Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Summertime and the sipping is easy: Pairing wine with outdoor dining


Photo By: Courtesy of Christine Moore
Photo Courtesy Of Christine Moore

White wines pair well with the vegetables and side salads of a grilled evening.

My neighborhood is buzzing with the sounds of summer these days. I’m not talking about ice-cream truck melodies or Marco Polo games. I mean the hefting of newly filled propane tanks from car trunks, the gentle spreading out of ash-laden, glowing-hot coals and the sizzle of “What’s for dinner?” hitting the grill. It’s time to dine outdoors, and that means stocking up on wine.

While Memorial Day may officially kick off grilling season, outdoor cooking hits its stride around July 4. And thanks to our enduring California summers, we can make good use of the barbecue well past September.

This is a great time of year to practice your wine-pairing skills. Grilling and barbecuing provide opportunities to celebrate regional and seasonal foods, and pairing that food with local wines can truly amplify the pleasure of your outdoor meals.

What you drink with your food should be considered an ingredient of the meal. Thoughtful pairing can have as much impact on the joy of food as any other key element of the dish.

To help with your pairing endeavors, below I list some of the great varietals produced in California and the foods they complement.

The reds

When it comes to cooking techniques, barbecuing, grilling and smoking do more than just cook the food. They are transformative because they impart flavors – smokiness into chicken or sweetness into beef, for example. The flavors they infuse make many would-be white-wine foods cry out for red. I like serving young reds that aren’t too complex.

• Unabashedly adept at going well with food, Pinot Noir has ample spice and fruit characteristics that allow it to break traditional rules of wine pairing, meaning that Pinot Noir goes equally well with meat or fish. It is especially suited for summertime sipping, with its light body ideal for the season.

I use Pinot Noir as my go-to wine when I’m invited to a friend’s for a barbecue. And a California Pinot, with earth and floral notes, is what I open when serving grilled sausages or salmon.

Worth a try: 2009 Clos LaChance Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot Noir

• Zinfandel can be paired with a variety of red meats and does amazing things to smoky flavors. Plus, because it can be slightly sweet, Zinfandel is the wine you want to serve if you are a barbecue-sauce lover or have a baked-bean recipe you’re planning to feature.

Worth a try: 2011 Peachy Canyon Incredible Red Zinfandel

• A medium-bodied, fruit-forward Merlot finds its perfect match in barbecued pork chops and chicken. It’s a great varietal to pour if you’re having burgers, too.

Worth a try: 2010 Buena Vista Merlot Carneros

The whites

Outdoor eating weather generally means rising temperatures. As the mercury edges up, the pleasures of chilled wine beckon. In addition to working well with many side salads, white wines can elevate the main course of barbecues.

• Sauvignon Blanc in all its citrusy glory is wonderful with grilled white fish, shrimp and other shellfish prepared over a flame.

Worth a try: 2011 Robert Mondavi Fumé Blanc (remember that in California, Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes called Fumé Blanc)

• Unoaked Chardonnay served alongside a platter of grilled vegetables will please backyard diners. Chardonnay is full-bodied enough to complement the caramelized and charred deliciousness of the veggies.

Worth a try: 2011 Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay

• If you’re using a spicy marinade, open a bottle of Riesling. An off-dry Riesling would both lift and tame the spices in jerk chicken.

Worth a try: 2012 Trefethen Dry Riesling

Each suggestion under the “Worth a try” wines is under $30 and should be easy to find in local markets.

Mountain View resident Christine Moore is learning more about wine every day. To read her blog, visit sheepishsommelier.blogspot.com.

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