Readers' Poll BEST OF MONTEREY COUNTY® 2023 103 specialty foods Best Local White Wine Bernardus Sauvignon Blanc 5 W. Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley (831) 298-8021, We don’t think Danny or the paisanos cared much whether the wine they guzzled was red, white, pink or whatever color happens when you mix them all together. But assuming you are a discerning sort, flavor matters most. And the Bernardus Sauvignon Blanc is a consistent points winner from the national experts, thanks to its emotive notions of tropical fruits and citrus zest backed by exotic hues of agave and stoney minerality. It’s brisk and refreshing, but also a wine for contemplation. That’s really the good life. Best Local Red Wine Hahn Pinot Noir 37700 Foothill Road, Soledad, (831) 6784555 Carmel Plaza, Ocean Avenue and Mission Street, Carmel, (831) 250-7937 A good Pinot Noir is defined by its delicate nuance that demands mindful tasting to truly appreciate. This was definitely not on the menu at La Ida Cafe. No, this wine is for discerning sorts. Made from grapes grown in Arroyo Seco, the Hahn Pinot Noir offers notes of cherries, raspberries, and a lingering earthy flavor of a walk through the forest. It pairs perfectly with reading Steinbeck’s literature that shows love for the natural beauty of Monterey County. Best Local Rosé Folktale Sparkling Rosé 8940 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel (831) 293-7500, People have long paired wine with food. But which wine best suits a warm afternoon? It’s a question that should come up more often, especially under the Carmel Valley sun— although, to be sure, Mack and the Boys drank whatever was in the drunk man’s bottle when they ventured into the valley. Maybe Steinbeck didn’t have the answer, but Weekly readers Best Cookie, Best Cupcake | Sweet Reba's