Weekend Part 2: Brunch & Wine

If you missed Weekend Part 1, check it out here.

Sunday morning, Mr. K and I lazed around for quite a while…we finally managed to get showered and out the door by about 11:30…at which point we headed straight to Zachary’s. 

For those of you who’ve never been to Santa Cruz, if you’re looking for an epic brunch experience (for meat lovers & vegans), head to Zachary’s where the lines might be long but the food & coffee cake (at least according to Mr. K) is totally worth the wait.

I had 2 eggs with bell peppers, tomato and avocado.  And some breakfast potatoes, fruit & oat bran toast on the side.

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These breakfast potatoes might be some of the best breakfast potatoes I have ever had.  And they’re vegan. 

I ate most of the egg & veggies, all the fruit, a half piece of toast and a little bit of potatoes.  Bottom line, it was waaaaaay too much food.  But, oh so good.

After lunch, we headed down the coast and over the hill to Gilroy, CA to visit the Solis Winery.

Back in June, just after I had decided to come to the Northern California coast for grad school, I bought a Groupon for the San Jose area, which was $15 for two wine tastings and a bottle of wine of my choice.  I wasn’t sure if this was a good deal or not, but as it turns out a tasting is $5/person and bottles range from $15-$30, so it was an awesome deal.

There were 5 wines on the tasting list.

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We started off with the Chardonnay.

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It was a really smooth, refreshing Chardonnay.  It was on the fruitier side, with a hint of peach and green apple.  A combination of flavors I had never before – and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Then we moved onto the Fiano, another white.

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I had never heard of a Fiano wine before.  And while it had won some wine awards in the area, and I really enjoyed the blend (and smell) of rose with the pear, I still preferred the Chardonnay (though I did drink ALL of both :))

Third was the Merlot.  The only wine we tried that had won a Gold award (the rest had all received silvers).  Being as I’m not really a Merlot fan in the first place, I wasn’t expecting to love the wine.  However, I actually was surprised that of all the wines we tried THIS was the one that had won a gold.  I was not a fan, and actually both Mr. K and I chose not to finish our tastings.

So, we quickly moved on to the Cara Mia, another red.

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The Cara Mia was a varietal I had never heard of nor tried before.  But, I was swooned by its flavors.  The cherry and chocolate flavors really stood out to me, and I just loved the way it went down soo smoothly.

We then moved onto the fifth, and final wine of the tasting, the Cabernet Sauvignon.

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I love a good Cab Sav, and I have to say, this is possible one of the best – perhaps the best – Cab Sav’s I have ever had in my life.  I was in love, and couldn’t help but drink the entire sample…and crave more.  It was so smooth, so rich, so…soooo peppery.  And I love a peppery Cab.

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Quite happy to be wine tasting…especially because we got bonus samples!

As a bonus we got to try the Port.

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A delicious dessert wine.  I really enjoyed this port, and thought it would pair quite nicely with a rich chocolaty dessert…or perhaps just a bar of chocolate.

And then, since we wanted to go sit on the porch, they graciously gave us large tastings of one of their rose’s, as its perfect for sipping in beautiful fall weather.

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After relaxing on the porch, we picked up a few bottles of wine.  With the Groupon voucher, I picked up the Cab Sav we tasted, which we both decided we couldn’t live without (and it was the most expensive…therefore the best bang for our buck!)  And then we picked up a few more wines, such as the Port & Cara Mia we both tasted and loved, and the Muscato – which wasn’t on the tasting, but sounded absolutely fantastic.

It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and being only an hour from Santa Cruz – is a day trip I hope to take again sometime in the near future….because I saw about 10 other wineries on the way to Solis.  And I should probably hit them all before my PhD time is up 😉

After, we headed back to Santa Cruz and then got read for our SC Restaurant Week dinner.  To come in Weekend Part 3…

What is your favorite wine/winery?  Do you have any recommendations for wineries I should try in central/northern California?!  I’m just looking for a good excuse to go drink more delicious wine.  I am so close to it, I just can’t help it!!

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