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It’s a Foodie Paradise!

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

leoness

Most guests who are new to our wine country don’t realize just how unique the Temecula Valley Wine Country really is. Although, there are several aspects that make us unique, our thriving culinary scene certainly stands out at the top of the list!  In fact, there are over 15 of our wineries that have restaurants or eateries on their property.  Top chefs from all over Southern California are taking up roots in Temecula Valley Wine Country and several Temecula winery restaurants have received national acclaim.

One such restaurant, The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars, was recently rated #1 Winery Restaurant by USA Today’s 10 Best Reader’s Choice.  Also voted Best Restaurant of the IE (Inland Empire) for 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, The Restaurant at Leoness features a variety of appetizers, colorful salads, unique flatbreads, and seasonal Chef Selections.

Additionally, The Restaurant at Ponte Winery was rated by OpenTable as one of the top 100 restaurants in the US for outdoor dining.  Their al fresco dining area is surrounded by vineyards and beautifully manicured gardens.

At Ponte Vineyard Inn, Bouquet Restaurant was recently awarded the TripAdvisor 2015 Certificate of Excellence! Dine indoors or out in the fine dining setting located at the luxurious AAA Four Diamond Inn, surrounded by manicured Italian gardens with stunning views of the vineyard and our 1-acre pond. Or, if you’re just looking for a quick bite, the alluring and elegant underground Cellar Lounge is located on the basement level of the Inn and features signature cocktails, craft beer, gourmet entrées and small plates.

No stranger to winning awards, South Coast Winery Resort & Spa’s Vineyard Rose Restaurant has been the winner of the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the past five years.  They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, pairing their seasonal menu expertly with their award-winning wines.

Be sure to visit one of our winery restaurants on your next visit to Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country.  You’ll be glad you did!

Additional award-winning Temecula Valley Winery Restaurants:

Avensole Restaurant & Marketplace –  As Temecula’s newest Wine Country restaurant, Avensole offers a charming place to savor eclectic foods and delicious wines in a lively atmosphere.

Breezeway Grill at Lumiere Winery – Enjoy beautiful vineyard and mountain views from the patio of the Breezeway Grill.  Try the new peaches and ice cream dessert made with Lumiere’s Sauvignon Blanc.

Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery – Walking into Carol’s is somewhat like walking into a medieval or European castle. The menu features a variety of beautiful entrée salads, appetizers, sandwiches, fresh fish, steak, and pasta dishes.

Bel Vino Bistro -Bistro diners enjoy an upscale American menu with plates such as the seared albacore sandwich, delicious signature flatbreads, and fresh seasonal salads inspired by Chef Nathaniel Philips.

Meritage at Callaway Winery – Sitting high atop Temecula’s breathtaking wine country, Meritage at Callaway offers guests incredible panoramic views of the rolling hills and vineyards. Guests can enjoy a delightful array of fresh, farm-to-table meals, made from scratch.

Sangio’s Deli at Cougar Vineyard & Winery – Want a quick meal in the midst of wine tasting?  Look no further than Sangio’s Deli.  All Salads and Sandwiches are made to order with Boar’s Head quality products. Sliced meats and cheeses are also available.

Pinnacle at Falkner Winery – The Pinnacle offers great panoramic views, outstanding Mediterranean style food, and high quality service. Critics have consistently praised the food quality, customer service, and great ambiance at Pinnacle.

Baba Joon’s Kitchen at Fazeli Cellars – Baba Joon’s Kitchen provides a unique – and extensive – Mediterranean Persian fusion menu that results in a perfect wine pairing experience.

Flower Hill Bistro at Miramonte Winery – The bistro offers a variety of craft food items from the Fromage + Tomato, to the amazing Roasted Veggie flatbread, to the glorious Piri Piri Half Chicken.

Monte De Oro Bistro at Monte De Oro Winery – Offering casual lunch fare – seasonal salads, Panini’s, and pasta dishes along with delectable appetizers including meat & cheese plates, hummus, and seasonal snacks.

Annata Bistro at Mount Palomar Winery – Annata Bistro/Bar has a full service bar, handcrafted signature cocktail menu, beer on tap, all of the Mount Palomar Wines you know and love, and a Mediterranean inspired menu.

Cave Café at Oak Mountain Winery – With a focus on small plates of fresh, locally sourced ingredients, with creative flavor and presentation, head chef Eric Celaya offers a menu with the variety necessary to create snack plates, tapas, light meals, full Mediterranean-style dining, or even just an intimate dessert.

