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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Pick the perfect wines for your Thanksgiving table


Courtesy of Christine Moore
Fit holiday wines to the style of your family’s feast.

Hands down, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I’m a fan of all celebrations, but the simplicity of Thanksgiving won my heart years ago. It’s a day to come together with friends and family in celebration of gratitude. Of course, there’s an overabundance of food and plenty of football involved, too.

Pairing wine with the many flavors of Thanksgiving may seem daunting. After all, it’s not unusual to have everything from giblet gravy to marshmallows on a single plate. But because the recipes of the day are often a reflection of the personalities and tastes of the family around the table, I say select what fits your gathering.

Thanksgiving wines should not be about opening your cherished bottles. Stick with budget-friendly libations instead, because if you’re like most families, you’ll have plenty of glasses to keep full.

At our home, Thanksgiving is all about fresh herbs. I cover the turkey with a mass of thyme, sage and rosemary and then dry-brine it for several days. The result is a juicy and herbaceous bird. Our sourdough boule bread stuffing is loaded with the same selection of fresh seasonings. All this herbiness gives our meal a very Northern California flare. As such, I’ll be serving two California wines this year.

• The 2010 Qupe Central Coast Syrah ($15.99) is my red wine of choice. A beautiful bright-violet color, the light and cheery wine serves up lashings of strawberry and minerality with an easygoing mouth-feel and fresh finish.

• A Sauvignon Blanc, in all its verdant glory, is a great wine to pair with sage-soaked dishes and turkey. Sharp, dry California versions with citrus undertones are the best bet. I plan to serve the 2011 Grgich Hills Napa Valley Fumé Blanc ($14.99) because it’s a snappy wine with loads of herby whiffs on the nose.

Suggested pairings

I asked some local wine authorities to share their thoughts on the ideal Thanksgiving wines.

Stacy Ahrweiler, wine department manager at Draeger’s Market in Los Altos, looks forward to pairing a wine that works with spice.

“My mother-in-law’s incredible and nontraditional chili-rubbed turkey with chorizo stuffing is the centerpiece at our Thanksgiving meal,” she said. “I think a bit of spice is becoming more common at the Thanksgiving table. I’m suggesting two slightly spicy wines because they complement the full spectrum of Thanksgiving eats.”

For white-wine fans, Ahrweiler suggests the 2010 Leojami Viognier, a medium-bodied wine with hints of lemon and orange and an ever-so-slight ginger zing ($16.99).

Ahrweiler’s red selection is the 2011 M. Chapoutier Belleruche Côtes-du-Rhône ($11.99), a blend of Grenache and Syrah. She describes the wine as having “just a bit of oak and a dash of pepper along with a laser beam of pure cherries and raspberries.”

Christine Tran of Artisan Wine Depot in Mountain View is a sommelier and the store’s wine buyer. She gives plenty of good reasons to include sparkling wine at the Thanksgiving table this year.

“The effervescence of a sparkling wine creates a terrific contrast to the richness of the turkey, gravy and stuffing, and kicks off your holiday on a festive note,” she said. “Sparkling wine also pairs well with appetizers. In particular, oysters, smoked salmon, brie or goat cheese will taste great with a drier sparkling wine.”

Tran’s recommendation for a drier bubbly is Domaine des Varinelles Cremant de Loire Brut N.V. ($19.99).

“A slightly sweet sparkling wine will work well throughout the meal and will complement the sweeter flavors of side dishes such as candied yams, fall fruit chutney and cranberry sauce,” Tran explained, suggesting the slightly sweet Caves Carod Clairette de Die “Tradition” White Sparkling N.V. ($17.99).

“Another festive option is Kerisac Sparkling Cider ($9.99). The low-alcohol cider has a touch of sweetness with a refreshing and striking balance of acidity. It is unlike most other ciders, in that it is not cloyingly sweet,” she added.

Max Feshbach, wine specialist at Whole Foods Market in Los Altos, marks the day with an extravagant take on the traditional turkey.

“For the past few years, my family teams up to create a turducken,” said Feshbach, explaining that a turducken is a turkey stuffed with chicken stuffed with duck.

“A bit ridiculous and relatively decadent, it’s a fun and hearty meal that’s a newfound family favorite,” he said.

Feshbach will be bringing a red and a white to his family’s feast this year. His recommendation for a red is the 2009 Brandborg Bench Lands Pinot Noir ($19.99). The Pinot provides notes of fresh red fruits with a bright acidity and subtle earthiness.

His white selection is the Thomas Fogarty Monterey County Gewürztraminer ($15.99).

“I chose this wine because of its dryness and aromas of pear and citrus,” he said. “A slightly tannic finish is just what’s needed, and the perfect amount of acidity brings it home on the palate. Plus, it’s local.”

When it comes to counting my blessings, I’ll certainly give thanks for the incredible wine variety we have available to us at Los Altos, Mountain View and Palo Alto shops.

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

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