Jammy Trio

Bella Viva Ristorante and Wine Bar

BEAUTIFUL LIFE Wine writer Bev Stenehjem treats daughter Lindsey Hunt to a birthday celebration at Gilroy’s Bella Viva. Photo: Courtesy Bev Stenehjem
On a recent Friday evening, my husband and I chose Bella Viva Ristorante and Wine Bar to celebrate my daughter’s birthday. This historic restaurant is situated in a 100-year, former Gilroy landmark, the historic Steinmetz Building. Recently renovated with graceful arches, rustic wood-floors and warm colors of reds and golds, we felt instantly transported to a Tuscan villa.

It was a busy night and although there is outside seating, there was a fall chill in the air and we were seated at one of the last inside tables. Having been there before, the three of us knew exactly what we would order: three wood-fired pizzas, a shared salad and a wine flight for each of us.

The watermelon salad ($13) with arugula and burrata cheese, came plated on a slab of dark gray slate, and was refreshingly delicious. Our three pizzas came out on slices of polished oak: a Margherita ($13.95), a Greek style ($14.95) and my favorite, a combination of prosciutto and goat cheese ($16.95).

We each chose a different wine flight: my daughter, in a celebratory mood, chose the Classic Sparklers ($24). Being a Zinfandel lover, I chose the It’s a Jam-boree!, ($23), a jammy trio of fruit-forward wines, while my husband ordered a flight of Italian wines from Piemonte, the Bella Figura ($24). It was fun to have our very own selection of wines to enjoy—going back and forth between them to find our favorites. Clinking our glasses in a toast to Lindsey, it was a perfect celebration.

Bev Stenehjem
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About Bev Stenehjem
Bev Stenehjem is a wine columnist for South Valley Magazine and is the author of the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley, Arcadia Publishing. Bev also promotes the Wineries of Santa Clara Valley association on Facebook and Twitter. Reach her at [email protected].