Mama Rosa’s Trattoria at Robert Renzoni Vineyards – Pizzas, gourmet sandwiches and pasta rule the menu here.  Guest favorites include tortellini stuffed with braised short ribs, Gorgonzola cream sauce, garlic and Prosecco, and a meatball sandwich layered with sauce, salami, chili oil and Provolone, baked and finished with basil and Parmigiano.

Café Champagne at Thornton Winery – A breathtaking entrance to the Temecula Valley Wine Country, Café Champagne’s elegance combines with “Contemporary Fusion Cuisine” to create a well-rounded flair for the total gourmet experience.

Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery – Dine al fresco among the vines and enjoy casual, yet tasteful items fill the menu with delicious appetizers, gorgeous salads, scrumptious sandwiches, and of course Creekside seasonally inspired specials.

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Temecula Wine Pairings For Your Thanksgiving Table

Friday, October 28th, 2016

Autumn table setting with pumpkins. Thanksgiving dinner and autumn decoration.

In just a few weeks, your tummy will be rumbling and your mouth salivating with the promise of the once-a-year feast that is Thanksgiving. America’s biggest food holiday serves up the chance to do some serious (and seriously fun) wine and food pairing. Here in Temecula Valley, Southern California’s Wine Country, we’ve got the perfect wine pairings to go with each Thanksgiving course. No matter what your budget, this simple guide will have your friends and family giving thanks to you for making their holiday meal extra special.

Light Appetizers + Mellow Whites

These bright yet mellow whites pair well with lighter dishes to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. The floral notes of light white wine complement a fall salad of pears, blue cheese and walnuts; a selection of fruit and cheeses match nicely with a Chardonnay; and light Pinot Grigio will sing next to your pumpkin soup.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2012 Special Selection Chardonnay; $25.00

Danza Del Sol Winery 2015 Pinot Grigio; $28.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Monte De Oro Winery 2015 Nostimo; $23.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Herbacious Side Dishes + Spicy Reds

The spicy notes derived from these unique wine grapes pair especially well with stuffings and gravies seasoned with holiday herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary. Having a vegetarian Thanksgiving? These wines work well with earthy mushroom and winter squash dishes too!

Mount Palomar Shorty’s Bistro Red; $20.00

Avensole 2012 Second Block Zinfandel; $60.95  (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Doffo Winery 2013 Syrah; $58.00

Poultry & Meats + Bold Reds

Whether it’s wine or food, everyone looks forward to the main course. The dark fruit flavors in these big reds will enhance similar flavors in your herb-rubbed turkey or peppered roasts. Whether you’re serving poultry, lamb or beef, all three are bold enough to stand up to a rich meat course.

Baily Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon; $30.00

Fazeli Cellars 2012 Khayyam; $58.00

Wiens Family Cellars 2014 Bare Knuckle Petite Sirah; $48.00

Dessert + Sweet Wines

Your Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without dessert, and no dessert is complete without wine – at least that’s how we feel! Apple pies and pear tarts are practically made to pair with Ponte’s sweet moscato, where red delicious apples, kiwi , pears, and apricots come together nicely with honeysuckle and jasmine undertones. Or try the People’s Choice Blind Tasting award winner, Briar Rose’s Estate Riesling with your fruit tarts or pies.  And for a special treat, buy a bottle of Renzoni port to pair with a fudgy chocolate cake.

Briar Rose 2013 Estate Riesling; $25.00 (1st Annual People’s Choice Blind Tasting Award Winner)

Ponte Winery 2015 Moscato; $28.00

Robert Renzoni Paradiso Port; $49.00

One Meal, One Wine

Looking to simplify your evening by serving one wine from start to finish? Any of these four, well-priced wines fit the bill. Each is lighter on the palate, with only subtle hints of sweetness making them suitable to drink from appetizers all the way to dessert. Bon appetit!

Maurice Car’rie 2015 Chenin Blanc; $20.95

Miramonte Winery 2014 Grenache Blanc; $28.95

Falkner Winery 2015 Sauvignon Blanc; $24.95

South Coast Winery Ruby Cuvee; $22.00

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Rosés: A Rise in Popularity!

Friday, April 29th, 2016

glasses-of-rose-wineAmerica has fallen in love with rosé wines, one of the fastest growing segments of the US wine market. Popularized in the South of France, rosé is now made in every major wine region around the world, including Southern California’s premier wine region, the Temecula Valley. As a matter of fact, wineries here have been making rosés for decades – Hart Winery made its first blush wine, a Rosé of Grenache, in 1980, the year the winery opened!

From sensuously sweet to classically dry to splendidly sparkling, Temecula Valley wineries deliver a myriad of styles to suit every palate and occasion.

