Now that the holiday season has arrived, serve your guests the best bottles from Temecula Wine Country. This season, Inland Empire residents can support their So Cal community by shopping for their holiday meals locally and serving wine from the vineyards in their own backyard!
Sparkling for cocktail hour:
- Danza Del Sol – Blanc de Blanc Chardonnay, $28.95 – A deliciously dry brut, made in the Mèthode Champenoise method. Hand your guests a glass as they walk in the door and they’ll look forward to a festive evening!
- Thornton Winery – NV Cuvee Rouge, $26 – A uniquely creative Cuvee that brings Syrah and Grenache together, with each variety partially fermented on the skins to develop color, then quickly pressed before the wines became too tannic or over-extracted. The result is a sparkling with a beautiful ruby color and a bouquet bursting with aromas of strawberry, plum and raspberry.
- Wilson Creek Winery – Almond Champagne, $16.95 – This always-popular sparkler is lovely on it’s own and mixes well with that gourmet cheese and fruit plate.
Light starts for soups & salads:
- Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery – 2009 Viogner “Buon Vicino”, $18 is a unique white wine choice that will get your guests talking. Bright honey and floral nose with a huge, soft mouth feel and a truly crisp, dry finish with hints of mineral and stone.
- Miramonte Winery – 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Temecula Valley, Huis Vineyard, $24.95 boasts wild flower and cut grass aromas, fresh lime, orange, and red grapefruit flavors. Crisp, lean, and well-structured, everyone appreciates the perfect Sav Blanc to accompany their fall salad.
- Stuart Cellars Winery – 2006 Malbec, $35 – This tasty drinkable red will prepare the palate for the heartier main course. The nose has distinct fruity aromas of blueberry, lingonberry, strawberry, and red roses. Heralded as the national grape of Argentina, Stuart is one of few Temecula wineries that grow this trendy varietal.
Bold main courses:
- Hart Winery – 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon, Volcanic Ridge Vineyard, $36 – This full-bodied, intensely flavored wine was produced from a unique vineyard in the Temecula AVA, sited on a 2400-foot elevation ridge nearly within view of the Pacific Ocean; swept by cooling ocean breezes, with red volcanic soils from which thousands of volcanic rocks were removed before planting. Structured for lengthy aging and backed with European oak, this is truly a benchmark Cabernet. Very limited: only 123 cases were bottled! Silver Medal, Pacific Rim International Wine Competition.
- Mount Palomar Winery – Castelletto 2006 Sangiovese, $24 – Aged in a mixture of French, American and Hungarian oak barrels for 28 months. Full-bodied, yet doesn’t get in the way of your rich entree.
- Ponte Family Estate – 2006 Holiday Reserve Zinfandel Magnum, $39.95 -This scrumptious Zin is full of blackberry and currant flavors, perfect for enjoying with holiday fare such as prime rib and baked ham. Plus, the Magnum size is always impressive for entertaining!
- Callaway Vineyard & Winery – 2009 Special Selection Muscat Canelli, $18, Round out your holiday meal with a luscious, tropical fruit salad. Pineapple, melon, jasmine, and cherry blossom lead to the silken palate of mango, kumquat, blood orange and earthy allspice.
- Keyways Vineyard & Winery – Simply Roussanne 2009, $26 – Refresh the palate with this off-dry white made with 100% Roussanne grapes. It retains the similar rich and delicate flavors characteristic of this French grape, but with a creamier texture and a mellow sweetness that compliments Grandma’s pumpkin pie just right.
- Robert Renzoni Vineyards – Paradiso Port, $48 – a perfect pairing with chocolate anything! Aged in small French oak barrels for thirty-six months, this Italian port offers a silky, rich finish. The elegant black bottle affixed with the Renzoni family crest makes a beautiful holiday gift for that special wine-lover.
Your one-stop (outdoor) shop:
Temecula Farmer’s Market:
Corner of 6th & Front St. in Old Town Temecula
Have the farm come to you! Sign-up to get a big bag of produce to pick-up at convenient local spots:
Inland Empire CSA
Support your family-owned artisanal market, while they support the local agriculture:
Delaneys Hundred Mile Market
In Season Now: apples, artichokes, green beans, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, citrus, eggplant, potatoes, corn, pomegranates, persimmons, winter squash, turnips, pears, yams, spinach, kale