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Archive for December, 2012

Five Fun Facts About… Merlot

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

Considered one of the most food-friendly and approachable wines on the planet, Merlot surged to popularity in the United States in the 1990s. Now wine-lovers can find great Merlot and delicious Merlot blends from all over the world – from South America to France to Italy to right here in Temecula Valley, California.

Here are five fun facts about Merlot!

Sourced from Snooth/Wikipedia
  1. Did you know the word “merlot” translates to “young blackbird” in French? The name was thought to have been given either because of the grape’s beautiful blue-black color, or blackbird’s fondness for grapes.
  2. Merlot’s flavor profile fluctuates within the sweetness spectrum. Cooler climates bring out hints of berries, plum, and even tobacco. Merlot grown in hotter climates might mimic flavors found in fruitcake or chocolate.
  3. A bit about Merlot blends: When Merlot first arrived in California, it mostly sold as single varietal bottlings (100% Merlot) until winemakers began blending it with other red grapes in the French Bordeaux tradition. Now, California’s Meritage wines are a signature of the state and always include Merlot as one of the essential blending grapes.
  4. Merlot is so popular because of the grape’s ability to please all palates. Wines can range from very fruity simple wines to more serious, barrel-aged bottles.
  5. Merlot has a high sugar content and low acidity, which makes it a very food-friendly wine, able to be paired with a variety of dishes. For example, Cabernet-like Merlots pair well with grilled meats. Softer, fruitier Merlots go well with salmon, mushroom-based dishes and greens. Light-bodied Merlots pair well with shellfish like prawns or scallops, especially if wrapped in bacon or prosciutto.

 

Looking for a great bottle of Temecula Valley MerlotCheck these wines out!

 

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Winery Spotlight: Get to Know… Baily Vineyard & Winery

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

The Story

Baily Vineyard & Winery was established in 1986 by Phil and Carol Baily with the goal of producing excellent wine from their own grapes to be sold primarily out of the winery. Specializing in Bordeaux varietals, Phil and Carol handle all aspects of the winery, from vineyard maintenance to customized blending to creating the delicious menu at their popular restaurant.

The Wines

The Bailys have been making wine in Temecula Valley for 26 years. They are proud to be an estate-bottled winery, which means that all the grapes are grown in the same vineyard and made by the same winemaker – Phil himself! Baily wines offer a depth and consistency that appeal to the advanced wine enthusiast. A trip to the tasting room gives visitors a chance to try all their favorite varietals – from Chardonnay and Riesling to Cabernet and Merlot; plus some fantastic blends! Meritage is their flagship blend and features Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Malbec. Fans of white blends should be sure to taste the Montage.

Check out their wine store here!

Wine Tasting

  • Open from 11 to 5 daily, 10 to 5 on Saturdays
  • $10 per person – weekdays, weekends and holidays
  • Taste any 6 different wines (no restrictions)

 

New! Private Library Wine Tasting

Baily Winery now offers private tastings for up to 12 people at the exclusive Estate Club located on Pauba Road. This VIP experience features a vertical tasting and private tour of the winemaking facility. Private tastings are personally hosted by Phil Baily. Baily is one of the few Temecula wineries that has built an inventory of vintages dating back to 2003. Vertical tastings highlight the changes in a particular grape over time.  Currently, Baily Winery vertical tastings feature 5 years of Merlot, 5 years of Cabernet, and 5 years of their Meritage blend.

Private tastings are by appointment only.  Please call 951.676.9463 for availability.
Introductory price is $25 (reg $40.) Please see website for more details.

Carol’s Restaurant

A popular stop for lunch, Carol’s Restaurant offers delicious California and Mediterranean fare.

Open Thur & Fri 11:30-2pm; Sat & Sun 11:30-3pm. Al fresco dining is available. For reservations, please call 951-676-9243.

Baily Winery address & phone number: 33440 La Serena Way (Corner of Rancho California Road) | 951-676-WINE (9463) | www.bailywinery.com

 

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New Year’s Eve Parties in Temecula Valley: Celebrate in Wine Country!

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

Ring in New Year’s Eve in Temecula Valley wine country! Choose from delectable multi-course dinners, dancing, elaborate winery parties and more. 

