Bottle Jack Winery proves that tasty Malbec doesn’t always come from Argentina


Not all Malbec comes from Argentina, although one might think so with the quantity of this grape imported.

Local winemaker John Ritchey made a terrific 2017 Malbec ($ 32) with grapes from Pierce Ranch Vineyards in the San Antonio Valley. And it comes with all of the aromas and flavors we’ve come to expect from this solo-star wine. Silky, rich and flooded with flavors of red and black fruits, its floral notes are balanced by red licorice, chocolate and star anise. Ritchey says it has a long fruity finish and a smooth, velvety chocolatey texture.

“Pair it with slow roasted meat, barbecued lamb, grilled sausages and onions, garlic dishes, yellow curry dishes, lentils, cold cuts and with brie, blue cheese, ricotta and pecorino for cheese pairings. ”
Or, drink it on its own!

Ritchey makes lots of other reds and whites and a tasty port made from 100% Zinfandel.

Bottle Jack Winery has two locations: La Madrona Drive and Ingalls Street, both in Santa Cruz. For hours and more information, visit

Greedy pasture in the green
The annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green fundraiser takes place on Saturday October 9 from noon to 4 p.m. Recipients of the Santa Cruz Cancer Benefit Group include Jacob’s Heart, Hospice of Santa Cruz County, and Katz Cancer Resource Center. Held in the beautiful park of the village of Aptos with around 45 participating vendors, participants are guaranteed an afternoon of delicious gourmet food, fabulous wines and craft beers. For tickets and more information, visit

Two Sicilian rosé wines
Here are two Sicilian wines that I recommend that are beautiful and inexpensive, both made by Corvo. The first is a 2020 Corvo Rosé (around $ 9.99) with strawberry and pomegranate flavors and a glossy finish. The other is a 2020 Duca di Salaparuta Calanica Rosato (around $ 15.99), a crisp and aromatic wine with hints of citrus and white peach. Both wines pair well with appetizers, sushi or grilled fish. For more information on these wines and other Corvos, visit or

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