Santa Cruz Cider launches a new offering for a good cause and Capitola Village Sip & Stroll returns this weekend, and save spots on your oenophile calendar for gatherings at Big Basin Vineyards’ Pacific Avenue tasting room, Lupulo and Equinox.
This story was originally featured in this week’s Lily Belli on Food newsletter. Be first the first to hear about food and drink news in Santa Cruz County — sign up for Lily’s email newsletter here and text alerts here.
Cider goes to the dogs: Support everyone’s favorite pint-sized pups with the release of Santa Cruz Cider’s chihuahua-themed Yappy Hour, a spicy mango cider with a label designed by local artist Claudia Sandoval. The cider will be released Saturday at the cidery’s Watsonville tasting room. A portion of the proceeds from each draft pour or can will go to Friends of the Watsonville Animal Shelter. Food will be available from Hole Foods Vegan Donuts and La Perrona. There will also be a live DJ and art vendors, along with adoptable dogs from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter to tug at your heart strings. The event runs from noon to 8 p.m. at 65 Hangar Way, Watsonville.
Sip, stroll and shop: The Capitola Village Sip and Stroll returns Saturday with more than dozen wineries, cideries and breweries set to pour at locations throughout the village. Advanced tickets, which can be purchased here, are $45 and include a commemorative glass and 12 tasting tickets.
Big Basin Vineyards’ next feast: Big Basin Vineyards will hold its next winemaker’s dinner at its downtown tasting room on Friday, May 19, with a focus on wine made from fruit purchased from Alfaro Family Vineyards in Corralitos. The event will feature a vertical of five Alfaro pinot noirs — 2009, 2011, 2013, 2016 and 2018 — accompanied by a five-course meal starring duck. The courses are still being finalized. Tickets are $140 ($120 for club members) and are available here.
Wine with Friends: Lupulo Craft Beer House has earned a reputation for its vast beer selection, but a new monthly series of events focuses on wine, too. Wine with Friends is a collaboration with Soif and Redwood Records. This month’s event, slated for Friday, May 19, will feature curated flights of wines from Santa Cruz Mountains winery Margins Wine, run by winemaker Megan Bell, including a chenin blanc and a grenache. The Redwoods Records team will be spinning vinyl and the Lupulo beertenders will also be pouring a curated flight of specialty beers, which are still being finalized, according to manager Tom Bentley.
The events are an opportunity to break down some of the silos between beer and wine, and give lovers of each some new things to try, he said.
Flight pouring starts at 4 p.m. Music starts at 6 p.m.
Practice your pairing prowess: If you’ve always wanted to know what cheese to pair with which wine, an upcoming Cabrillo College extension course will have you covered. Lindsay Eshleman, who has tended bar all over the county and regularly teaches beverage courses, is hosting a wine and cheese pairing course at Equinox Wine’s Westside tasting room on June 20. Equinox’s sparkling wines will be served along with a selection of cheeses selected from Capitola’s Cheese831. The course is $60 for a two-hour session that also includes a deeper dive into how Equinox’s champagne-style wines are made. Sign up here. It’s just one of the food- and beverage-themed classes on Cabrillo Extension’s spring and summer schedule; to see the full list, which includes an intro to high mountain teas, go here.
FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article misidentified the artist who designed the label of Santa Cruz Cider Co.'s Yappy Hour cider. It is Claudia Sandoval.