The holidays are here and all of us know what that means. Yes, we must try to outdo our neighbors with our display of holiday spirit. We need lights! We need trees! We need a lot of beer to make our decorating go faster.
Like a kid at Christmas, I couldn’t wait to visit Guglielmo Winery’s 28th annual Holiday Faire which runs for three weeks every December. A dizzying array of wine and holiday themed gift items is paired with a special section devoted to wine and food tasting. Platters of prosciutto, salami, pate and a variety cheeses lined long tables. A chafing dish contained warmed bagna cauda, an Italian dipping sauce with intense flavors of garlic and anchovy.
City of Hollister officials have punted their decision on the Hollister Independence Rally and face yet another year with a tenuous fate and little time to prepare for 2017.
Almost one year ago, City Manager Bill Avera reminded the Hollister City Council during the Dec. 21, 2015 meeting about discussions on medical marijuana, and he provided them with the urgency ordinance adopted several years ago as well as the ordinance adopted by the city that prohibits dispensaries within city limits.
When my daughter was very young and the first drops of rain began to fall, she would scramble for her rain boots and slicker, and run out the door. Most of us view a rainy day as time to hunker down, but Vanessa knew it was a perfect occasion to play outdoors. Count on the wisdom of youth to turn a rainy day into an opportunity for adventure.
With our 5-year-old granddaughter in tow, we recently visited Casa de Fruta, an eclectic experience that combines fun for both adults and children, all in one venue. Casa de Fruta offers a casual restaurant, 3-star lodging, amusement rides for children, a huge fruit stand, a candy shop and a wine tasting room. Because granddaughters always take precedence, we started out on the miniature locomotive and Venetian carousel ride. While my husband watched her play at the children’s playground, I ventured across the parking lot over to their wine-tasting room.
San Benito County diverted $4.8 million of rate-payer funds from the Landfill-Solid Waste enterprise to the General Fund and implemented a crippling agreement with the landfill operator to increase acceptance of out-of-county waste in order to get their hands on the money. In addition to diverting the funds, which the county denies was illegal, its own internal documents reveal that it failed to take adequate actions to protect the landfill capacity, address the environmental concerns or transportation impacts including road maintenance/litter, and failed to obtain a any revenue increase from out-of-county waste, which was the agreement’s original purpose.
I was anxious to see Janu and Jason Goelz’s brand new tasting room, inside The Stomping Ground, an ambitious and exciting venture between the Goelz’ and Tim Slater, owner of Sarah’s Vineyard. A three-year plan for the venue includes several other boutique wineries, a brewery and a distillery—along with upscale eateries. I passed through a courtyard with tables and a water feature as I made my way into the eclectic tasting room.Instead of the usual adjectives to describe each wine, the extensive menu only lists the percentages of the various grapes contained in each wine. Bill Corneth, pouring wines that day, explained, “We don’t try to tell you what you’re going to taste because we don’t want you to feel like you’ve done something wrong if you don’t taste what you think you should.” Bill poured the first wine, a Pixalated Rose, a blend of grenache, mourvedre and pinot noir grapes. It is a dry rose, with a creamy mouthfeel—a pretty aperitif for the holidays.  The 2013 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a juicy bing cherry of a wine with a long, smooth finish. It’s 80 percent cabernet—blended along with four other varietals. Thoughts of pairing this wine with a rib eye steak drizzled with melted blue cheese crossed my mind.I tend to like wines with a little age on them so really enjoyed the 2011 Estate Merlot. This is a rich, full-bodied wine with complex flavors of dark fruits and well-structured tannins, making it an age-worthy wine. Purchasing two bottles before I left, I’ll have one bottle at this year’s holiday and save the other for next year.
Painting and wine tasting has become a popular trend. Getting groups of people who have never held a paintbrush to come away with a framable piece of artwork while enjoying the best of Santa Clara Valley wines was the goal at a recent Paint and Sip party at Seeker Vineyard in San Martin.

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