I finally became a wine club member at my favorite winery in Santa Cruz, MJA Vineyards. I’m not a wine connoisseur, but I do notice a good red when I come across one. Also, I’ve never been to Napa for wine tasting, and as a Kahuna Wine Club member, I just may never get there. This gem is just a couple blocks from my house, right next to my favorite market (easy access to olives and cheese), and open til 6p/8pm depending on which day of the week. check. check. check. They also have this beautiful patio where you can enjoy a nice table-top fireplace and a subtle hint of salt water.
Not only that, Marin, the “M” in MJA, makes some pretty good Kona coffee. So good, in fact, that it was voted “America’s Best Coffee” by Forbes Magazine in 2001. The real deal — 100% KONA BABY.
Anyways, as a new wine club member, I automatically got a spot reserved for MJA’s Movie Night. I’ve caught wind of these events before, but was never inclined to check it out. Regardless, I figured free wine, free food– shucks, why not… I brought my friend Judy as my +1 and we decided to wind down with some wine, food, and a movie.
How it went:
5:25 rolls around. We hop on some bikes and cruise down with some beach chairs.
(Awesome ride, short, sweet, flat.)
It’s just about 5:30 and of course, the MJA tasting room is bustling with locals. I see some familiar faces.
I find an associate and ask about Movie Night and get directed to the back.
As we walk into the event space, we get lei’d. I love it already.
“Over there’s where you can taste the wine, and we have appetizers over here.”
Did I mention that they’re providing a three-course meal? Sweet.
We put down our beach chairs and make a bee-line for the wine.
Oh snap, Louis is pouring! (There’s a 50% chance that he calls me Olivia… but today, he gets it right)
My eyes catch the Malbec – that’s a new one… MUST. TRY.
Holy smokes. It’s my new favorite (outside of the Reserve Wines).
Wine, check. Next, appetizers.
The Olive Connection is tabling, they’re sampling some balsamic vinaigrettes and olive oil. Truffle sea salt? YUM.
Olive. Olive it a lot.
(Line begins to move)
2 words. Cheese galore.
Okay, keep in mind that Judy and I played about 5 hours of volleyball and are famished.
Eep. The plates look so small. Oh well, seconds it is.
I grab multiples of everything.
Time to “nom.”
After a second round of food, and the third tasting, I start to see people get up from their chairs and head towards the serving tables.
I smell pasta. Dinner is served.
Potatoes, red wine vinaigrette chicken, champagne vinaigrette salad medley. It turns out the pasta smell was actually a ratatouille for the vegetarian option. I have some anyways.
About 30 minutes later, the lights begin to dim and it’s movie time.
Tonight, we’re watching French Kiss.
About half way through the movie, the lights come on.
“Alright folks. Time for dessert!”
We make our way towards the tasting room area (it’s closed at this point), and they have strawberries with melted dark chocolate, madeleines (french, how thematic) and of course, a sampling of their 100% Kona coffee.
After filling up our plates, we sit out on the patio and enjoy our dessert before they call us back in to resume the movie.
We wrap up our dessert, go back in, and find our seats.
Lights dim, movie resumes.
We finish the rest of the movie. It’s your cute, typical Meg Ryan film but with a bit of appropriate romanticizing of wineries and vineyards.
Overall– loved MJA Movie Night. Can’t wait til next month.
I’m sure Otis would have loved to go as well.