Rosés are created by limiting the amount of time the skins of the grapes are left to sit with the colorless juice, often for only a few hours. This minimal skin contact creates a wide a range of shades, from pale salmon pink, to raspberry through to deeper strawberry hues. The grape variety will also influence the final tone. Thicker skinned varieties, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo and Cinsault, lend a slightly deeper berry red to the finished wine, while those crafted from more delicate grapes, like Grenache, may have a paler, rose-petal tinge.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that lighter means leaner when it comes to aroma and taste! Paler wines may explode with just as many notes of strawberry, raspberry, watermelon, cranberry, ripe peach and deep citrus as their bolder-colored cousins.

According to Nielsen, sales of rosé wines priced over $11 are up a staggering 60%, accounting for .2% of all table wine, about the same size as the entire US market for the wines of Portugal or South Africa. One reason for the popularity of rosé, besides its easy-drinking, laid-back, relaxed vibe, is its versatility. It’s easy to sip on its own, at the beach or poolside, and it can be the perfect foil for food. No matter the occasion, you’ll find a Temecula Valley rosé that will prove the perfect compliment.

Sparkling rosé is always a wonderful way to start a gathering of any kind. Award-winning South Coast Winery produces four fabulous blush sparklers including their NV Blanc de Noir, a classic dry style, and the popular Ruby Cuveé with a touch of berry-filled sweetness. Not to be outdone, Thornton Winery has been creating sparkling wines for many years and features several sparkling rosés on its extensive list, as do Oak Mountain Winery, Wiens and Wilson Creek wineries. These high-quality blushing bubblies fall in the $19 to $38 price range.

The region of Provence, in the south of France, is the benchmark for traditional, dry, food-friendly rosé. That tradition is alive and well in Temecula, with many of the wineries emulating this classic style, priced at an average of $22.

Hart Winery has a delightful Rosé of Tempranillo, or venture next door and try Callaway Vineyard & Winery’s Rosé of Sangiovese – it’s won a bevy of awards since its initial 2008 vintage. Travel down Rancho California Road and sample Miramonte Winery’s Rosé, made from a blend of typical Mediterranean grape varieties: Grenache, Cinsault and Syrah. Oak Mountain Winery, on the DePortola Trail, produces several variations on the Rosé theme, including their multiple-award-winning 2013 River Rhodes Rosé made with 100% Syrah. Or enjoy a bottle of Vindemia Winery’s Vermeille Grenache 2013, a lovely single-varietal blush wine.

If you crave something sweet or off-dry, you will find yourself spoilt for choice. Why not seek out Pink Crowded rosé at Wiens Famiy Cellars, an off-dry blend of Grenache, Zinfandel and Malbec. Or reach for White Zinfandel or White Merlot at Bel Vino, or relax in the gardens of Europa Village while sipping on a cool, refreshing glass of Garnacha Rosa?

Any of these choices would be stellar matches to a wide range of foods. Dry rosé is fantastic with flavorful appetizers such as tapenade, flatbreads, charcuterie platters, hummus, and soft cheeses like chèvre and brie. When it comes to main courses, pop the cork on another bottle of rosé and enjoy it with pizza, a variety of fish or poultry dishes, salads, light meats like pork or ham, or a good, juicy burger!

Off-dry styles are wonderful with firmer cheeses such as Parmesan and aged gouda. Or sample a sip with a strawberry and spinach salad!

And, of course, there’s always room for dessert, with a glass of sweet style rosé! Pair anything featuring berries, peaches, nectarines or spicy ginger with Irresistable Rosato from Falkner Winery (crafted from Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon) or Sara Bella White Cabernet Sauvignon from Maurice Car’rie Winery.

Temecula Valley vintners are bottling their rosé wines from the fantastic 2015 vintage now, in early 2016. These wines are made to be consumed fresh, upon release. So grab your beach blanket, fire up the grill or unfurl your finest white tablecloth and get ready for a superb sampling of refreshing, scintillating rosé’s from the wineries of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Grilled Chicken and Avocado Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Thursday, March 31st, 2016

AUGUST_GRILLED_CHICKEN_2_FINAL_p_c-California-Wine-Institute

This month, we’re featuring rosé wine, as there’s truly nothing more refreshing for spring celebrations and dining!  And truth be told, America has fallen in love with rosé wines; it’s one of the fastest growing segments in the US wine market.

Here’s a perfect recipe to pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Rosé. Tender grilled chicken is enhanced with a dazzling lemon vinaigrette.

