Posts Tagged ‘wine tasting temecula valley’

April is Down to Earth Month

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

April is California Wines: Down to Earth Month and an ideal time to check out earth-friendly California wines made with sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices.

Wineries around the state are celebrating Down to Earth Month throughout April with hands-on workshops, eco-tours, green-themed events, special offers and tastings of eco-friendly wines. Explore Temecula Valley Down to Earth Month events below and plan a visit just as our valley’s vineyards are coming alive with spring. Can’t make the trip? Open a bottle of your favorite Temecula wine and toast our commitment to green from grapes to glass.

Down to Earth Events:

Ponte Winery Vineyard Estate Tour
April 1-30, 2017
Time: Varies
Cost: $32-$85
Ponte Winery, Temecula, Riverside County
951/694-8855, info@pontewinery.com
Tour a sustainable, working winery by electric bus.

South Coast Winery Behind the Scenes Tour
April 1-30, 2017
Time: 1 pm and 3 pm
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, Temecula, Riverside County
Cost: $45
Our Behind the Scenes tour takes guests on a 60-minute walking tour from our Certified
California Sustainable vineyards to crush pad. Enjoy a 30-minute food and wine pairing.

South Coast Winery Blessing of the Vines
April 8, 2018
Time: 5-8 pm
South Coast Winery Resort & Spa, Temecula, Riverside County
Cost: Contact the winery, 951/587-9463
This fun event includes great wines, a buffet of farm-to-table locally-sourced food,
unlimited games with vine-based prizes and tours through the sustainable vineyards.


Wine Country Recipe ~ Moroccan Chicken with Roasted Lemons and Green Olives

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Meaty chicken thighs are braised and crisped in an aromatic broth infused with roasted citrus and North African spices. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sauvignon Blanc.

Serves 4


4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs, about 2 pounds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large lemon, cut into 8 wedges, seeded
2 large yellow onions, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup chicken stock
1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick
20 pitted green olives


Heat the oven to 350°F.

Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large, deep skillet with lid or Dutch-oven over medium-high heat until shimmering. Brown the chicken, skin-side down, then flip and cook 2 minutes; transfer to a plate.

Add the lemons to the same skillet and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes; transfer to a separate plate.

Pour off the excess liquid from the skillet, add the onions and 1 tablespoon oil and cook over medium heat until the onions are soft and golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes, stirring frequently and stirring up any brown bits. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then add the cumin, coriander, paprika, ginger, and turmeric and cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the stock, cinnamon stick, and 1/2 teaspoon salt, then nestle the chicken, skin-side up, in the stock, making sure the skin is left exposed.

Cover the skillet, transfer to the oven, and bake 20 minutes. Remove the lid and scatter and tuck the lemons and olives around the chicken, leaving the chicken skin exposed. Continue to cook, uncovered, until the chicken is thoroughly cooked and the skin is golden and crispy, about 20 minutes.

Serve the chicken in shallow serving bowls with couscous.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Vineayard & Winery ~ 2015 Special Selection Sauvignon Blanc – Pairs with scallops, oysters, prawns white lighter textured fish and wine & cream pasta sauces.

Danza Del Sol Winery ~ 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – A mouthwatering balance of fresh fruit and acidity. Opens with aromas of white blossoms that lead to white peach, melon and ripe citrus. Flavors of crisp apple and lime.

Hart Winery ~ 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – Citrus notes of guava and tangerine, a subtle herbal undertone and a clean peach finish. This alluring dry white wine is produced from Sauvignon Blanc grapes grown in the Hart Family Vineyard and Temecula Valley’s Huis Vineyard.

Oak Mountain Winery ~ 2016 Sauvignon Blanc – Succulent melon and grapefruit mingle together in this medium-bodied Sauvignon Blanc. A light influence of French Oak rounds out this crisp, aromatic wine

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


Wine Country Recipe ~ Crab Cakes with Fennel, Watercress, and Blood Orange-Chive Aioli

Thursday, March 1st, 2018

These crab cakes are fresh, delicate and lightly bound with baby shrimp, which amplify the crab’s natural sweetness. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley sparkling wine.

