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Wine Country Recipe: Mulled Wine, Courtesy of Ponte Family Estate Winery

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Blog post courtesy of Ponte Family Estate Winery in Temecula Valley.

Mulled wine, with its sweet scent of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg, is a festive way to celebrate the holiday season. For those who aren’t familiar with the term, “mulled wine” is just a simple combination of red wine with a variety of spices, most commonly the ones listed above.

This warm and spicy drink is popular worldwide and versions of it can be found in many countries. Scandanavia’s  Glogg contains cardamom, ginger and bitter orange. The French call their mulled wine vin chaud, which features lemon, while Romanians add apples to their vin fiert. In Bulgaria, greyano vino is seasoned with peppercorns while South Brazil’s vinho quente gets its extra kick from the addition of cachaça. As you can see, the combination of warm, red wine and spices, fruit or herbs is a tradition all over the world.

A modern American take on a mulling spice mix could include cinnamon, cloves, allspice berries and orange rind.

To make it, simmer 4 cups of red wine (whatever kind you like; I used Cabernet Sauvignon), 1/3 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons of the mulling spices for about 20 minutes. Remove the spices and serve.

You can serve mulled wine in wine glasses, Irish coffee glasses, even coffee mugs, and you can garnish with all kinds of things, such as cinnamon sticks, orange or lemon wheels, apple slices, even mini candy canes. And for you Californians who are still battling the heat, there is an option for you, too: just chill the finished wine and serve over ice.

For more great food and wine recipes from Temecula Valley wine country, visit Ponte’s blog.

A toast to the holidays from Temecula Valley Wine Country!

 

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Get to Know… Ponte Family Estate

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Ponte Family Estate is an experience that shouldn’t be missed during a getaway to Temecula Valley wine country.  And with the opening of the brand-new Ponte Vineyard Inn in May, everyone can enjoy their experience in Temecula Valley a little bit longer.

The Story

Claudio Ponte planted vineyards in 1984 and opened the popular winery in 2003.  Ponte Family Estate includes The Restaurant at Ponte, tasting room and marketplace, vineyards, wedding/event spaces and the latest addition, the Ponte Vineyard Inn.  Guests are invited to wine, dine and stay, all while enjoying friendly service and hospitality.

The Ponte Vineyard Inn – opening its doors in May!

Ponte Family Estate welcomes visitors to its 60-room boutique, wine country hotel on May 4, which is located next-door to the winery and each room as a vineyard-view.   Book a package today and enjoy an overnight stay in Southern California’s wine country.

The Restaurants

The Restaurant at Ponte is headed by the experienced Chef Vincent Logan.  This al fresco venue prides itself on sourcing local ingredients, serving natural and sustainable meats and fish and providing top-notch service.  A great place for Mother’s Day – or anytime!

The Restaurant at Ponte Dining Hours:
Monday-Thursday 11am-4pm
Friday & Saturday 11am-8pm
Sunday 11am-5pm
(951) 252-1770

For more information on dining at Ponte, please click here.

Within The Ponte Vineyard Inn, there will be the exciting addition of two new restaurants, open to all visitors:  Bouquet and The Cellar Lounge.

Bouquet offers a “sharing and pairing” menu and is conveniently located in the lobby of the hotel with both indoor and outdoor seating. The restaurant also serves continental breakfast Monday thru Friday and sit-down breakfast service Saturday and Sunday. Lunch is served from 11:30am to 3pm on weekends only. Dinner served 6pm to 9pm daily.

The Cellar Lounge is located in the basement of the hotel and offers a variety of small plates and entrees in a cool, rustic setting.  The Cellar Lounge boasts the only full bar in wine country and a carefully selected list of locally produced wines. Dinner served 5-10pm daily.

For more information on the new restaurants at The Ponte Vineyard Inn, please click here.

The Wines

Ponte Family Estate offers an approachable, memorable tasting experience that welcomes both new and experienced wine lovers with the mantra, “If you like it, it’s good wine!”™

  • Classics – single varietals like Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, Zinfandel, and Chardonnay
  • Blends – the best combinations go into Graciela, Super T, Meritage, and the Angry Wife lines
  • Sweet – Juliet, Isabel, and Beverino are top favorites
  • Sparkling & Fortified – Moscato, Rose Spumante, Port are perfect for dessert in wine country

The Ponte Winery Wine Club offers incredible VIP service and exciting perks for members all year-round.

Tasting

Flights include 6 wine tastings and a Ponte souvenir wine glass:
Mon – Fri $12 per person
Sat – Sun $20 per person
Open daily from 10am-5pm

Address & Phone Number
35053 Rancho California Road 92591
(951) 694-8855
(877) 314-wine

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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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