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Archive for December, 2011

Winemaker’s Roundtable: 5 Facts About Sparkling Wine

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Nothing says the holidays like a glass of bubbly, so this is the perfect month to explore what many of you will be toasting with while counting down to the New Year!

  1. Many wine historians believe the world’s first sparkling wine was produced in the Limoux region of southwestern France in 1531 by monks.
  2. The British were the first to see effervescence in wine as a desirable quality and investigated as to why the bubbles were formed.
  3. Grapes used for sparkling wine are harvested early, when their acid levels are still high.
  4. There are two different methods for the secondary fermentation of sparkling wine. The Méthode Champenoise (The Champagne Method) is where the base cuvee is combined with sugar and yeast in the bottle in which it is eventually sold, while The Charmat Method takes place in steel tanks in which the yeast and sugar are added to start the fermentation process.
  5. There are many kinds of sparkling wines- from France’s Crémant to Spain’s Cava; Italian Prosecco to Portuguese Espumante….the list goes on and on.

 

Some sparkling wines to enjoy for your holiday from Temecula Valley Wine Country:

Briar Rose Brut Champagne

Danza del Sol Espumosa

Maurice Car’rie VR Raspberry California Sparkling Wine

Lorimar Vineyards Grenache Sparkling

Oak Mountain Brut California Champagne

South Coast Winery’s Spumante Diamante

Thornton Winery’s 2004 Brut Reserve Natural

Wilson Creek Winery’s Grand Cuvee Champagne

 

 

 

 

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Wine Country Recipe: Robert Renzoni’s Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011

This month’s Wine Country Recipe is from the wonderful folks at Robert Renzoni Vineyards. It’s a classic Spaghetti Alla Carbonara- a decadent pasta dish made from pancetta, eggs and Parmigiano Reggiano. Using farm-fresh, free-range organic eggs and aged Parmigiano Reggiano will take this dish up to a whole new level, so make sure to put those items on your shopping list. Also- you don’t want to forget the wine- a dish this delicious deserves a nice Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2008 Sangiovese. Salute!

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

1 lb dry spaghetti
2 tbsp Robert Renzoni Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 oz diced pancetta
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
fresh ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley

Bring large pot of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook 8-10
minutes. Meanwhile, heat Robert Renzoni Olive Oil in a deep skillet
over medium flame. Add pancetta and cook for 2-3 minutes. Toss the
garlic into the skillet with the pancetta and sauté for another minute,
then reduce flame to slow cooking.

Drain pasta and save a little water. Add drained spaghetti to the
skillet with pancetta and garlic. At this point, beat the eggs and
chopped parsley. You can add some of the pasta water for better
consistency.

Serve on a big oval plate, Italian Family Style, and garnish with
Parmigiano Reggiano and fresh chopped Italian parsley.

Serve with Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2008 Sangiovese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe courtesy of Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Rustico Ristorante and
Pizzeria

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Temecula Valley Wine Country Restaurants

Thursday, December 8th, 2011

January is California Restaurant Month, so we’d like to take this opportunity to preview the month-long event by highlighting the bounty of restaurants right here in Temecula Valley Wine Country. In case you needed another reason to visit beautiful Temecula Wine Country, here are eight more mouthwatering ways to get the most out of your wine country experience!

The Restaurant at Ponte: Recognized as a top 50 restaurant for outdoor dining in the US by OpenTable, the Restaurant at Ponte serves a wide selection of Farmers’ Market salads, grape-wood fired pizzas, fresh pasta dishes, natural beef, sustainable seafood and homemade desserts. Chef Vincent Logan’s seasonally-driven menu uses only what is fresh and available at that time of year. Share a bottle of Ponte wine with friends over the Butcher’s Platter– the Chef’s selection of cured meats, olives, mustards and capers, or treat yourself to the Lobster Macaroni made with three cheeses and topped with herbed breadcrumbs. Whether you decide on one of Ponte’s signature wood-fired pizzas, grilled seafood options or the Chocolate Blackout Cake, you’ll always have a delicious experience at The Restaurant at Ponte.