Makes about 12 cakes; serves 4 as a meal or 6 as an appetizer


Crab Cakes:
1/2 pound cooked baby shrimp
1/4 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs) plus 2 cups for dredging
1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over to remove cartilage
1 small red jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Greek-style whole milk yogurt
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh blood orange juice
2 teaspoons minced chives
1 teaspoon finely grated blood orange zest
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons vegetable oil for pan-frying

1 large blood orange
1 medium fennel bulb, halved, very thinly sliced crosswise
1 bunch watercress, tough stems discarded
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges


In a food processor, pulse the shrimp to a coarse paste. Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl, add the 1/4 cup panko and the remaining crab cake ingredients. Gently mix to combine.

Pour 2 cups panko into a shallow bowl. With wet hands, gently form the crab into 2-inch patties, about 3/4-inch thick. Carefully turn the patties in the panko to lightly coat, place on a plate and refrigerate for 1 hour.

In a small bowl, whisk the aioli ingredients.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add about half of the crab cakes, without overcrowding the pan, and pan fry until golden brown on both sides, 8 to 10 minutes, turning as needed. Transfer to a plate and repeat with the remaining crab cakes. Keep warm while you assemble the salad.

Cut a slice off the tops and bottoms of the orange. Use a sharp knife to cut away the peel and white pith. Working over a bowl to catch the juices, slice out the orange segments from their membranes. Place the segments in a large bowl and squeeze as much juice as possible from the membranes into the bowl with the juices (there should be about 2 tablespoons).

Add the fennel and watercress to the oranges. Drizzle the juices and the olive oil over the salad, lightly season with salt and pepper, and gently toss. Mound the salad on 4 serving plates and garnish with the chopped chives. Arrange 3 crab cakes next to each salad and serve with lemon wedges and the aioli for dipping.

Suggested pairings: 

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ Crisp acidity and delicate yeastiness are enveloped in a rich tropical fruit aroma.

Thornton Winery NV Brut ~ This Non-Vintage Brut is a blend of primarily Chardonnay and Pinot Blanc, giving the wine exciting, crisp fruit characters.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


Celebrating 50 Years!

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Come celebrate with us! The 50th Anniversary will be celebrated throughout the year and there are multiple ways you can participate.

  • Submit your favorite Temecula Valley Wine Country memory and historic photo. We’ll share via social media and on our website.
  • Celebrate your 50th With Us! Do you have a 50th birthday or wedding anniversary in 2018? Visitors who show ID or documentation indicating a 50th milestone (e.g. anniversary or birthday) will be given a commemorative wine glass and wine bottle tote and gain access to various wine country perks at participating wineries throughout the year. Click here for participating wineries.
  • Plan to attend CRUSH, a Wine & Culinary Showcase on September 29, 2018 and upgrade your ticket to the 50th Anniversary package and receive 50th anniversary souvenirs.
  • Purchase a bottle (or a few) of Temecula Valley 50th Anniversary limited edition commemorative regional wine.
  • Special stay packages at select hotels to include wine tasting and hotel accommodations.
  • Souvenir merchandise available for purchase at the Visitor Center in Old Town Temecula.
  • Document your 2017 trip to Temecula on social media and use the hashtags #cheersto50years and #DrinkTemecula
  • Visit our website to see the timeline of Temecula Valley Wine Country,  historical photos and visitor and winery stories.

Fun Facts About Late Harvest Wine

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Remember those small, lovely bottles you’ve seen in the dessert wine section of your favorite tasting room or wine store?

Many wine-lovers have yet to discover how delicious a late harvest wine can taste – especially when paired with cheese and honey, chocolate or a fruit-based dessert.

The perfect sweet dessert wine for Valentine’s Day, late harvest wine is simple to understand and easy to find here in Temecula Valley!

