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Wine & Food Pairing Tips for California Wine Month

Tuesday, August 30th, 2011


10 CALIFORNIA WINE & FOOD PAIRING TIPS

•    When enjoying cheeses either before or after dinner, consider a California sparkling wine alongside. The effervescence will stimulate the palate in such a way that both the cheeses and the wine will soar.  For a festive and tasty flourish, serve fresh California pomegranates with the cheese and add a few arils, as pomegranate seeds are called, to each glass.  Suggested sparkler: Ponte Winery, Rose Spumante

•    Enjoy smoked fish—oysters, salmon, lox, trout, sturgeon and sablefish, for example—with California sparkling wine.  Suggested sparkler: Danza del Sol Winery, Espumosa Chardonnay Brut

•    California Sauvignon Blanc loves green vegetables of any kind, from artichokes and green beans to tender lettuces and zucchini.  It is also an excellent match with goat cheeses and fresh mozzarella.  Suggested Sav Blanc: Hart Family Vineyard, 2010 Sauvignon Blanc

•    California Chardonnay and Viognier blossom with corn and carrots.  Serve with corn on the cob, corn chowder, creamy polenta topped with California Teleme cheese and corn salsa, corn or carrot risotto, oven-roasted carrots and carrot fritters.  Suggested white: Callaway Vineyard & Winery, 2009 Special Selection Viognier

•    California Pinot Noir, among the world’s most versatile wines, pairs well with a classic BLT as with wild Pacific King salmon on a bed of roasted winter squash.  Delicious with turkey, California Pinot Noir is an ideal Thanksgiving wine, as well.  Suggested Pinot: Wiens Family Cellars, 2009 Pinot Noir

•    California Merlot is delightful with blueberries.  Combine blueberries with wild rice, fresh or smoked turkey and a simple balsamic vinaigrette for a main course salad to enjoy with Merlot.  To enhance the match, add a little Merlot to the dressing.  Suggested Merlot: Mount Palomar Winery, 2006 Merlot

•    Defy the conventional wisdom that pairs fish with white wine and meat with red.  A robust California Chardonnay is wonderful with rare steak and prime rib and California Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect with halibut topped with a dollop of black olive butter or tapenade.  Suggested Chard: South Coast Winery, 2008 Reserve South Coast Chardonnay /  Suggested Cab:  Monte de Oro Winery, 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon

•    Enjoy California Syrah with classic Italian dishes, such as spaghetti and meatballs, polenta and stewed sausages and lasagna.  It is also excellent with grilled red meats and ripe backyard tomatoes and roasted sweet peppers.  Suggested Syrah: Europa Village, 2006 C’est La Vie Syrah

•    California Zinfandel is a perfect quaff with burgers, ribs, fajitas and chili but vegetarians will be thrilled to know it is also the best choice with lentils, especially when served with grilled Portobello mushrooms.  Suggested Zin: Doffo Vineyard & Winery, 2009 Syrah

•    For a simple, healthy and delicious dessert, combine seasonal fruits—such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, plums and peaches—with a little sugar and chill for a couple of hours, until natural juices collect in the bowl.  Add about a cup of California Rosé or Pinot Noir, toss and serve, or spoon over vanilla ice cream, with the wine alongside.  Suggested Rosé:  Leonesse Cellars, 2010 White Merlot

 

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September Winery Events, Concerts, and the “CRUSH” Wine & Culinary Showcase

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

September brings amazing events to the wineries, including our biggest event of the year – CRUSH!  Celebrate California Wine Month in Temecula Valley and experience Southern California’s wine country at it’s best.

CRUSH: Temecula Valley’s 2nd Annual Wine & Culinary Showcase

Saturday, Sept 10 |  6:30 – 9:30pm  |  Monte de Oro Winery:  All 34 Temecula Valley wineries and more than a dozen wine country restaurants will be pouring at this fabulous once-a-year tasting event.  Click here to buy tickets now!

