Archive for August, 2010

Celebrate California Wine Month, Temecula Style!

Sunday, August 29th, 2010

1st Annual “Temecula Valley Wine & Culinary Showcase” Invites Locals & Visitors to Celebrate California Wine Month

You are invited to attend this two-part showcase event which will feature a winemakers’ roundtable Q&A on the area’s winemaking past, present and future; and a walk-around tasting featuring 30-plus wineries, a dozen restaurants, and more than 120 wines to try.

The 1st Annual Temecula Valley Wine & Culinary Showcase offers a unique opportunity for visitors and locals to meet local winemakers, learn about changes and improvements in the area’s viticultural practices, and sample wine and food from dozens of vendors!

  • Friday, September 17, 2010
    5:30 – 6:30 PM — Winemaker’s Roundtable Q&A, moderated by a prominent figure in the wine and food world
    6:30 – 7:00 PM — Champagne Reception, compliments of Thornton Winery
    7:00 – 9:30 PM — Showcase Tasting, featuring wine and food samples from local wineries, restaurants and caterers
  • Monte de Oro Winery
    35820 Rancho California Road
    Temecula, CA 92591-5126

In addition, the following packages are available September 1 – 30 to make exploring wine country easy and budget-friendly during California Wine Month; packages can be booked at TemeculaWines.org or by calling (800) 801-9463:

California Wine Month Passport – $40
Visit 5 Participating Wineries & Receive a Full Tasting Flight at each

Stay-and-Sip Package – $269
2 California Wine Month Passports
Overnight Stay in a Deluxe Villa at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Bottle of Wine in Room
Welcome Gift
2 Free Tasting Flights at South Coast Winery
Passport Discount Booklet
*Valid Sept 2010, Sun-Thur

You can add safe shuttle transportation to any package by visiting GoGrape.com and clicking “Temecula.”


Chef-of-the-Month Recipe with Callaway’s Michael Henry

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Chef Michael Henry, Executive Chef of Meritage Restaurant at Callaway Vineyards and Winery, has kindly offered to share this delicious Basil and Chardonnay Cured Salmon recipe for our readers. Chef Henry’s goal for Meritage Restaurant is to create diverse, seasonal menus that accentuate Callaway’s long history of fine Temecula wine. By using local,sustainable, and organic ingredients, Chef Henry produces fresh tapas, salads and entreés with a Mediterranean flair.

Popular menu items  include:

  • Grilled Wild Shrimp Kebob with Tempura Portobello Mushroom
  • Basil Fried Rice and Mint and Wasabi Aioli
  • Grilled Hangar Steak with Roasted Garlic Gorgonzola Butter, Fries and Watercress.

The cuisine is based on the “small plate” concept of big flavor and variety, with menu selections being paired with the best of what Callaway Winery offers. Take a look and try out this scrumptious recipe to get a small taste of the big flavors that you could experience at Meritage Restaurant!

Basil and Chardonnay Cured Salmon

1 side (or piece) of filleted, skin on salmon, no scales or pin bones
Kosher salt
Cracked Pepper
Coriander Seeds
Cane Sugar
2008 Callaway Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay
Fresh Basil Leaves

Basically, curing salmon, or anything for that matter, derived as a food preservation method
started by necessity before refrigeration. We are going to use a modern approach to a very old food
tradition. You want to use salmon that is either wild( seasonal) or properly farm raised (available
year round). The extra money for a better quality fish is well worth it.

1) To cure to the salmon, procure a tray that the fish can fit in. Take the salmon filet, skin side up,
and place in the tray. Pour a bit of Chardonnay onto the fish. Let sit in the refrigerator for about 2
hours. This is only to impart a bit of acidity to the fish.

2) In the meantime, ground the pepper and coriander, reserve a bit of both, then mix the rest with
the salt and sugar. Roughly for every cup of salt you will use a tablespoon of sugar. Add lots of fresh
basil leaves to the salt mix. The salt mix will cure the salmon by drawing out the liquid.

3) Alright, remove the salmon filet from the wine, and pat dry. Season the filet with the reserved
coriander and pepper. Again place the salmon filet in a tray and coat very generously with the salt
mix. Totally packed in with salt from top to bottom. Place a piece of parchment paper on top of the
salt packed fish. Place in the refrigerator.

4) Basically at this point you don’t need to do anything else. The salt will draw the juice from the
salmon and become “cooked”. The basil and aromatics will infuse in the salmon. As the fish cures
you will notice liquid forming in the tray, carefully discard the liquid with a spoon. Repack the salt
onto the fish as needed also.

