Cultura, an experience of the essence of Mezcal, with Sarah Kabat-Marcy, partner


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Introducing Cultura, Comida y Bebida, a revolutionary concept in restauranteering in Cwallartarmel, California.  Carmel, now a tourist town, in the beginning was a place for innovation, creativity and disarming the conventional.  Artists, Bohemians and the eccentric flocked here to be free. Thankfully, Cultura is taking us back to the OG, original gangsta’, that was Carmel.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Sarah Kabat Marcy, a partner with her husband  and Jonathan Cox, of Cultura Comida y Bebida.  She is the quintessential host; present, gracious and giving. Her interview explains the origins of Mezcal and the incorporation of the Mezcal tradition in her restaurant.

Partner in Cultura, Comida Y Bebida. Carmel, California

Partner in Cultura, Comida Y Bebida. Carmel, California

Articulate and clear on the purpose of creating Cultura, you can listen to Sarah tell the fascinating story here.

teresa drink mezcal-tasting skull


Shelly Rafanelli, Dynamo winemaker for A.Rafanelli



Shelly RafanelliMeeting with the winemaker, A. Rafanelli WineryShelly, of A. Rafanelli Winery is like meeting a force of nature. Her veins pump wine, and she’s literally made of the terrior of the Rafanelli vineyard. Shelly(Rashell) Rafanelli is the tiny but mighty fourth generation genius of Rafanelli winemakers behind the famous and fabulous A. Rafanelli wines. And…she’s passionate about Halloween.🙂

I got a rare chance to sit her down during September harvest (I know, crazy, right?) where she was open and candid, sharing her wine making process, what makes her wines special and unique and the history, tradition and excellence that permeate each bottle of lovingly and painstakingly produced wine.

But please, listen for yourself to hear and experience the passion, the striving and the knowledge firsthand. (We were in a cave, so there is a bit of echo) To listen: Click here.

Monterey Wines with Kim Stemler of MCVGA

Monterey county Vinters and Growers Association winemakers

Hey all!  I am so excited to present you with a wonderful and informative interview with Kim Stemler of Monterey County Vinters and Growers Association.  She really understands and explains beautifully our unique terrior and the variety that is offered in Monterey County.  Pour yourself a glass of wine from the region and be prepared to learn something and plan your next wine tasting trip!

You can listen to her interview here

is the Winemaker’s Celebration in Carmel May 7th. Along with celebrating the wines and winemakers of Monterey County’s world-class growing region, this year’s newly expanded event offers more opportunity to immerse yourself in the Monterey Wine Country experience. Over 35 wineries will be pouring and 20 of the Monterey Peninsulas best culinary operations will prepare small bites and delights. If that’s not enough there will be custom blending and Sommelier guided tasting tours to add on and an added private venue just for VIPs, where exclusive vintage and small lot wines will be poured with live cooking demonstrations. This is the one year you won’t want to miss!

Harvest Moon Café ~ Sonoma, California


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Well, you’re in for a real treat. The Harvest Moon Café is just lovely, cool, farm-to-jen &-nick demarest of Harvest Moon Cafetable in the most authentic way and the food is absolutely to live for.  Nick and Jen Demarest create a really good experience based on their commitment to fine food, locally sourced ingredients and a shared passion to give great eats.  Nick hails from Chez Panisse, after many travels through a worldly culinary education to produce the kind of food he believes everyone can enjoy. Along with his creativity, and his dedication to sustainable farming, he brings a practical sensibility to what many consider to be the most ecologically sound way to grow, purchase and prepare local foodstuffs. Listen to this interview and learn more about the restaurant you will soon be wanting to visit.


When we visited, we found the wine list to be approachable, yet sophisticated and the food incredibly fresh and delectable. Can’t wait to go back.

Wines from the Atlantic Seaboard


In September I was invited to a tasting and food paring by the ah-mazing Anne M.Anne VercelliVercelli. Her dear friend Carl Brandhorst is the president of the Atlantic Seaboard Wine Association and was kind enough to have six wines for us to taste with delicious culinary delights created by Anne.

We went on an adventure to a part of the US where wines have been made for carl_brandhorstdecades and which I know very little about, so it was educational, mind blowing and inspirational. You can listen to the interview here.

Equinox Methode Champenoise in Santa Cruz, CA


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A while back…yes, I’ve been remiss in updating the blog. Please forgive me. So, a few  months ago I chanced upon Equinox Winery in the awesome Swift Street complex where El Salchichero, the legendary excellent butcher shop has a store front.

The sparkling wines were so delicious and the whites and reds dynamic that I just had to know more about the winemaker, Barry Jackson,  and his story. Here is that interview.

Equinox wines are varied and made with impeccable attention to the varietal. I encourage you to go taste their sparkling wines and their whites and reds and decide for yourself. I chose to feature two of my favorites below.

