Welcome to Wunderbar: Peek inside the underground cocktail bar inspired by Grimm’s fairy tales

Wunderbar opens at Wursthall in San Mateo The Wunderbar may have a private entrance and require reservations, but it's not a speakeasy, says general manager Xian Choy. It's a cozier, more relaxed space. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Amberg) At Wunderbar, descend underground to feel like you're entering a different world. Take a seat in a black-lit nook or cozy banquette, and sip on a storied cocktail. The intimate cocktail bar, located in ...

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The 2020 vintage: How Peninsula wineries are struggling—and innovating — during the pandemic

Zoom tastings, DoorDash delivery and vineyard yoga are all on the table as local wineries navigate a year of Covid and wildfires Guests attending a fundraising wine tasting event in November at Kings Mountain Vineyards in Woodside sit at distanced tables. (Photo by Federica Armstrong) Zoom tastings, DoorDash delivery and vineyard yoga are all on the table as local wineries navigate a year of Covid and wildfires Testarossa Winery started 2020 on a ...

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Bubbles on the rise: Silicon Valley vintners open up to sparkling wine

Peninsula wineries are tapping into California’s forgotten knack for producing quality bubbly By Carol Maskus “Sparkling wines are pretty versatile with food, are great aperitifs and generally make people happy — what’s not to like?” (Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons) Most of us need a little nudge to open up a bottle of sparkling wine—celebratory occasions like a birthday or anniversary—but otherwise tend to dismiss it the rest of the year. In this regard, Valentine’s Day not ...

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Short and sweet: our list of luscious (and local) dessert wines for the holiday

Silicon Valley wineries offer up some fantastic finishes to your feast By Carol Maskus Merry and bright: we found six local dessert wines to keep your holidays festive. (Photo by Charles Russo) Chocolate torte, Buche de Noel, rugelach, sweet potato pie: a big part of holiday feasting is the dessert. And while we often go all out for dessert over the holidays, we typically neglect to properly pair our sweets with appropriate drinks. This can leave ...

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The unknown varietals and exquisite oddities produced by Silicon Valley wineries

Moving beyond the obvious with the obscure offerings of Peninsula vintners By Carol Maskus Rows of grapes ready for harvest at Ridge Winery’s Monto Bello vineyard. (Courtesy of Ridge Winery) Wine tastings can often be a case study in the usual suspects: list after list of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay — typical varietals that have long-thrived throughout California. In the highly competitive world of wine, it can be a risk for vineyards to invest in more unusual varietals. ...

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Our guide to six of Silicon Valley’s most stellar vineyards

Here is what’s fermenting at the local wineries of the Santa Cruz Mountains by Laura Ness Mindego Ridge: 10 acres of sun-warmed Pinot vines off Alpine Road. They are fairly anonymous and the majority are not open to the public. Their acreage is often small and they don’t benefit from the name recognition of places like Napa and Sonoma. Even still, a notable array of Peninsula vineyards have quietly made a reputation for themselves in ...

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Crushing it with the winery world underdogs of Russian Ridge

How a San Carlos nurse won top wine awards (and developed purple hands in the process) Nicole Ruiz Hudson Russian Ridge Winery owner Scott Townsend (imbibing at left) and his son Spencer at their tasting room in San Carlos. (Photo by Charles Russo) The inside of Russian Ridge Winery is comfortably cool compared to the midday heat broiling the industrial San Carlos neighborhood just outside the roll-up doors. A huge skylight illuminates the winery’s interior workspace ...

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