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News

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Hills man arrested on molestation charges

Gregory Helfrich

Santa Clara Sheriff’s detectives have arrested a Los Altos Hills man they suspect repeatedly molested a child decades ago.

Detectives arrested Gregory Helfrich, 54, on a warrant at his Old Page Mill Road home April 27 and...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alway...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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