Here are some fun facts about late harvest wine:

  1. “Late harvest” refers to wines made from grapes left on the vine longer than usual and picked later than normal. Late harvest grapes are often more similar to raisins, but have been naturally dehydrated while still on the vine.
  2. Late harvest wines are made around the world with almost every grape imaginable. Grapes like zinfandel and riesling are ideally suited to produce late harvest wine and are among the most popular.
  3. Grapes used for late harvest wines go through their full growth cycle and then some – becoming super sweet and losing acidity as they ripen.
  4. “Noble rot” is the term for the edible mold that causes grapes to lose nearly all of their water content. This natural process begins to take place in late September and can last until late October.
  5. Late harvest grapes are often hand-picked. Sometimes, the usable grapes from one vine may only produce enough juice for a single glass.

Suggested Late Harvest Wines:

Avensole Vineyard & Winery ~ 2015 Late Harvest Muscat Canelli
Doffo Winery ~ Lucca – Late Harvest Malbec
Wiens Family Cellars ~ 2016 Late Harvest Primitivo
Wilson Creek Winery ~ Late Harvest Malbec-Merlot

Facts courtesy of Snooth and Wikipedia


February Winery Events

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Love is always in the air in Temecula Valley! This month, your local wineries have especially amorous offerings set against the backdrop of the most beautiful vineyards in Southern California.

Avensole Winery
Valentines Couples Dinner / February 9 & 10 / 11am-9pm / $150 per couple / Indulge your senses with a romantic prix-fixe Valentines menu, created especially for the occasion. Enjoy an enchanting evening on our beautiful outdoor terrace, where the scene is set for romance with live entertainment and an unforgettable gourmet four course culinary delight for two. Dinner includes one glass of Explore wine or beer per person / Please call our Concierge to make reservations: 951-252-2003 x301

Valentines Couples Dinner / February 11 & 14 / 11am-8pm / $150 per couple / Indulge your senses with a romantic prix-fixe Valentines menu, created especially for the occasion. Enjoy an enchanting evening on our beautiful outdoor terrace, where the scene is set for romance with live entertainment and an unforgettable gourmet four course culinary delight for two. Dinner includes one glass of Explore wine or beer per person / Please call our Concierge to make reservations: 951-252-2003 x301

Hosted Tour & Wine Tasting /Available on Sunday of each the month / 2pm-3:30pm / For every adventure, there is discovery, for every unique place, there is a story. Take a guided journey through our lush vineyards and experience our rich heritage and handcrafted Avensole wines / Cost. $35 / Reservations required. Please call 951.252.2003 x312 to reserve.

Gourmet Cheese Artisanal Tour & Wine Tasting / Available on Friday of each month / 12pm / For the ultimate Wine Country experience, delight in an educational tour through our picturesque vineyard vistas and conclude this tour with a culinary treat of artisanal wine pairings featuring 7 Avensole wines / Cost: $75 / Reservations required online at link: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-369934

Briar Rose Winery
Taste of Enchantment Valentine’s Dinner / February 14 / 6:30pm / Enjoy an elegant four-course dinner prepared by Chef Rivas at Briar Rose Winery / Cost: $220 per couple all-inclusive / To book your reservation visit: chefjrivas.com and click reservations / For additional questions, text or call Jakota Rivas at 858-740-7503

Baily Winery
Valentine Candlelight Tasting for 2 / February 10 & 11 / 11:30am-3:30pm / Seating’s every hour / $35 per person / Special Cabernet Franc and Port tasting. Charcuterie and chocolate plate for two / Seating is extremely limited. Tasting will take place at Baily Estate Tasting Room located on Pauba Road Call today for reservations at 951.972.9768

Estate Library Tasting / Every Thursday-Sunday / Available 11am-4pm / Enjoy exclusive library tasting of 5 different vintages (varietal will vary monthly). Tasting will take place at Baily Estate Tasting Room located on Pauba Road / Tours are available upon request / For reservations and pricing information please call Lisa at 951-972-9768.

