Archive for February, 2016

March Winery Events

Monday, February 29th, 2016


Spring has sprung in Temecula Valley Wine Country!  We’ve seen bud break in many of our vineyards, signaling the end of winter and the beginning of a new season.  From St. Patrick’s Day to Easter and everything in between, the wineries have something for everyone!

Baily Vineyard & Winery
Shakespeare in the Vines presents The Complete History of America Abridged / March 3 (Preview), 4, 5, 6, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17, 18 and 19 / 7:00pm (Doors open at 6pm) / Playing at Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery / Tickets begin at $17. Group discounts available / For information and reservations please call 951.402.7488 or visit the website www.shakespeareinthevines.org

3rd Annual Dog Easter Egg Hunt at Carol’s Restaurant / March 27th / 1:00pm until all eggs are gone! / Plastic eggs are filled with turkey hot dogs. All dogs must be on a leash. Owners are responsible to make sure dogs do not eat the plastic eggs / Free to attendees.

Dog Day Sundays
Every Sunday / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch, doggie treats and special menu items / Live acoustic music on the patio.

Estate Club Private Wine Tasting
Thursday-Sunday / 11:00a-2:30p / Tours and vertical tasting of library wines. Sit down with bread and cheese plate; $30 (Reservations required 24 hours in advance) / Bar Tasting; $20. Call for reservations: 951-972-9768.

Bel Vino Winery
Karaoke Night / Every Friday night 6p-9p / Free admission / Karaoke every Saturday night at Bel Vino Winery in the Barrel Room / Happy Hour from 6pm-7pm; Half off wine and beer and open kitchen.

Live Music / Saturday 12pm – 4pm / Sunday 11am-3pm

Briar Rose Winery
Sip Into the Sunset / First Friday of each month / Open until 10pm / Live music from 6p-9m and wine under the stars in our enchanted garden or tasting room / Purchase a glass of wine or a bottle / Outside food allowed at these events only / Reservations required; call 951.308.1098

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Live Music at the Winery Tasting Room / 1pm – 4pm / No charge / Enjoy live music in the main tasting room

Happiest Hours / Friday’s from 3:00p-6:00p in the lounge at Meritage at Callaway / Grab your friends and join us for a marvelous time! 20% all tapas, 20% off bottles of Callaway wines and available domestic, import and craft beers.

Sangria Sundays at Meritage at Callaway / Every Sunday at Meritage at Callaway / 4pm-8pm/ Enjoy sipping on our very own Watermelon Sangria while soaking in the sunset vineyard views in our main dining room. Live music from local musicians begins at 6pm / No cover charge / Reservations for parties of 5 or more are required.

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $40pp / Available Mid-week 1pm and 3pm; Weekends 1pm and 3pm / Reserve your place for an indulgent wine and food pairing designed to tantalize the senses. Guests enjoy five specially-selected Carter Estate Winery wines paired perfectly with a variety of cured meats, artisan cheeses and accompanied with season accoutrements. Each pairing last approximately 90 minutes and is limited to just eight participants to allow for one-on-one interaction / For reservations call today: 844.851.2138

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
4th Annual St. Patricks’s Day 15K and 5K / March 13th / 8:30am / Start and end the race at Cougar! / A portion of the proceeds from this event will go to the Rose Again Foundation / Race through country roads and vineyards as you wind your way to the finish line and a glass of green champagne in honor of St. Patricks’s Day / 21+ race entry includes a champagne tasting and signature glass to keep. Then, spend the afternoon celebrating (wine country) the Irish way at Cougar Winery. This is a challenging, hilly course, so be prepared for an exhilarating run! / Limited to the first 200 participants so register today at http://sandyfeetevents.com/temecula-st-patricks-day-15k

Friday Night Live Music / 5pm-8pm / Free to attend / Happy Hour 2 for 1 glasses of wine from 7-8pm / Deli is open until 7pm / Mar. 4th – Kenny Hale / Mar. 11th – Jeff Brinkman / Mar. 18th – Frankie and the Invisibles / Mar. 25th – Jerry Gontang

Doffo Winery
Winemaker Vertical Zinfandel Dinner / March 19 / 6pm / $125 pp / A five course dinner presented by Chef Louie Ortiz from Austin, TX. Chef Ortiz’s bio and will be featured in our blog post through our website on March 2nd / This event is limited to 40 guests. For reservations please visit our website at www.doffowines.com

Europa Village
Easter Lunch / March 27 / 12:00pm – 3:00pm / $39 for Adults, $15 Kids under 12 yrs. / Plated luncheon, Egg Hunt with Easter Bunny, Face Painting, Live Music / Reservations are required. Please visit our website at www.europavillage.com or call 951.695.7175