The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars: Chef Daragh Matheson crafts Italian and French provincial cuisine for this 3,800 square foot restaurant overlooking the vineyards at Lenoness Cellars. Hailing from Ireland, Chef Daragh is a classically trained chef who has worked in some of the world’s top restaurants, including the Michelin-named Whites on Green in Dublin. Guest favorites include the Mac ‘n Cheese with Truffle Oil, Hand-cut French Fries Topped with Crispy Bacon and Parmesan,  and Rack of Lamb with Tomato and Mint Sauce. Next time you’re in the mood to be swept away on a wine and culinary experience, try The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars.

The Pinnacle at Falkner Winery: Voted 2010 Best Restaurant and Best Chef by readers of Inland Empire Magazine, The Pinnacle offers Mediterranean-style cuisine and outstanding service, in addition to Falkner wines. Appetizers include Fresh Asparagus Wrapped in Prosciutto, Ancho Spiced Shrimp and Avocado, and the Trio of Mushroom Soup. For heartier appetites, the Baked Chicken Cannelloni, topped with alfredo sauce and parmesan cheese, is the perfect choice to satisfy that craving for comfort food. For California Restaurant Month in January, Chef Gianni Ciciliot will be offering The Winemaker’s Pasta- fresh pasta tossed with jumbo shrimp and fresh herbs- for only $15.00.

Meritage Restaurant at Callaway Winery: Executive Chef Michael Henry creates diverse, seasonal menus that accentuate Callaway’s long history of fine Temecula wine. Having worked at many top fine dining establishments, including a stint at Cesar’s in Atlantic City for Celebrity Chef Robert Irvine, Chef Michael focuses on freshness and seasonality for the menu at Meritage. Share a variety of tapas (small plates) like Crispy Steak Fries with Parmesan, Parsley & Peppercorn Aioli, Ceviche “Mixto” with Ahi, Octopus, Clams, Mussels & Blue Crab and Asparagus Risotto Fritters with Gorgonzola & Roasted Garlic Cream with a group. The Kobe Beef Cheese Steak Sandwich with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms, Provolone, Peppercorn Aioli & Fries and Spaghettini & Carlsbad Manila Clams & Mussels with an Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Fennel & Baby Tomato Sauce are both popular entrees that can be enjoyed while looking out onto Callaway’s gorgeous vineyards. In January, for California Restaurant Month, guests will have the opportunity to order a Roasted Pork Belly or Grilled Jumbo Shrimp Kebob with taste of paired wines for just $20.

Carole’s Restaurant at Baily Vineyard and Winery: Carole’s Restaurant menu incorporates local produce, fruits and herbs, honey, olive oil, and estate grown produce. Nosh on some Mushroom Drops- Crimini mushrooms stuffed with basil and sundried tomato cream cheese- while trying to decide between the Duet of Raviolis, the Tri-Tip Skewers with Gorgonzola Butter, the BBQ Pork Loin Sandwich and the other mouthwatering offerings on Carole’s entree menu.  Sit near the fireplace, enjoy live music every Saturday and Sunday and finish off your meal with a glass of Baily’s 2006 Vintage Port. What an amazing evening!

Shorty’s Bistro at Mount Palomar Winery: Shorty’s Bistro’s Mediterranean inspired appetizers, sandwiches, homemade soups, freshly made hummus, stone oven pizzas, delicious entrees and elegant desserts make it an ideal choice for wine country guests looking for variety.  Meat-lovers would be thrilled with the Braciole Beef Baguette, a sandwich of seasoned roast beef, charred tomato, whole grain mustard, gouda, lettuce and onion while vegetarians can delight in The Quattro Fromaggio, a stonebaked pizza topped with mozzarella, cheddar, monterey jack, feta and parmesan cheese with fresh rosemary and extra virgin olive oil. On Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, Shorty’s is opened for dinner, and the eclectic menu features a Sweet Onion & Chicken Tart, Seared Salmon with Sofrito and Tri Tip Roast with Portabella Mushroom. Mark your calendars for January’s California Restaurant Month, since Shorty’s will be offering Scallops and Shrimp Skewers Over Risotto, served with wine and cheesecake for a set price of only $30.