Dog Day Sundays / Every Sunday at Carol’s Restaurant / 11:30a-2:30p / Bring your well-mannered pooch to lunch, doggie treats and special menu items / Live acoustic music on the patio / For more information please contact the restaurant at 951.676.9243

Bel Vino Winery
Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Dinner / February 14 / 6:00 to 9:00 pm / Guests are greeted with a glass of champagne and an amuse bouche. Dinner includes 4 courses of savory dishes paired with our award- winning wine. Check-in beginning at 5:30 pm / Reservations Required – Please call 951-428-2358 or email Elizabeth@belvinowinery.com for reservations / $99.95 per person for Wine Club Members / $124.95 per person for non-members – Prices include tax & gratuity.

Friday Nite Live at Bel Vino / Every Friday 6p-10p / No Cover / Wine & Beer / Bel Vino Bistro open until 9 pm/ No outside food or drinks allowed.

Live Band every Saturday and Sunday / 12pm to 4pm /Admission is always free / Bands play on our Hilltop Terrace Stage. For a list of scheduled performers please visit https://www.belvinowinery.com/events/

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Valentine’s Dinner / February 14 / Seating’s 5-5:30 & 7-7:30 / Share a romantic dinner with your loved one this Valentine’s Day at Meritage at Callaway. Executive Chef Josh Diamond is offering guests an enchanting, four course dining experience, while enjoying a live performance by Danielle Taylor / Cost: $85 non-members, $76.50 members, per person, plus tax and gratuity. For Reservations Call: 951.587.8889

Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $35 guests may enjoy a starter, an entrée and a dessert / Live Music offered on Friday nights / Reservation is not necessary. For menu information call 951.587.8889

Brunch Specials every Sunday at Meritage / 11am / Cost is $25 / Includes a mimosa with fresh squeezed orange juice, entrée and dessert. All food from Meritage is farm-to-table, either grown on property in restaurant garden or locally outsourced.

Callaway Winery Tours offered daily / 11am and 1pm / Tour only, $10 per person. Tour with tasting, $25 – tour includes 1 tank sample, 1-barrel sample and 4 additional tastes at the Tasting Bar / Reservations not necessary, but for 10 or more highly recommended / For more information call 951.676.4001

Live Music at the Courtyard Patio / Every Saturday from 1pm to 5pm / Please check our website for a list of scheduled performers.

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
11th Annual Super Chili Bowl / February 4 / 3:00-8:00pm / All of you aspiring and talented cooks start working on your awesome chili!  Chili competition kicks off at 3pm.  Only 10 competitors allowed and last year’s winner, Myrna, will be defending her title!  Is your chili better than hers? Join us for food, wine, beer & good times.  Pricing includes chili tasting, snacks, wine or beer. Price increases $5 day of event. / Competitors $15, Wine Club $25, Non-Wine Club $30 / No need to arrive early the day of, you can pick out your reserved table for every 4-6 tickets you purchase / This is an adult event, 21 and older only please. Email events@cougarvineyards.com to select your table. Please inquire regarding official rules for competitors.

Friday Night Live Music / 5pm-8pm / Happy Hour 7-8p two-for-one glasses of wine / Free to the public

Sunday Live Music
/ 2:00-5:00pm / Free to the public / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.cougarwinery.com.

Danza del Sol Winery

Valentine’s Dinner / February 14 / 6:30pm / $115.00 – $125.00 / Create a truly memorable Valentine’s Day experience with Danza del Sol Winery! The evening begins with a sparkling wine reception in our Barrel Room and is followed by a tantalizing 3-course dinner in our Club House. Chef Volker Lutz expertly prepared the menu and each course is paired with a spectacular Danza del Sol Wine. Live jazz music from Stephen Vaughan / For reservations please visit our website at www.danzadelsolwinery.com. One king table for seating; private seating not available.

