Richard Alfaro is making the top wine lists with his 2010 Alfaro Family Lester Family Vineyards Pinot Noir. Photo by Chip Scheuer.
Congratulations to winemaker Richard Alfaro, whose 2010 Alfaro Family Lester Family Vineyard Pinot Noir is among a choice few local wines included in the SF Chronicle’s pick of Top 100 Wines of 2012. The wine, from their Deer Park vines, is a moderately affordable $38 and a spot-on 13.7% alcohol, loaded with terroir, black currants and forest tones. This is exactly the sort of locally made, desirable gift you might want to consider for someone special on your holiday list. . . Also getting the nod from the Chronicle’s critics is the amazing Kenny Likitprakong’s Ghostwriter 2010 Santa Cruz County Pinot Noir. In the non-Pinot category, Bonny Doon Vineyard’s 2010 Central Coast Grenache, the wittily named “Clos de Gilroy,” is so out-and-out appealing that it too was dubbed one of the top 100 wines. And for your ultimate recipient, consider the 2009 Ridge Monte Bello Santa Cruz Mountains Red. Yes, it does cost $150, but this blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Petit Verdot is considered a definitive California Cab, and it too made the Chronicle’s list of top wines of 2012.
Holiday Dinner Made Simpler: The caterers at Carried Away in Aptos offer a few mouth-watering suggestions for your Christmas table. They create the foods, then bring them to your place in disposable containers with careful instructions for reheating relevant items. You sit back and enjoy dinner with your friends and family. I’m especially drawn to the Dungeness crab and shrimp lasagna, as well as the housemade fennel sausage and beef lasagna. Guess I must have pasta on my mind. Carried Away also offers red-wine-braised boneless beef short ribs with veggies and horseradish cream, as well as sides of roasted brussels sprouts, potato-artichoke gratin and winter squash with balsamic-shallot vinaigrette. If you’re even thinking that a catered Christmas meal might be the way to go, you should call (831) 685-3926 instantly and place your order.