5) Curing time for a whole side of fish can take up to 4 or 5 days. For a small filet it can take about
2 days. After you feel comfortable that the fish is cured, it will be firm to the touch, remove the
salt, rinse with cold water and pat dry. The fish will be very salty the first day, then the saltiness
will fade the next. Slice the fish very thin when serving. Eat on pizza, with eggs, salads, on
sandwiches. It is a very versatile preparation, healthy, flavorful and eats well with a glass of wine.

Meritage at Callaway is open daily for lunch from 11am-4pm and open Friday and Saturday for dinner from 5pm-9pm.

To make a reservation for this unique dining experience, please visit the Meritage Restaurant at Callaway’s webpage to submit your reservation request. A member of Meritage at Callaway will confirm your reservation shortly by phone and/or email.


SoCalWineTV – Wilson Creek Winery

Thursday, August 19th, 2010

Watch the latest episode of our very own SoCalWineTV show, featuring Bill Wilson of the much-loved Wilson Creek Winery and home of Almond Champagne!  From the warm family feel to the VIP barrel room, Wilson Creek has it all!  It might make you want to come out to Temecula Wine Country and have a picnic with some fine cheese, local fruit, and a great bottle of wine.  As Bill Wilson says, “it doesn’t get any better then that!”


Fall Weddings in Temecula Wine Country

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

Are you planning a fall wedding?  Are you a wine lover?  Why not have a wine country wedding and create an unforgettable experience for your family and friends?  For lucky Southern California bride and grooms, there are many wonderful choices available – all with a beautiful vineyard setting!

Falkner Winery

Falkner winery is a very popular Temecula wedding location with their fine restaurant, The Pinnacle – which is perched high above grounds overlooking the entire valley – and their perfect ceremony site located directly in the middle of the vineyard.  Their wedding planners offer you a very special, custom-designed private atmosphere with owner involvement and personalized service.

Wiens Family Cellars

If you are a foodie and appreciate beautiful wine and carefully crafted cuisine prepared from local ingredients, Wiens Family Cellars is the perfect place for your romantic fall wedding. Enjoy your ceremony surrounded by lush vineyards and the rich textures of a winery setting. Celebrate your special day with unforgettable food and wine in their fully enclosed event pavilion, outdoor patio, or intimate barrel room.

South Coast Winery & Resort

As the largest resort in Temecula Valley, South Coast Winery offers unparalleled multi-tiered packages, which include spa treatments, classic ceremony and fine-dining reception options, and always 5-star service.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

Nestled between rolling hills of vineyards, Callaway Vineyard & Winery is the perfect location for you to celebrate your special day.  This famous winery hosts four distinctively different venues for your wedding.  Whether you are looking for the charm of a lawn wedding, an intimate vineyard escape or a rustic candlelit barrel room, this winery will not only meet, but surpass your fall wedding day dreams.

Ponte Family Estate

The spectacular natural surroundings of Temecula Wine Country, the lush gardens and grounds, and the tranquil, romantic ambiance make Ponte the perfect place for your Autumn wedding. Treat yourself and invite your family and friends for a memorable experience which includes amenities like the Bride and Groom’s Cottage, the Vineyard Garden and Pavillion, and the fabulous Smokehouse Restaurant.


Welcome Monte De Oro Winery!

Sunday, August 8th, 2010

Temecula Wine Country has a new addition to the family – and this one is hard to miss!  Spanning 21,000 square feet and featuring an 11,500 square foot Barrel Cellar holding up to 900 barrels, Monte De Oro Winery was christened on November 5, 2009 and celebrated its public grand opening January 2010.

The Main Tasting Room is certainly an impressive sight, equipped with two tasting bars, flat-screen televisions, and a beautiful gift shop.  The show-stopping element is the ingenious glass floor which shows off the barrel cellar below.

The tasting room leads to a 10,500 square foot outdoor patio, which provides breath-taking panoramic views of  Temecula Valley vineyards.  Complemented by a reflective water pool and cascading waterfalls, this elegant area will play host to our very special California Wine Month Event on September 17th: The Temecula Valley Wine and Culinary Showcase.  Tickets on sale NOW!

Monte De Oro grape varietals include: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Zinfandel, Petit Syrah, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Mourvedre, Malbec, Grenache, Cinsault, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli and Viognier.  Several of these wines have already been awarded by competitions in San Francisco, Long Beach, and the California State Fair!

When you’re in the mood for an amazing wine experience, stop by Monte De Oro and give them a warm welcome!

Monte De Oro Winery

Open Daily 10am – 5pm


35820 Rancho California Road, Temecula, CA 92591

Please contact 951.491.6551 for more details

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