Ingredients:

1 pound boneless, skinless half chicken breasts
extra virgin olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
2 teaspoons honey
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves
½ teaspoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon salt¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 large avocados, peeled, seeded, and cut into bite-size pieces
3 cups baby or regular arugula leaves
1 piece Parmesan cheese (for shaving)

Directions:

1. Preheat the grill to medium high.
2. Cut each half chicken breast in half crosswise.
3. Brush the chicken pieces on both sides with olive oil. Season both sides with salt and pepper.
4. Grill the chicken pieces for 5 to 7 minutes on each side, until cooked through. Set aside to rest for 5 minutes.
5. To make the vinaigrette, pour the lemon juice in a large bowl. Whisk in the measured olive oil, lemon zest, honey, rosemary, garlic, and measured salt and pepper.
6. Cut chicken pieces crosswise into strips.
7. Add the chicken, avocado, and arugula to the vinaigrette. Toss gently to combine.
8. Divide the salad among the serving plates.
9. Top with shavings of Parmesan, cut with a vegetable peeler.

Suggested pairings: 

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2012 Special Selection Rosé of Sangiovese – A summery bouquet of rosy red fruit and flowers: strawberry, cherry, raspberry, rose petal and cherry blossom fill the nose and palate of this perfect warm weather wine.

Hart Winery ~ 2014 Rosé of Tempranillo –  Delightfully fruity, bursting with strawberry, watermelon and spice notes.

Miramonte Winery ~ 2014 Rosé – Racy strawberry and candied watermelon notes, beautiful melon and peach mid-palate, and long finish of rose petals, sugar-dusted citrus.

Oak Mountain Winery ~2013 River Rhodes Rosé of Syrah –  Blast of strawberries and tropical nuances in the nose with a smooth wild berry character on the palate.

Recipe and photo courtesy of The Wine Institute of California 

 

 

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February Winery Events

Friday, January 29th, 2016

valentines-wineFebruary is filled with some memorable dates; we can’t wait to see if the groundhog will see his shadow on February 2nd, and we’re busily planning our Valentine’s Day celebrations. But, did you know that February 18th is National Drink Wine Day? Can’t think of a better reason to visit Temecula Valley Wine Country this month!

Baily Vineyard & Winery

Romantic Valentine Candlelight Tasting for 2 / Feb. 11th – 14th / 11:30am -3:30pm; Seating every hour / $35 pp / Special Cabernet Sauvignon and port tasting, charcuterie and chocolate plate for 2 / Seating is extremely limited, call today for reservation 951.972.9768 at Baily Estate Tasting Room.

Valentine’s Day Lunch at Carol’s Restaurant / Feb. 13th & 14th / 11:30am-3:30pm / Celebrate Valentine’s Day at lunch and forget the dinner crowd with a relaxing three course lunch. Live Music with Chuck Sacayan on Saturday John Malcolm Penn on Sunday / $29.95 pp. plus tax and gratuity / Reservations only with credit card / For reservations please call 951. 676.9243

Dog Day Sundays
Every Sunday / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch, doggie treats and special menu items / Doggie costume contest on Nov. 1st / 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 Saturday 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

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Meritage Restaurant / Feb. 13th – 14th / Two seating’s each day, 5pm and 7:30pm / $150 per couple / Enjoy a 3-course wine-paired menu with roses for the ladies and live music / For reservations please visit www.callawaywinery.com

Sweetheart Flights / Feb. 13th & 14th / Couples wine tasting from 11am-4pm / $35 per couple /
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

9TH Annual Super Chili Bowl / Feb. 7th / 3pm-8pm / Join us for chili tasting, food, wine, beer and football on the super BIG screen. Chili competition kicks off at 3pm. Only 10 competitors allowed. Official rules apply, must pay in advance to reserve competitor spots / $15 pp for competitors, $25 for wine club, $30 for non-wine club. Price increases by $5 the day of the event / For tickets please email wineclub@cougarvineyards.com or call 951.491.0825

Friday Night Live Music / 5pm-8pm / Wine by the glass or bottle purchase available / Deli is open until 7pm

Sunday Afternoon Live Music / 2pm- 5pm

Europa Village

Friday Night Entertainment / 5:30p- 8:30p / Free / Live music in the Cave / Feb. 5th – Shoot for Tuesday / Feb. 12th – Two Fish / Feb. 19th – Apryle Dalmacio / Feb. 26th – Danielle Taylor

Live Music every Sunday/ 1pm- 4pm / Free / Live music on Veranda / Feb. 7th – Bryan McManus / Feb. 14th- Jimmy Patton / Feb. 21st – Michael LeClerc / Feb. 28th – Joe Baldino

Falkner Winery

Valentine’s Lunch Special for 2 at the Pinnacle Restaurant / Feb. 12 & 14th / $59 for two, plus tax / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Reservations required at 951.676.8231 option 4

