The start of the fall season kicked off with the fourth annual A Taste of Soquel event at the Congregational Church of Soquel on Saturday afternoon and hundreds of people packed the tiny courtyard to enjoy great music and delicious samples of food and wine from local businesses.
Taste of Soquel volunteer Laura Hamby was very pleased with the amount of people that showed up for the benefit for Second Harvest Food Bank and strives to make a stronger event each time around.
“We think we’re well over what we got last year,” she said. “We always try to do better then the year before and last year we were able to give $6900.00 to Second Harvest. This year our big goal would be $10,000.00 but anything over $6900.00 would make us happy.”
In the previous three years, A Taste of Soquel has provided $20,000.00 to the Second Harvest Food Bank that has fed over 80,000 children in Santa Cruz County.
“And the good thing is we work hard to make it a family event,” added Hamby.
Folks were able to try teriyaki chicken kabobs and coleslaw with a hint of horseradish from Carpo’s, ravioli with marinara or pesto sauce from Aldo’s, and a tomato stack that's made up of Heirloom tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, red onion, pesto coulis, and balsamic syrup from new comers Café Cruz Rosticceria & Bar.
As for the wine drinkers, they were able to try samples from Hunter Hill Vineyard & Winery that served a 2011 Pinot Noir Estate, a 2010 Estate Syrah, and a 2009 Estate Merlot and Poetic Cellars poured a Mirage dry style rose made with Syrah and Mourvedre grapes and a Petite Sirah.
Soquel Vineyards had a 2011 Trinity and a 2010 Partners Reserve Ben Lomond Chardonnay and Bargetto Winery offered a 2009 Central Coast Merlot and a cool and crisp 2009 Monterey County Sauvignon Blanc.
The entertainment on stage included Celina and the C Monkeys, the Brian Quinn Group, Soquel’s very own McCoy Tyler Band, and Extra Large. A small area behind the church was designated as the Kids Zone and the youngsters were able to have fun while the grown ups went from tent to tent with a wine glass in hand.
Inside the Kids Zone was a table setup with sandwiches from D’Anna’s Deli and a mini golf course designed and set up by Steve and Kathy Gullickson from Scotts Valley.
It took Steve and Kathy about two months to get the Dragon Castle, Critter Corner, Duck Pond, Choo Choo Challenge, and Junkyard holes ready to go and Kathy mentioned that most of the items used in the mini golf course were bought at Home Depot, on E-bay, and the flea market.
“I’m a Soquel local so I love it when everyone comes together and has a good time,” said Hamby. “It’s all about seeing your friends and meeting new people. But I like it all; I like the fun, I like the food, and I like the music.”