Friday Night Entertainment / 5:30p- 8:30p / Free / Live music in the Cave / Mar. 4th – James Wells / Mar. 11th -Two Fish / Mar. 18th – Tom Bray / Mar. 25th – Dustin Jake
Live Music every Sunday/ 1pm- 4pm / Free / Live music on Veranda / Mar. 6th – Jimmy Patton / Mar. 13th – Luis Andre / Mar. 20th – Apryle Dalmacio

Falkner Winery
Easter Brunch at The Pinnacle Restaurant / Sunday, March 27 / 10am – 3:30pm / $54.95pp; Wine Club $49.95pp. Children (3-10 yrs.) $24, Wine Club $19 / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Entertainment provided by Jeff Johnson / Reservations required 951.676.8231 option 4

Wine Appreciation Class / Saturday, March 19 / 10:00am-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45pp; $40pp Connoisseur; $20pp VIP; $70pp with lunch / Reservations required 951.676.8231 x.109.

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Dueling Pianos / March 24 / 6pm-9pm / $15 pp / Fee includes a glass of wine from our Premium menu. Pairings will be open at 5:00pm with a special menu for one night only / Tickets are available online http://www.lorimarwinery.com/feat-event-157410/Dueling-Pianos.html, or by calling 951.694.6699 x4

Miramonte Winery
Live Music & Entertainment / Every Friday and Saturday / 7pm-10pm / Free to the public / Mar. 4th – Mercedes Moore / Mar. 5th – Devocean / March 11th Ruben V / Mar. 12th – Bluefish / Mar. 18th – Mickie Arnett / Mar. 19th – Missy Andersen / Mar. 25th – JD Priest / Mar. 26th Tricia Freeman / No reservations required. For more information please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Monte De Oro Winery
WINE Bingo Night / Saturday, March 12 / Doors open at 6:30pm. Game starts at 7:00pm / $30 pp / includes a glass of wine, 10 Bingo games and 3 Bingo cards per game; 30 chances to win! / Additional refreshments and food from our Bistro will be available for purchase / RSVP at montedeoro.com and then go to Online Store – Order Events.

Zinfandel Blind Tasting / Friday, March 18 / Reception at 7:00pm, Tasting at 7:30pm / $60 pp includes tasting, two appetizer courses and a dessert course / At least 10 Zinfandels from Temecula, Napa, Paso and other wine regions will be tasted. Can you guess what region each is from? We un-wrap the brown bags at the end of the night / RSVP at montedeoro.com and then go to Online Store – Order Events.

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nite – Butterfly Kisses II / 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM / Sat, March 5 / $45.00 pp /
For reservation contact us at 760-413-5808 or https://www.paintnite.com/events/1033832.html

Paint Nite – Blue Poppies II / 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM / Sat, March 12 / $45.00 pp /
For reservation contact us at 760-413-5808 or https://www.paintnite.com/events/1033832.html

Paint Nite – Bright Lotus / 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM / Sat, March 26 / $45.00 pp /
For reservation contact us at 760-413-5808 or https://www.paintnite.com/events/1033832.html

Ponte Family Estate Winery
Live Music in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar open late every day, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn. The Cellar offers live music every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday night! Sip to the sounds of a variety of musicians, from jazz sax and alternative contemporary to rock blues! / Time and Entertainment schedule varies / Free to attend

Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-7pm / Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour for specials on craft beer, flatbreads, wine and more!

First Sundays – Live Music in the Reserve Room*
First Sunday of the month/ 12:00p-4:00p / Jason Weber, Jazz Sax / The Reserve Room will host a variety of live musical artists the first Sunday of each month in 2015. *The Reserve Room is a tasting room for wine club members only. Join the Wine Club and enjoy complimentary tastings in our exclusive venue.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Live entertainment at the Vineyard Rose / Friday and Saturday nights for the month of February / 6:00-9:00pm

Why Limit Happy to an Hour? / Happy Hours at Vineyard Rose Restaurant Monday-Friday 3:00p-5:30p / Join us in the Vineyard Rose Lounge for reduced priced selected appetizers, award winning select glasses of South Coast wines and local drafts. PLUS corkage fees are waived for any South Coast Winery wine bottles brought in to the Vineyard Rose Restaurant and consumed while dining on Wednesdays too! / Visit www.WineResort.com to view menus and find out more.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours
Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday. $40pp / $35pp Wine Club Member. Get up close and personal as you learn more about our spectacular Southern California winery with a behind-the-scenes tour. From vineyards to crush pad, each tour concludes with a specially prepared wine and food pairing. Due to the limited sizes of each tour, advance reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Must be over 21 years of age to attend. Call 800-539-1375 Ext. 350 to reserve your spot today.

Thornton Winery
Champagne Jazz Schedule release date is March 14th! Make sure to check-out our website!

Easter Sunday at Café Champagne / March 27 / 12pm-5pm / Special Easter menu offering at Café Champagne restaurant / Please check our website www.thorntonwine.com for information and reservations.