Valentine’s Dinner at the Pinnacle Restaurant / Saturday, Feb. 13th, $99 plus tax per person; $89 plus tax for Wine Club / Sunday, Feb. 14th, $115 plus tax per person; $104 plus tax for Wine Club / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Entertainment provided by Classical pianist Thomas Reich / Reservations required at 951.676.8231 option 4

Wine Appreciation Class / Saturday, Feb. 20th / 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

Singles Mix & Mingle / Feb. 11th / 7pm-9pm / Lorimar Winery is hosting its first Single’s Mix & Mingle night. Join us for a night of fun and flirtation in Wine Country / Tickets include light appetizers and a glass of premium wine. Tickets are pre-sale only! / Cost is $15 / Call 951.694.6699 or visit our website at www.lorimarwinery.com

Valentines Day Brunch / Feb. 14th / 10am-1pm / Breakfast for two? Lorimar is hosting a breakfast buffet on the Sunset Patio, which will be exclusively for lovebirds! Breakfast starts at 10:00am and the Sunset Patio will remain exclusive until 1:00pm / $35 per person includes breakfast and mimosas. Wine Club members received 10% off ticket price / Call 951.694.6699 ext. 4 for tickets or visit our website at www.lorimarywinery.com

Leoness Cellars

Live Music at The Restaurant at Leoness / Every Friday & Saturday from 5pm-8pm / Free to the public

Live Music in the Barrel Room / Every Sunday from 1p-4:00p / Free to the public

1963 Winemaker’s Soirée / Feb. 11th / 6pm – 10pm / Cocktail & hors d’oevres, 5 course wine paired dinner, big band entertainment. Come dressed in your 1960’s best! / $100, $90 Wine Club / Reserved seating, call for reservations 951.302.7601 ext.1

The Restaurant at Leoness / Extended Restaurant hours 11am – 8pm, Sunday, February 14th / Special Prefixed 4 course dinner menu being offered for February 14th only. Seasonal February menu will also be available / For menu information and reservations please call 951.302.7601 ext.1 or visit www.leonesscellars.com/Winery-Events

Miramonte Winery

Valentine, an intimate affair Dinner / Feb. 14th / 7pm-9pm / Our most popular dinner of the year! Hosted by Cane & Becky. Expect live musical accompaniment, endless shimmering candlelight, Dom Perignon Champagne reception, 3 courses of fine cuisine, and a remarkable, personalized etched wine commemorating your evening with us. Cane will present the wines of the evening, including barrel samples of the next vintage Opulente and Estate Syrah. It’s always an amazing night and we’d love for you to join us / Seating is very limited; tickets are $120pp for general public, $100pp for club members. Tickets are currently available to Wine Club only until Monday, and then the event is open to the public / Please visit www.miramontewinery.com to reserve.

Live Music & Entertainment / 7pm-10pm / Feb. 5th – Mercedes Moore / Feb. 6th- Devocean / Feb. 12th- Ruben V / Feb. 13th- Bluefish / Feb. 19th- Mickie Arnett / Feb. 20th- Nathan James / Feb. 26th- Midnight Satellites / Feb. 27th- JD Priest

Monte De Oro Winery

Syrah Blind Tasting / February 5th / Reception 6pm; Tasting at 6:30pm / Come taste, compare and contrast up to 10 different Syrah at Monte De Oro. Which one is from France? From Oregon, from Paso? From Temecula Valley? All wines hidden in brown bags – we open them at the end and see the results. / Price$58.00. Wine Club Members $52.00 / Includes 2 appetizer courses and a dessert course / Reservations required at www.montedeoro.com / Subject to minimum participation of 24 guests

Valentines Day Dinner / Feb. 13th and Feb. 14th / Doors open at 7pm. Dinner at 7:30pm / 2 seating’s available / Enjoy a special 5 course meal paired with Monte De Oro’s award-winning wines with your partner and accompanied with live music and dancing. / Price: $150 per couple/$140 for Wine Club members / Reservations strongly suggested at www.montedeoro.com

Divas Half Marathon / Saturday, February 20th. / Starts at 7:30am / Includes complimentary wine tasting / To register visit www.runlikeadiva.com

Mount Palomar Winery

5K Kiss Wine Run / Feb. 6th / 10am-1pm / The annual 5K Kiss Wine Run takes place in the beautiful vineyards of Mount Palomar Winery in Temecula, CA on a scenic, point-to-point course. It starts on the hills of the beautiful Vineyards of Mount Palomar Winery and proceeds to continue on to more amazing views of their spectacular vineyards. You will have live performance by the 80z All Stars, as seen at Disneyland, motivating you to cross the finish line along with those tastings of wine that are waiting for you! Each finisher will receive a 5KHR Mount Palomar Winery Finishers commemorative stemless wine glass. There are also medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, as well as best costume. Register online at http://www.5khr.com/5k-kiss-run