More September Events:

Van Roekel Vineyards & Winery

Labor Day Weekend Watermelon Feed & Skate Reunion, Saturday, Sept 4 from noon-4pm – call 909-699-6961 for more information

Wiens Family Cellars

Friday Night Wine Lounge, 5:30pm

September 9 – Old School
September 16 –JD Priest

80’s Flashback Festival Friday, September 23
Doors Open 5:30pm- Concert Begins at 8:00pm   Buy tickets

Wilson Creek Winery

Jeff Golub Concert (Golub is a contemporary jazz guitarist with 6 solo albums and 3 CD’s as the leader of the instrumental band “Avenue Blue”)

September 17- 7:00 pm

$55 General Admission • $49 Wine Club General Admission

$75 Preferred • $68 Wine Club Preferred

$120 Dinner • $108 Wine Club Dinner

Call for Reservations: 951.699.9463

Purchase on-line: www.wilsoncreekwinery.com


Winemakers Dinner

September 22nd at 6:30pm

Join Winemaker Etienne Cowper and Executive Chef Steve Stawinski for an inspired, exquisitely paired 3 course dining experience.

$50.00 per person; $45.00 per person Wine Club

Limited Seating

Call for Reservations: 951.699.9463

Purchase on-line: www.wilsoncreekwinery.com

 

Doffo Winery

September 25: We are releasing our special 2009 Malbec Reserve (95 cases) and our 2009 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (200 cases).

We’re also happy to announce the ompletion of our new production facility / moto-barrel room. Read more here.

Thornton Winery

Champagne Jazz Concert Series

GEORGE BENSON
with special guest Brian Simpson
Saturday, September 3rd – 7pm
General Admission Ticket $ 95.00
Gourmet Supper Package $ 170.00

SUMMER JAM
Featuring Norman Brown & Richard Elliot
Saturday, September 10th – 7pm
General Admission Ticket $ 75.00
Gourmet Supper Package $ 150.00

CHRIS BOTTI
Sunday, September 18th – 4pm
General Admission Ticket $ 95.00
Gourmet Supper Package $ 160.00

JAZZ ATTACK
Featuring Peter White, Rick Braun & Gerald Albright
Sunday, September 25th – 4pm
General Admission Ticket $ 75.00
Gourmet Supper Package $ 140.00

Monte de Oro

Classic Rock n Wine Concert – Friday, September 2
Doors Open 6:00pm, Concert Begins 6:00pm-10:00pm
Complimentary Glass of Wine- Your Choice
$25.00 General/$20.00 Wine Club/ $30.00 at the door
Concession Food will be available
Happy Hour on the Hill
Every Friday in September
4:00p-8:00p

1st Annual MDO Grape Stomp
Sunday, September 18
11:00a-3:00p
$35 Adults; $12.50 Kids. Buy tickets here

Breakfast with the Balloons
Saturday & Sunday, September 24 & 25
7:00a-9:00a
$29.99 Adults; $12.99 Kids 13 & Under. Buy tickets here

Baily Winery

October 22: 25th Anniversary Party
Dinner and wine included
$100 per person
Call for reservations – (951) 676-9463
Limited seating available- Call Today!
Live music every Saturday and Sunday in September from 2p-5p
Check their website at www.cougarvineyards.com for performers schedules.

1st Semi-Annual Salsa and Guacamole Competition
Compete for the best in the west.  Spicy, hot, savory, everything tasty judged by professionals.  Feast on carne asada taco buffet, plus your choice of sangria, wine or a Black Market Brewery special select beer.
$30 per person; $25 per person (wine club members). Buy tickets here

Falkner Winery
The Complete Works of William Shakespere
September 9, 10, 16, 17, 23, 24
All performances are outside on hilltop lawn area
Doors open at 6:30pm- Performances begin at Sunset
Tickets – $20; $15 for Seniors, Military, Students
Wine Down Fridays
September 9 and 23: 7:00p-9:30p
Includes dinner and a glass of wine and cover charge for live entertainment.
$15 Members; $25 non-Members. Buy tickets here

MoKeyto Saturdays– Enjoy complimentary music as you sip a glass of our Mojito. Mojito available by the glass. Wine available by glass or bottle.

