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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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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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Matchmaking: Food and wine pairing made simple


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Wine and food pairings can mirror relationships.

Valentine’s Day approaches and love is in the air. Perhaps that’s why I recently found myself taking stock of the couples I’m close with. In doing so, I came to the realization that there are two main categories of love that my couple friends fall into.

First, there are the duos that are so alike that they finish one another’s sentences and giggle before their partner delivers the punchline. The second type is far less “two of a kind” but just as well-suited for great love. In these relationships, the individuals involved could not be more different, yet they seem their best selves in one another’s company.

Of course, being a wine enthusiast, I couldn’t help but notice how my friends’ romances mirror the relationships between food and wine. That is, a food and wine combination works together because the elements are either utterly complementary or so opposite that they pair perfectly.

A great pairing can either echo the attributes of the food it is served with or introduce entirely new flavors and sensations.

Whether you’re selecting the right wine from the by-the-glass menu at a restaurant or creating a menu at home, food and wine pairing might seem intimidating – but it needn’t. Understanding the basic way food and wine improve one another will make you a skilled matchmaker.

‘We go together like rama lama lama ka dinga da dinga dong’

Danny and Sandy from the musical “Grease” may have seemed like an odd pair, but it was underlying similarities that made their love worthy of ballads sung in the streets. Finding what a food and wine have in common is a great way to create pairings, because congruent flavors can elevate one another.

If shrimp salad with green-apple vinaigrette is on the menu, you might know to choose a white wine. But not all whites will work. You should think of balancing the acidity of the salad with the wine.

If a wine has less acidity than the food you are drinking it with, the wine will taste lifeless. Imagine, for example, having that shrimp salad with an oaked California Chardonnay – the pairing would be utterly out of balance. A New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, however, would be wonderful with the salad because it has enough acidity to hold its own against the vinaigrette.

The same idea works for hearty dishes, too. A mushroom ragu over polenta is rich with earthy flavors. It would pair wonderfully with a glass of supple, earthy red wine. A lighter Nebbiolo from Italy’s Piedmont region would be a fantastic partner for the ragu.

‘We come together cuz opposites attract’

Paula Abdul sang of the way opposites can work, and I agree with her. There are times when being too matchy is a terrible thing.

Bitter with bitter, for instance, is not a good idea when pairing wine and food. Finding a dark chocolate and red wine that work together is tricky for this reason. Both have bitter (“tannic” in wine-speak) profiles. But put that tannic red with a fatty steak and the combination will send your taste buds over the moon.

Tannins cut the richness of a fondue, too – sipping a Syrah while dipping bits of bread into the melted cheese is a scrumptious and romantic meal.

Valentine’s Day ideas

Regardless of the kind of pairing that suits your fancy, wine and romance go hand in hand.

Ava’s Downtown Market & Deli, 340 Castro St. in Mountain View, is a one-stop shop for the ingredients you need to woo your valentine. I touched base with owner Juan Origel recently and following are his recommendations from the shop’s thoughtfully stocked shelves.

• Roast chicken and potatoes served with a Fieldfare 2010 Chardonnay from Monterey County ($17.99) would make for a great night this Valentine’s Day.

• Another swoon-worthy pairing is red-sauce spaghetti served with oodles of Parmesan cheese and a glass of Contemassi 2008 Chianti ($14.99). The acidity of the sauce and the wine are just right together.

• In the category of opposites attracting, a Washington State Riesling paired with pad Thai would be lush. A bottle of Kung Fu Girl 2012 Riesling ($11.99), full of stone-fruit zing, will change your opinion of American Riesling altogether.

• If the way to your love’s heart is through dessert, a 2011 Mionetto Moscato ($11.99) and chocolate torte would be a juxtaposition sure to please.

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

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