Valentine’s Day Dinner / February 13th and 14th / Enjoy a romantic, four course dinner for two at the newly opened Annata Bistro/Bar. Dinner includes an appetizer, soup or a salad, two entrees, and a dessert to share, plus a bottle of wine, for $120 per couple. Wine club members pay $100 per couple! The full menu and restaurant hours are available online at http://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Annata / Reservations only. Please call 951-676-5047 ext.10

Paint Nite / February 28th / Two hour class. Time TBA / Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite invites you to create art over a glass of wine at Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends and your sense of humor and spend two hours drinking, laughing, and flexing your creative muscles. There’s no experience necessary and we’ll provide all the supplies, so you don’t have to worry about a thing (except having a great time!).”Drink Creatively” in the Barrel Room (with our own bar…ooooh yeah) at Mt Palomar Winery / Online details at http://bit.ly/mppaintnites

Oak Mountain Winery

Grand Opening Weekend Tours at The Cave at Oak Mountain / Feb. 13th- 14th / Explorer Tour, $15 / 30 minutes duration / Start your adventure in the Main Tasting room followed by a tour of the grounds and our 10,000 sq. ft. underground wine Cave while sipping on three great wines / Foodie Tour, $55 / 45 minutes duration / Tour includes gourmet grilled cheese sandwich and a cup of soup from our Cave Café to enjoy after your tour and one bottle of any of our white wines / For information and reservations please call 951.699.9102

Valentine’s Day Dinner Celebration / Feb. 14th / 6pm-9pm / Join our owners, Steve & Valerie at Oak Mountain Winery for a Valentine’s Day celebration dinner. Enjoy great food, wine and music by Sterling Productions / $125 per person, plus tax; $110 per person, plus tax for Wine Club Members / For menu information and reservations please call 951.699.9102 or email susan@oakmountainwinery.com / Reservations are required; tickets are non-refundable 3 days prior to event date.

Live Music in the Pavilion
Every Saturday and Sunday in November / 1:00p-5:00p

Ponte Family Estate Winery

Super Bowl Sunday in The Cellar / Feb. 7th / 3:30pm / Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, will air live NFL coverage of Super Bowl 50! / Free to attend.

Valentine’s Day Barrel Room Dinner / Feb. 14th / 5pm-8pm / Treat your sweetheart to a romantic dinner in the Barrel Room this Valentine’s Day! Enjoy a special menu of gourmet fare fit for two while dining to the sounds of live Spanish Guitar / Cost varies. For menu information and reservations please call 951.252.1770.

First Sundays – Live Music in the Reserve Room*
First Sunday of the month/ 12:00p-4:00p / The Lookouts, Classic Rock / 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.

Live Music in The Cellar Lounge / Every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday / 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

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa

Pre-Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Vineyard Rose / Feb. 1-3rd, 8-10th, 15-17th / 5:30p-9:00p / $99 per couple, plus tax & gratuity / Celebrate the season of Love. It’s Valentine Month in the Vineyard Rose Restaurant. Why wait to celebrate? Say those 3 special words with a three courses. Includes one glass of select wine per person. / Reservations recommended. Call 951.587.9463 ext. 7230

Valentine’s Day Dinner at the Vineyard Rose / Feb. 14th / 5:30-9:30pm / The Vineyard Rose Restaurant presents the 3rd Annual Wine & Dine your Valentine. Includes a bottle of South Coast wine per couple / $119 per person plus tax & gratuity / Reservations required. Please call 951.497.8077
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.

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Thanksgiving Wine Pairing Guide

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

thanksgiving-wine-horizWho’s as obsessed with Thanksgiving as we are?  The turkey, the trimmings, the pumpkin pie and the WINE!

This is the time of year we get the most questions about wine pairings.  While there is no “right” or “wrong” wine to pair with your feast, there are a few varietals that, if paired with your favorite dishes, will send your taste buds into sensory overload.  We’re reprising this “oldie but goodie” Thanksgiving wine guide and have updated it with some suggested pairings to try this year.

Light Appetizers + Mellow Whites

These mellow whites pair well with lighter dishes to kick off your Thanksgiving meal. The floral notes of a Viognier complement a fall salad of pears, blue cheese and walnuts; a selection of fruit and cheeses match nicely with a Chardonnay; and a light Pinot Grigio will pair well with your pumpkin soup.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery – 2011 Chardonnay; $30.00

Danza Del Sol Winery – 2014 Pinot Grigio; $28.00

Briar Rose Winery – 2014 Estate Viognier; $25.00

Herbacious Side Dishes + Spicy Reds

The spicy notes derived from these unique wine grapes pair especially well with stuffing and gravies seasoned with holiday herbs like sage, thyme and rosemary. Having a vegetarian Thanksgiving? These wines work well with earthy mushroom and winter squash dishes too!