Drink Now…Or Cellar?? The Real Story on Aging Wine

Monday, February 29th, 2016


Think all wine gets better with age?  The truth is, only a tiny fraction of wine is actually designed to stand up to and improve with aging.  In fact, 99% of all wine we buy is meant to be drunk right now. Although, when we say a wine is meant to be drunk now, we mean it is intended to be consumed within five years or so of buying it.  After those five years are up, the wine can actually start to deteriorate and lose many of the qualities that made it so delicious in the first place.

Most wines worth cellaring are considered premium wines.  Expect them to cost at least $30 a bottle.  Now, this doesn’t mean that all $30+ wines are expected to cellar well. The ability of a wine to age is influenced by many factors including grape variety, vintage, viticultural practices, wine region and winemaking style.

What’s the science behind the aging of wine?  In general, wines with a low pH (such as Pinot Noir and Sangiovese) have a greater capability of aging. With red wines, a high level of flavor compounds, such as phenolics (most notably tannins), will increase the likelihood that a wine will be able to age. Wines with high levels of phenols include Cabernet Sauvignon, Nebbiolo and Syrah.

The white wines with the longest aging potential tend to be those with a high amount of extract and acidity. The acidity in white wines, acting as a preservative, has a role similar to that of tannins in red wines. The process of making white wines, which includes little to no skin contact, means that white wines have a significantly lower amount of phenolic compounds, though barrel fermentation and oak aging can impart some phenols. Similarly, the minimal skin contact with rosé wine limits their aging potential.

So, you’ve found a wine you love…. how will you know if it’s worth storing? The smart approach is to buy direct from the winery and talk to them about the wine and how long they think it will last. They can definitely give you a good baseline for an expiration date. Of course, we say that wine is meant to be enjoyed, not looked at in a cellar, so pop your corks often!


Roasted Chicken Breast with Yukon Gold Potato Cakes and Infused Rosemary Oil Sauce

Monday, February 29th, 2016


Tender chicken breast with a delicate, rosemary-scented cream sauce served alongside a golden-toasted potato cake with Parmesan. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Chardonnay.


½ cup extra virgin olive oil

3 (3-inch) sprigs fresh rosemary

5 medium-sized Yukon Gold, or other waxy potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut in half

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup half and half or light cream

1 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions, white and light green parts

2 eggs slightly beaten, divided

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

4 (6-ounce) boneless half chicken breasts, skin on

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

½ cup half and half or light cream

½ cup chicken stock

1 cup loosely packed flat leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

½ teaspoon minced rosemary leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Heat the olive oil in a small, heavy-bottomed skillet over low heat. Add the rosemary sprigs and cook for 10 minutes. Set the pan aside.

Put the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until tender about 20 to 30 minutes.

Drain the potatoes and return them to the pan, off the heat. Add the half and half, butter, and the 1 teaspoon salt. Mix and mash the potatoes with a large whisk or potato masher to a stiff, slightly lumpy consistency.

When the potatoes are completely cool, mix in the scallions, and half of the beaten egg.

Heat the oven to 375° F.

Coat a large baking sheet with the vegetable oil. Form the potato mixture into 8 round cakes, 1-inch thick, and place them on the oiled sheet.

Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the potato cakes with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 40 minutes or until the tops of the cakes are golden brown.

While the potato cakes are cooking, sprinkle both sides of the chicken pieces generously with salt and pepper.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the rosemary oil in a medium, heavy-bottomed, ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add the chicken breasts skin side down and cook for 5 minutes. Turn the breasts over and cook 2 minutes. Spoon the fat in the pan over the chicken breasts.

Place the skillet in the oven (with the potato cakes) and roast the chicken for 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and transfer the chicken to a cutting board. Let rest, for at least 5 minutes.

In the meantime, make the sauce: Heat 2 tablespoons of the rosemary oil with the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour, and bring to a sizzle over medium heat stirring frequently.

Add the chicken stock and half and half. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, to thicken the sauce. Add the parsley and minced rosemary and simmer for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

To serve, cut each half breast crosswise into 8 slices. Arrange the chicken slices and 2 potato cakes on each plate. Spoon the sauce over the chicken.  Serves 4.

Suggested Pairings:

Bel Vino Winery ~ 2013 Chardonnay – Classic aromas of white peach and pear complemented by toasted almond aromas.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2012 Winemaker’s Reserve Chardonnay – Silky and fresh on the palate, reminiscent of tropical pineapples, zesty kumquats, creamy caramel and apples.

Falkner Winery ~ 2014 Chardonnay -Delicious ripe apple and apricot flavors in a medium bodied, creamy textured wine.

Thornton Winery ~ 2014 Chardonnay  – Green apples and barrel spices with a mineral note.

 Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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