Foodies and drink lovers: here are details on two events this weekend taking place in Santa Cruz and Ben Lomond.
Saturday, Aug. 22-Sunday, Aug. 23: Tequila & Taco Music Festival
At the 2nd annual Tequila & Taco Music Festival, there will be gourmet street tacos, craft beer, and margaritas for sale, plus special tequila sampling Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Food vendors include El Chipotle Taqueria, Garcia’s Fish Tacos, Tacos Moreno, Conscious Creations, Hula Huts, and La Olla. There will also be art vendors and music from bands such as Extra Large, Kalyde, and SambaDá. Proceeds benefit the Gen Giammanco Foundation. Event hours are 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day. Adult prices are $10 for general admission, $35 for Saturday tequila tasting, $40 for a two-day pass, and free for kids 12 and under. The event location is San Lorenzo Park at 137 Dakota St. in Santa Cruz.
Saturday, Aug. 22: Wine bottling party and 5-course lunch
Ristorante Casa Nostra is hosting a bottling party with Caligra Wines and a five-course lunch with wine pairings. The event is 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Each food course is a small plate, and the cost is $45 per person. At the end of the event, attendees can purchase wine by the bottle and case that they have helped bottle. Caligra Wines is a very small Scotts Valley winery making Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet and Zinfandel, all from local grapes. RSVPs are required; contact Juan at (831) 609-6132. Ristorante Casa Nostra is at 9217 Highway 9 in Ben Lomond.
2013 Pinot Noir – Santa Cruz Mtns: Aromas of dark cherries, exotic spices, hints of vanilla and sandalwood, coco and sweet tobacco. Paired with San Daniele Panini: prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, lettuce, and tomatoes.
2013 Ancient Vine Zinfandel: Densely packed, vibrant intense dark fruit flavors are balanced by lingering peppery spiciness. Paired with Polpette Di Carne: homemade beef and pork meatballs baked with marinara and mozzarella.
2013 Merlot – Los Altos foothills: Red current flavors of Merlot with floral aromatics and balanced from Cabernet Franc, wild berry and tobacco from Petite Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon added to bring weight, tannins, flavors of blackberry and cassis. Paired with Polenta Al Funghi: polenta with sautéed button mushrooms.
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot Blend – Santa Clara Valley: Rich aromas, cherries, plums, cassis, chocolate and berries. Wonderful fruit flavors with a hint of French oak. Paired with Bruschetta Nostra: Fresh tomato, capers, oregano, garlic, basil, and Italian herbs.
2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Los Altos Hills: Deep dark aromas of plums, bittersweet chocolate, sweet herbs, subtle vanilla and tobacco. Flavors are full, richly textured and loaded with cedar and cassis. Paired with Dark Chocolate Cannoli: classic Cannoli stuffed with dark chocolate and coco nibs.
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