Equinox Bartolo 2008 MerlotBartolo 2008 Merlot

85% Merlot 15% Petit Verdot
Dark fruits, lavendar honey, good tannins,
Voluptuous wine

2001 Equinox Brut Resevve



2001 Brut Reserve
75% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir
Trout Gulch Vineyard, Santa Cruz Mountains, Traditional Methode Champenoise Sparkling Wine, Aged nine years “en tirage”, 400 cases produced. Fabulous champange method wine, I could drink this high acid and flavorful wine all day and night. But that’s me.

Equinox Wine
427 Swift Street, Unit C
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Medlock Ames 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon


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Medlock Ames 2002 CSMedlock Ames just doesn’t disappoint. This 2002 Cabernet Sauvigon is extremely well balanced. The robust structure never overwhelms the dark delicious blackberry and blueberry fruit. And the forest floor earthiness is reined in but present. We were delighted to see the sediment on this unfiltered wine.

Trio Carmel, a magical place for wine, premium olive oils, balsamic vinegars and art…


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Karl Empey, the ebullient owner of Trio Carmel, is running around tending to customers and bringing us tastes of the many Karl Empeypremium olive oils, a dizzying array of balsamic vinegars and of course, incredible wines that he carries in his diversified and beautiful store. The store also doubles as an art gallery curated with care, there is some eclectic work here, to look at and purchase.

I stopped by a few weeks ago after tasting the delicious wines he sells and he was kind enough to let me interview him to get the low down on how Trio Carmel came about and the philosophy behind what has instantly become one of my favorite stores in Carmel. You can listen to the interview here.

Trio Carmel

Tom Farmer poured us four of the wines that stand out. He is a character, for sure and a lot of fun!

Tom Farmer

Exclusive Ian Brand Interview


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Ian Brand is a thoughtful and eclectic person. He also happens to be a highly in Ian Branddemand winemaker determined to extract the authenticity and genuine character of a varietal and the grapes that compose the characteristic personality of a label. Whether he is making the wines for his own labels or for someone else, the same sensitivity and passion goes into each project, synthesizing the various tributaries into the main river of the collaboration of earth and man, culminating in great wines. I had the pleasure, albeit short, of spending about 40 minutes with Ian, before he raced off to another appointment. Here is what he shared.

His wines are superb. Please check out his P’Tit Paysan and La Marea. The wines are truly delicious and individual, embodying a true understanding of terrior, sense of place and the marriage of man, earth and wine culture.

Coastview Vineyard Tasting Notes


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Coastview Vineyards had a directive to create a wine label that spoke to adventure and the idea of hidden treasure, in a Jules Verne style of thinking. Each label references a journey or traveler and speaks to the uniqueness not only of the wine but the vineyard where it was grown. The winemaking practices are a combination of classic Bordelaise and Burgundian techniques combined with all the advances in modern enology for consistently high quality and vineyard expression.  The grapes all come from an area near Chualar, California. Coastview Vineyard is located in the Gabilan Mountains on the east side of the Salinas Valley, on an exposed ridge top between 2200 and 2400 feet of elevation.  Just under 30 acres of this convoluted 2600 acre property are under vine with plantings of Syrah, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cinq Cepage of Bordeaux varietals.

We stopped by their new tasting room in at 19 Carmel Valley Road #H, in Carmel Valley Village where they were pouring several of their current releases including the lovely 2013 Rosé of Syrah. Here are my notes, you are in for a delicious journey! Read on…

The 2013 Rosé from Coastview Vineyard is a gorgeous garnet color and has a distinctly floral nose, reminiscent of white peaches and delicate flowers. On the palate there are immediate wild strawberries, red currents and raspberry flavors that merge in a well balanced finish with good acidity.

I loved the 2009 Chardonnay also from Coastview, was luscious and not over oaked or heavy on the toast. On the nose it has aromas of warm roasted peaches, nectarines and other stone fruits.That transfers into these flavors on the palate along with crispness and additional mineral support offering a real taste treat. It is also extremely well balanced and leaves a fantastic lasting finish. Delicious.

The 2011 Chardonnay is very different for the ’09 in that it has more of tropical fruits such as guava and papaya and warm buttered bread. The palate flavors come together in a rich pear tart melange, with additional butterscotch and spice. Well balanced and good acidity.

2011 Pinot Noir is a deep garnet color with strawberries and cream, very fragrant. On the palate there is a lovely blend of cherry cola, spices and good tannic structure resulting in a balanced wine.

2009 Red Blend is also an exceptionally successful wine. In the glass this classic Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Abernet Franc, Petit Verdot and Malbec is a deep dark red. The nose expressed the aromas of herbal, cedar, mineral and spices with the flavors of ripe dark fruits, including plums exploding on the palate. A very sexy wine. IMO.

2008 Syrah, Bold on the nose with dark berries, black and blue nice acidity and cinnamon spice notes. Medium bodied and luxurious on the palate with a chocolate finish, it has aged really well and would go perfectly with BBQ.

Coastview Vineyard wines is definitely worth exploring for a real taste adventure!Coastview Chardonnay