Cougar Vineyard & Winery – 2012 Sangiovese; $31.00

Leoness Cellars – 2012 Zinfandel; $39.00

Doffo Winery – 2010 Syrah; $52.00

Poultry & Meats + Bold Reds

Whether it’s wine or food, everyone looks forward to the main course. The dark fruit flavors in these big reds will enhance similar flavors in your herb-rubbed turkey or peppered roasts. Whether you’re serving poultry, lamb or beef, all three are bold enough to stand up to a rich meat course.

Baily Vineyard & Winery – 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon; $30.00

Monte De Oro Winery – 2010 Merlot; $32.00

Wiens Family Cellars – 2013 Tempranillo; $42.00

Dessert + Sweet Wines

Your Thanksgiving meal isn’t complete without dessert, and no dessert is complete without wine – at least that’s how we feel! Apple pies and pear tarts are practically made to pair with a sweet Moscato, where red delicious apples, kiwi, pears, and apricots come together nicely with honeysuckle and jasmine undertones. Oak Mountain’s Port has a nutty honeyed flavor to perfectly complement the nutmeg and allspice flavors of pumpkin pie.

Oak Mountain Winery – Port; $28.00

Miramonte Winery – 2014 Moscato; $25.95

Robert Renzoni – Paradiso Port; $49.00

One Meal, One Wine

On a wine-buying budget? Or just looking to simplify your evening by serving one wine from start to finish? Any of these three, well-priced wines fit the bill. Each is lighter on the palate, with only subtle hints of sweetness making them suitable to drink from appetizers all the way to dessert. Bon appetit!

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery – 2012 Chenin Blanc; $19.95

Falkner Winery – 2014 Sauvignon Blanc; $19.95

South Coast Winery – Ruby Cuvee; $22.00

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Perfect Pairings: Pumpkin & Wine

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

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October….it’s the time of year we’re dragging the kids to the neighborhood pumpkin patch, decorating the house for fall and for some of us, already thinking about all of the yummy pumpkin recipes we want to make.  From pumpkin soup, to pumpkin pie and everything in between, we’ve got a wine that will pair with it!  Here are some tips for pairing wines with your favorite pumpkin dishes.

When the cold weather returns, there’s nothing better than a nice, big, bowl of soup.  This time of year, pumpkin soup is a good choice.  We’d most likely pair our soup with Chardonnay, Viognier and even Gewürztraminer. For you red lovers, try a Cabernet or Merlot.  Try these: South Coast Winery 2011 Chardonnay Sans Chêne, Thornton Winery 2013 Viognier, Maurice Car’rie 2013 Gewürztraminer, Frangipani Estate Winery 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Lorimar Winery 2012 Allegro Merlot.

Pumpkin Risotto would pair well with Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chenin Blanc.  You may want to eat the whole bowl of risotto by itself (and we wouldn’t blame you), but it makes for a great side dish with roasted chicken too.  Try these: Hart Winery 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, Ponte Family Estate Winery 2014 Pinot Grigio, Maurice Car’rie Winery 2012 Chenin Blanc.

And, for our personal favorite….Pumpkin Pie.  There are endless possibilities here.  A Riesling or Muscat would be amazing.  Better yet, get in the holiday celebrating mood and pop open a bottle of bubbly to enjoy with your pie. Try these: Miramonte Winery 2014 Riesling, Europa Village 2014 Bolero Estate Muscat Canelli, Wilson Creek Winery Grand Cuvee Sparkling Wine.

As you can see, although pumpkin dishes seem hard to pair wine with, there really are a lot of possibilities.  Enjoy pumpkin season, all!

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Wine Country Recipe: California Style Clam Bake

Friday, August 21st, 2015

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Here in the Temecula Valley, we’re lucky enough to be just 20 miles (as the crow flies) from the Pacific Ocean and some of the most beautiful beaches in California. But, no matter where you are in the world, this garlic-infused California-style clambake recipe will bring the California beach to you. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or Rosé.

Ingredients:
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
1 cup Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc or other crisp white wine
1 cup chicken stock
2 pounds mussels
2 pounds clams
1 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped

Directions:
In a large stockpot, over medium-high heat, add the olive oil, shallots and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute or until the vegetables are slightly browned.

Add the wine and chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a boil and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the mussels and clams and steam for 7 minutes. Halfway through the cooking time, shake the pot several times. Remove from heat and pour mussels and clams into a large serving dish.

Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately, accompanied by a fresh, rustic-style bread.

