Wed07302014

News

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spendi...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

CARSTEN HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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