Live entertainment: 1:30p-5:30p
September 3: Naomi Balcombe
September 10:  Jodi Siegel
September 17: Steph Johnson
September 24: Kelly Fitzgerald
Sangria Serenade– Enjoy complimentary music as you sip a glass of Keyways’ Sangria  or your favorite Keyways wine. Sangria available by the glass. Wine available by glass or bottle.
Live entertainment: 1:30p-5:30p
September 4– Tim Cash
September 11- Tony Suraci
September 18- Yvonne Perea
September 25- JD Priest

3rd Sunday Concert Series –Hosted by the Vineyard Troubadour
Sunday, September 18
Live music from 3p-6p, with concert at 5:00p

Longshadow Ranch Winery

Sundresses & Cowboy Boots
Friday, September 16
6:00p – 10p
Live country music, grape stomping, carriage rides and mechanical bull riding.
Visit www.heyday.com for more information

Strangelove– the ultimate Depeche Mode Tribute Band
Friday, September 30
6p-10p
Visit www.heyday.com for more information

Bonfire Saturday Nights
Every Saturday 6p-10p through 10/29
Open to the public, families welcome.  Horse drawn carriage rides, mechanical bull riding, face painting for the kids.  No admission charge.  Call 877-80-RANCH for more information.

Masia de Yabar Winery

First Annual International Tempranillo Day
Thursday, September 1
10a-5p
Taste the 2008 Tempranillo and receive a 10% discount on purchase of a bottle!  This special event is part of a promotion with TAPAS (Tempranillo Advocates Producers and Amigos Society)
Call (951) 303-3860 for more information

Oak Mountain Winery

BBQ Smoker Cooking Class with Firehouse BBQ
Friday, September 9
6:00p-9:00p
For more info please call 951-699-9102

Live Music every Saturday in the Pavilion
1:00pm – 5:00pm – Ongoing
Jimmy Blaze – Classic Rock

Live Music every Sunday in the Pavilion
1:00pm – 5:00pm – Ongoing Temecula Events
Smooth Sax by Norm

Behind the Scenes Wine Tour
Monday through Friday at 11:00a & 1:00p and Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00a, 1:00p & 3:00p
Get up close and personal with the real workings of a winery during a harvest crush with the Behind the Scenes Wine Tour. The tour culminates with a private, plated wine & cheese pairing.
$25 non members; $20 members
Reservations strongly suggested.  Call (951) 587-9463

4th Annual Paradise Goddess Day
Friday, September 9
$150 per person
For more information, please visit www.GrapeSeedSpa.com

Bridal Open House & Mock Wedding Reception
Sunday, September 11
11:00a-4:00p
Free Admission for open house; $25 per person for reception.
Tour the beautiful resort in full wedding décor.  Attend a mock wedding reception at 4:30p
Reservations required: Call (951) 587-9463 ext. 7215 or visit The Bridal Open House

Harvest Celebration: Blessing of the Wines & Grape Stomp
Sunday, September 25
3:00p
$50 Club / $55 Non-Club; $15 Children
Fun-for-the-entire family “blessing” you won’t want to miss, complete with Chef’s fine BBQ, face painting, tractor rides through the vineyards, live musical entertainment and grape stomping contests.
Reservations Required: Call (951) 587-9463 ext. 7210 or visit www.wineresort.com

Callaway Vineyard & Winery  
Summer Sunsets at Callaway
Fridays in September – 6pm-9pm
Wine specials, appetizers and live music.   No reservations necessary.
September 2: Tim Moyer – Jazz
September 9:  Kenny Marquez – Rock
September 16: Timy Moyer – Jazz
September 23: JD Priest & Matt Workman – Country, blues, rock
September 30: Kenny Marquez – Rock
Sunday Sunset Tapas Buffet – Meritage at Callaway
Sundays in September – 5pm-9pm
Live music (beginning at 6pm) and buffet is served until 7:30pm Drink specials; Tapas buffet price is $20 per person.