Recipe courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

Suggested Pairings:
Briar Rose Winery ~ 2014 Sauvignon Blanc – Aromas of white peach, nectarine, white flowers and vanilla pave the way to the palate laced with ripe stone fruits, and a creamy toast.
Falkner Winery ~ 2013 Irresistable Rosato – Rosé Table Wine – This vibrant bright pink wine is bursting with sensual notes of strawberry and cranberry flavors.
Hart Winery ~ 2014 Sauvingnon Blanc – With citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish.
Miramonte Winery ~ 2014 Rosé – Racy strawberry and candied watermelon notes, beautiful melon and peach mid-palate, and long finish of rose petals, sugar-dusted citrus.

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Red Wine Marinated Flank Steak Filled with Prosciutto, Fontina and Basil with Cabernet-Shallot Reduction

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Flank Steak

There’s nothing better than grilling in the summer….well actually, there IS something better.  Summer grilling with wine!  This recipe perfectly pairs the two.  You may want to try it with your favorite Temecula Valley Cabernet for your 4th of July BBQ.

Ingredients:

4 shallots, coarsely chopped
1 cup dry red wine, such as Cabernet
1/4 cup olive oil
2 pounds flank steak, butterflied
Salt and pepper
1/4 -pound thinly sliced prosciutto
1/4 -pound thinly sliced fontina cheese
14 fresh basil leaves
Olive oil
Cabernet-Shallot Reduction, recipe follows

Directions:

Whisk together shallots, wine and olive oil in a large baking dish. Add the steak and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Heat grill to high.

Remove the steak from the marinade and blot with paper towels. Lay on a flat surface, cut side up, and season with salt and pepper. Cover the surface with the prosciutto slices, then top with the cheese and a layer of basil leaves. Starting with the side facing you, tightly roll up the steak around the filling. Using kitchen string, tie the roll in 4 or 5 places.

Brush the outside of the steak with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the steak over high heat until browned all over, 8 to 10 minutes. Turn the steak 4 times as it cooks. Move the meat away from the direct heat and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, or until an instant-read thermometer registers 125 degrees F for medium-rare. Remove from the grill and let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Slice against the grain into ½-inch thick slices and drizzle with the Cabernet-Shallot Reduction.

Cabernet-Shallot Reduction Ingredients:

2 teaspoons olive oil
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 bottle Cabernet wine
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
Salt
1 tablespoon honey

Directions:

Heat oil in a large saucepan on the grates of the grill over high heat. Add the shallots and cook until soft. Add the wine and peppercorns, bring to a boil and cook until thickened and reduced to 1 cup. Strain the mixture into a bowl and season with salt, to taste, and honey.

Recipe courtesy of Bobby Flay and FoodNetwork.com

Suggested Wine Pairings:

Danza del Sol Winery ~ 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – Aromas of cherry and vanilla compliment a very bright and fruity flavor profile with a hint of black currant.

Foot Path Winery ~ 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon – Medium bodied, Best Served With: Cheeses/ Pizza, Red Meat & Chicken

Frangipani Estate Winery ~ 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Bright cherry, sage, and licorice.

Miramonte Winery ~ 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon – Bright cherry and blackberry notes, accented with sweet, toasted cedar nuances, and a thin line of fresh mocha.

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International Picnic Day is June 18th

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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Picnics and wine go hand-in-hand.  Which wine makes for the perfect picnic wine, you ask? One of the favorite summer wine choices of the French is rosé.  And with summer coming, it could be a favorite of yours, too.  Made from a wide variety of grapes, rosés can be made still, semi sparkling or sparkling.

Don’t be fooled by the color!  Barely there apricot or a richly hued blush, rosé wines run the gamut in shades, but don’t go thinking that they’re all sweet! Their sugar levels are extensive as well; from bone-dry Provencal style rosé to sweet white zinfandels and blushes.  Rosés are made in just about every winegrape-growing region – and there’s lots to choose from here in the Temecula Valley wine country.   So make sure to include one in your picnic basket!  It will pair perfectly with light summery salads, sandwiches and wraps.

Try out one of these great Temecula Valley rosés:

Baily Winery ~ 2013 Rosé of Sangiovese – Fun, fruity and full of character.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery 2012 Rosé of Sangiovese – Pairs with most foods; a perfect picnic wine.

Miramonte Winery ~ 2014 Rosé – Racy strawberry and candied watermelon notes, a beautiful melon and peach laden mid-palate, and long sensual finish of rose petals and flavors sugar-dusted citrus.

Thornton Winery ~ 2013 Rosé – You’ll enjoy the strawberry/black cherry and lemon-citrus aromas as well as its surprising palate weight and richness.

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