Vineyard Rose Restaurant at South Coast Winery and Spa: Vineyard Rose offers wine country visitors a taste of Southern California with a hint of Tuscany. Start your day off with a delicious breakfast (served Monday through Friday from 7:00-10:45am) of Rolling Hills Bananas Foster Pancakes, Country Biscuits With Sausage Gravy or a California Spa Omelette. The lunch menu has something for everyone, with items ranging from Coconut Shrimp all the way to Lamb Osso Buco. Planning a romantic dinner? The Vineyard Rose Restaurant not only offers the ambiance, but dishes like Gnocchi al Fresco and Butter Poached Scallops will help set the mood for a meal to remember.

Café Champagne at Thornton Winery prides itself on its “Contemporary Fusion Cuisine,” which has won the Gold Award for Contemporary Cuisine for eleven consecutive years from the Southern California Restaurant Writers Association. The Vineyard Tapas Plate, comprised of Tuscan Salami, Garlic Herb Shrimp, Marinated Mushrooms, Roasted Tomato, Olives, Goat Cheese Spread and Cracker Bread pairs perfectly with Thornton’s 2010 Tempranillo, while the Baby Spinach and Honey Roasted Pear Salad goes well with Thornton’s 2010 Mouvedre. Dinner entrees such as the Butter Poached Lobster Panini and the Pan Roasted Maple Glazed Salmon are two of the many reasons why Café Champagne was granted 5 stars for contemporary cuisine from the Southern California Restaurant Writers.

 

Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery: Executive Chef Steve Stawinski brings 20 years of experience to the newest member of the Temecula Valley Wine Country restaurants. The Fall menu features a California Cheese Plate, Red Curry Pumpkin Dip in addition to an array of salads and sandwiches. When owner Mick Wilson discovered an allergy to gluten, he had Chef Steve develop a gluten free menu, which includes Flatbread with Zinfandel Soaked Dried Cherries, Creekside Garden Rosemary, Fresh Mozzarella, CA Olive Oil and Blackberry Balsamic Vinegar and a Creekside Burger served on a gluten free bun. Surrounded by the lush 30 year old Cabernet grapevines, herb garden and flower-filled baskets, the view and ambiance set the scene for an enjoyable day in the wine country.

Anyone hungry yet? Contact any one (or all) of these fine, wine country restaurants to check hours of operation, seasonal menu items and special offers. Make your reservation today!

 

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SoCal Wine TV: Tour Monte de Oro Winery

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Monte de Oro Winery is one of the newest and most modern of the Temecula Valley wineries.  The winery offers state-of-art winemaking facilities, an enormous patio with a grand view of the vineyards, and a delicious selection of red, white, and sparkling varieties.  Their newest addition is the MDO Wine Bar & Bistro, open Saturdays and Sundays from 11am-4pm.

 

 


Monte De Oro Wine Tast­ing Experiences

Tra­di­tional Tast­ing Expe­ri­ence — Enjoy your tast­ing in the Main Room or on the patio, includes 6 tastes. $10 per per­son (glass not included.)

Pri­vate Tast­ing Expe­ri­ence – 60 minute tasting in a pri­vate set­ting, includes 6 tastes, imported & domes­tic cheese plate.
Reser­va­tion Required – $25.00 per per­son, 10 per­son min­i­mum (glass not included.)

The Tast­ing Room at Monte De Oro is open 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Mon­day through Sun­day. For direc­tions to Monte De Oro Win­ery, click here.


Tours at Monte De Oro

For $16, take a tour of the beautiful property and winemaking facilities.

Tour Includes:  Bar­rel room tour, tour of the grounds, wine mak­ing edu­ca­tion, bar­rel tast­ing and tra­di­tional tast­ing (glass not included.)

Available on week­ends 11am & 1pm; call for reser­va­tions

*For more infor­ma­tion, please call 951–491-6551 or email info@montedeoro.com

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