomatoes. This zenith of ripeness can’t last much longer. Find them, pick (or buy) them and eat them!