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News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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