Crush Party

It’s time to celebrate harvest and the end of summer at Callaway.  Get a taste of what actually goes into getting the grape from the vineyard to the table and reap the rewards of all of our hard work!
September 24 – 5:00p-9:00p
$90 per person (inclusive) $81 per person (inclusive), Legacy Club Members. Buy tickets here  
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Winery Spotlight: Get to Know… Europa Village

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Europa Village is one of Temecula Valley’s newest wineries, having had their grand opening just this past April.  If you’re planning a trip to Temecula Valley, make sure to add Europa Village onto your wine country itinerary!

The Story

The story of Europa Village is a simple one of two passionate entrepreneurs and a guild of friends coming together with the vision of creating a one-of-a-kind comprehensive Wine Country endeavor that redefines the experience of visiting and living in the thriving Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country.

Europa Village guests are transported back into history, where service was gracious and unlimited. Picture yourself slowly unwinding at Europa Village, as the melodic music of life fills the air while you sip on handcrafted wines. Like a garden of Eden, choose your pleasure, whether it be soaking in the ambiance of C’est La Vie Wine Chateau, enjoying the Spanish zest for life with a Tempranillo from Bolero Cellars, or feeling the romance of a fine Italian wine from Vienza.

The Wine

Europa Village prides itself on having a French, a Spanish, and an Italian line of wines.  C’est la Vie, Bolero, and Vienza have uniquely different styles and offer an array of varietals.  Favorites include C’est la Vie’s Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Bolero’s Tempernillo, and Vienza’s Sangiovese and Pinot Grigio.  Click on the above link to learn more!

Tastings

Europa Village is open daily from 10am to 5pm; tasting fee is $15 per person.

33475 La Serena Way, Temecula, CA 92591; (888) 383-8767; europavillage.com

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Winemaker’s Roundtable: Five Facts About… Sauvignon Blanc!

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

For this month’s roundtable, Temecula Valley is talking about Sauvignon Blanc.  We all know how popular this crisp white wine is, but here are five interesting anecdotes about this universal grape that you may not know  – toss ’em around at your next wine party!

  1. Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape variety which originates from the Bordeaux region of France. The grape gets its name from the French word sauvage (“wild”) and blanc (“white”) due to its possible early origins as an indigenous grape growing all over southwestern France.
  2. Sauvignon Blanc is widely cultivated in France, Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil, and California.  The first cuttings of Sauvignon Blanc were brought to California in the 1880s by Charles Wetmore, founder of Cresta Blanca Winery and were brought into mainstream popularity by Robert Mondavi in 1968.
  3. California Sauvignon Blancs tend to fall into two styles: The New Zealand influenced-Sauv Blanc have more tropical fruit undertones with citrus and passion fruit notes while the Mondavi-influenced Fumé Blanc are more round with melon notes.
  4. Along with Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc was one of the first fine wines to be bottled with a screwcap in commercial quantities and is usually consumed young.
  5. Sav Blanc always pairs well with cheese, chicken, and is one of the few wines that is a great match for sushi.

Pick up a great bottle of Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc from the following wineries:

 

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California Wine Month Recipe: Roast Chicken with Warm Harvest Bread Salad

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

September is California Wine Month and to celebrate the season, here are two magnificent recipes, courtesy of DiscoverCaliforniaWine.com.

ROAST CHICKEN WITH WARM HARVEST BREAD SALAD

Serves 4 to 6

Roasted chicken is versatile, delicious and easy to prepare.  Here, it is seasoned simply with fresh thyme and served with a salad of artisan bread, fall pears, black olives and the last of the season’s cherry tomatoes.  Both the chicken and the salad will welcome a range of wines so bottles of California Chardonnay and California Pinot Noir can be on the table.  Those who prefer breast meat will want the Chardonnay, while the dark meat is best with the Pinot Noir; the bread salad welcomes both.  To serve just one wine, consider a dry California Rosé.

INGREDIENTS
1 whole chicken, preferably pastured, about 4 1/2 lbs.
Kosher salt
Black pepper in a mill
5 fresh thyme sprigs
Warm Harvest Bread Salad (recipe follows)

At least 1 hour before cooking and as long as 1 day before, set the chicken on a clean work surface and pull out the chunk of fat near the main cavity.  Discard or reserve for another use.  Rinse the chicken under cool running water inside and out.  Drain thoroughly, pat dry with a clean white tea towel, wrap the chicken in the tea towel and let rest 15-20 minutes so the towel absorbs as much liquid as possible.

Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper.  Wrap in a clean tea towel for at least 30 minutes or as long as a full day.  Refrigerate.

To finish, remove the chicken from the refrigerator and preheat the oven to 475 degrees.

Put 5 thyme sprigs into the chicken’s main cavity.

Heat a ridged pan–cast iron is ideal–over high heat and when it is very hot, set the chicken in the pan, breast side down.  Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes.

Carefully turn the chicken–use tongs or a carving fork–so the breast faces up.  Cook 10 minutes more, reduce the heat to 400 degrees and cook 40 minutes more. Remove from the oven, cover with a tent of aluminum foil and let rest 15 minutes.

While the chicken cooks, make the salad.

Use a sharp knife to carve the chicken, removing both breasts first and cutting each breast into 3 diagonal pieces.  Cut off the drumsticks and the thighs.  Arrange the chicken alongside bread salad and spoon the remaining dressing over both the salad and the chicken.  Serve immediately.
Nutritional information:  180 calories per 6-ounce serving of chicken

WARM HARVEST BREAD SALAD

INGREDIENTS
1 one-pound loaf artisan bread, preferably a day old
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons pear vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
4 to 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
2 firm-ripe pears
3/4 cup pitted black olives of choice, halved
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, preferably Sweet 100’s, quartered
3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian parsley

Set the bread on a clean work surface and cut it in half crosswise.  Stand one piece, cut side down, on the work surface and use a sharp bread knife to remove the crusts and about 1/4 inch of the bread.  (Set these pieces aside to make croutons or little sandwiches.)  Cut the second piece of bread similarly.

Preheat an oven broiler.  Brush the bread very lightly all over with olive oil, set it on a sheet pan and broil until the bread takes on a little color; turn and continue until all surfaces have been lightly toasted.  Cool, tear into 2 inch pieces, put the pieces into a wide shallow serving bowl and cover; there should be about 4 to 4 1/2 cups of bread.  Set aside.  This can be done up to a day in advance.

To finish the salad, put the shallots into a small bowl, season with 1 teaspoon salt, add the sugar and vinegar and agitate the bowl gently to dissolve the sugar.  Add the thyme and let rest for 15 minutes.  Stir in 4 tablespoons of the olive oil, taste and if it seems a bit too tart, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil.

Spoon half the dressing over the bread and toss.  Set aside.
Put the butter into a medium sauté pan.

Working quickly, peel the pears, cut them in lengthwise quarters; remove the seed cores and cut into 3/4-inch dice.  Melt the butter over medium-low heat, add the pears and sauté, turning gently with a spatula, until they are lightly browned all over.  Remove from the heat and add to the bread, along with the olives, cherry tomatoes and parsley.  Toss the salad and mound it on one side of the dish.
Nutritional information:  318 calories per serving of bread salad, based on 6 servings.

A note about leftovers: Pull leftover chicken from the carcass, wrap it and store in the refrigerator. Reserve the carcass to make stock. If there is leftover salad, cover and refrigerate. The next day, make more vinaigrette, toss the leftover chicken and salad together and bring to room temperature. Drizzle with dressing and serve over fresh salad greens. Serve with a chilled California dry Rosé.

Enjoy!

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Watch our “CRUSH” teaser video now!

Friday, August 12th, 2011

Have you bought your tickets yet for our once-a-year CRUSH grand tasting event?  It’s only a month away and tickets are going fast!

Celebrate California Wine Month this September with the annual Temecula Valley Wine & Culinary Showcase on Saturday, September 10 from 6:30-9:30pm.  For only $65, guests will enjoy tastings from all 34 member wineries and more than a dozen wine country restaurants.  Taking place on the beautiful Monte de Oro winery patio overlooking the entire valley, this exciting evening will also include a sparkling wine reception, live entertainment, and personal mingling with your favorite Temecula Valley winery owners, winemakers, and chefs. 

Click here to purchase your tickets today!

 


 

 

 

 

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