See some options below or call your favorite Temecula Valley winery to see what else is happening in wine country this December 31st!

Looking for that perfect New Year’s Eve bubbly to toast? Scroll down for a list of Temecula wineries which offer sparkling wine and California Champagne.

 

Baily Winery

Early New Year’s Party

Monday, December 31; 5:00p-9:00p

Dine in the beautiful Bacchus Hall and dance to the music of Fandango.  Four-course dinner includes complimentary glass of champagne.

$40 per person, plus tax and gratuity. Limited seating.  Reservations required by calling 951- 676-9243

 

Ponte Winery

New Year’s Eve dinner at The Restaurant at Ponte

Monday, December 31; 5:00-8:00pm

Enjoy a special menu in the barrel room. Dinner is by reservation only, please call 951-252-1770 to make your reservation.

For those who wish to spend the night, we invite guests to book at room at Ponte Vineyard Inn and enjoy a complimentary bottle of Moscato, exclusive access to The Cellar Lounge, a midnight toast and a late check-out. Please note that The Cellar Lounge will not be open to any non-hotel guests that night.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Vineyard Rose Fire & Ice Dinner

Monday, December 31; Seating from 6:00p-9:30p

$150 per person. Must be 21 years or older

Includes four-course fixed menu, musical entertainment by the Gayle St. Gregory 5-piece band, party favors and a bottle of wine.

Call 951-587-9463 Ext 1 or visit us online here for reservations.

 

Fire & Ice New Year’s Eve Party & Balloon Drop

Monday, December 31; 8:00p-1:00a

Party is $75 per person. Must be 21 years or older.

Ticket price includes hors d’oeuvres, party favors, bottle of wine and champagne toast.  Enjoy dancing to the music mix of DJ Dillenger.

Call 951-587-9463 Ext 1 or visit us online here for reservations. Be sure to ask about our all-inclusive overnight stay packages.  These packages sell out each year so reserve early!

 

Wilson Creek Winery

Jet-Setting Rockin’ New Years Eve Celebration

Monday, December 31; 7:00p to 12:30a

$160 per person, plus gratuity and tax

Grab your passport and celebrate this New Year’s Eve on a journey around the world! As your surroundings transform, you will begin with a midnight toast in Australia, then London, next Egypt and back to New York in time for the ball drop and the final New Year’s toast to welcome in 2013, all without boarding a plane!  During your globetrotting evening enjoy a 4-course dinner, a hosted wine and champagne bar pouring only the finest, and groove to the electric, funky, soul sounds of Sibling Rivalry. Reservations: 951-699-9463

 

Sparkling Wine and California Champagne

The following Temecula wineries offer sparkling wines, available for purchase online and in the tasting rooms. Cheers!

 

Temecula Valley Wine Country wishes you a safe, healthy and happy New Year!  See you in 2013!

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Wine Country Recipe: New York Steaks with Gorgonzola-Walnut “Butter”

Friday, December 14th, 2012

New York Steaks with Gorgonzola-Walnut “Butter”

…Paired with Cougar Meritage Red Wine

Courtesy of Cougar Vineyard & Winery

Serves 4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients:

4 New York steaks
½ cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly chopped rosemary
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the “butter”
8 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, cut into small chunks
1 teaspoon white-wine or regular Worcestershire
2 teaspoons green peppercorns
¼ cup lightly toasted walnut halves
1 ½ tablespoons minced chives
6 drops Tabasco

How to make:

Place steaks in a glass dish. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, garlic, vinegar, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Marinate in refrigerator covered for 2 to 3 hours. Remove steaks from marinade when ready to grill.

To make “butter”, combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender and process for about a minute until mixed thoroughly. Can be refrigerated, but plan to serve at room temperature.

Prepare a hot fire and grill steaks for 5 to 6 minutes per side or until cooked to desired doneness. Shortly after turning, slather a mound of Gorgonzola butter on steaks and allow it to melt slightly while the steaks finish cooking.

Serve with couscous and additional Gorgonzola butter.

Enjoy with a nice glass of Cougar Meritage!

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