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News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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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

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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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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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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