Live Music on the Patio at Danza del Sol / Every Saturday and Sunday beginning at 1:00pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Please check our website www.danzadelsolwinery.com for additional information.

Doffo Winery
Live Music every Saturday and Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.doffowines.com

Europa Village
Murder Mystery – Lovestruck / February 3 and 4 / 6pm in our Italian Wine Cave / Tickets: $80, Société $72 /Join us for an evening of mystery and intrigue. You will need to keep your eyes and ears open, because someone will be ruthlessly murdered at the end of the play, and it’s up to you to guess who-done-it! Performance will take place during a gourmet dinner prepared by Europa’s Executive Chef, Dean Thomas / For reservations please visit our website www.europavillage.com

L’Amore Valentine’s Dinner / February 14 / Tickets: $125 / Société $112.50 / Treat your sweetheart to an evening of romance and wine, all things lovely and divine at our Valentine’s Day Dinner L’Amore at Europa. Enjoy an intimate candlelight 5-course gourmet dinner paired with Europa Village wines, prepared by Executive Chef Dean Thomas. Musical performance by Annette Wiles, Harpist from the Heart / For reservations please visit our website www.europavillage.com

 Live Music every Sunday / 1:00-4:00pm / Free to the public / Live entertainment on our outdoor Veranda / For a list of scheduled performers please visit www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Valentine Lunch Specials
/ February 9 to 14 / 11:30-3pm / Valentine Lunch Special for 2 in the Pinnacle Restaurant / $59 for Two + tax (normal menu available) / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Reservations required 951-676-8231 option 4.

Wine Appreciation Class / February 17 / 10-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP; $70/person with lunch option / RSVP required 951-676-8231 x. 109 or wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Sip N Paint Class “Drying Flowers” / February 22 / 6:30 -8:30 pm / $35 per person.  Includes all materials. Wines available for purchase by glass or bottle. Members do receive applicable discounts / Reservations are required online @Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Valentine’s Dinner in the Pinnacle Restaurant / February 14 / 5:30-9:30pm / $119+tax per person ($109+tax wine club) Early Bird Seating at 5:30pm $99+ tax per person ($89+tax wine club) / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Entertainment provided by Guilty Conscience Duo / Reservations required 951-676-8231 option 4

Fazeli Cellars
Valentine’s Dinner / February 10 and 14 / Doors open at 6:30pm & Dinner starts at 6:45pm / Champagne Greeting & Live Music. 4 Course Dinner and Wine Pairing / $100 Members, $120 Non-Members / Purchase Tickets Here http://shop.fazelicellars.com/reservation-events

Salsa Night / February 23 / Doors open at 6:30 with a 45-minute salsa lesson / $10 Members, $15 Non-Members / Price include a glass of sangria / Special food menu items, wine, beer and sangria available for purchase / Purchase Tickets Here http://shop.fazelicellars.com/reservation-events

Live Music at our Tasting Room / Every Saturday and Sunday from 1pm – 5pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Check our website www.fazelicellars.com/events for a schedule of performers.

Leoness Cellars
A Black + White Night / February 14 / 5pm -9:30pm / 3-course dinner $100, add 3 select wines for $25. 5-course dinner $130, add 5 Select wines for $35 / By Reservation Only / For menu options and additional questions please contact – membership@leonesscellars.com

Lorimar Vineyards & Winery
Valentine’s in the Vines /
February 14 7:00pm / Four course dinner with wine pairings and live music / Cost$75 / $67.50 WW / Vow renewal will be available for married couples! Visit www.lorimarwinery.com for menu details and to get tickets.

Académie Du Vin: Wine + Cheese / February 22 / 6:00pm / Wine and cheese pairing class with Sommelier Penny Delgado and Cheesemonger Stasha New. Learn about red wine varietals and fermentation in this exclusive session / Tickets are $55/$50 WC / Visit www.lorimarwinery.com for menu details and to get tickets.

Music Friday & Saturday / 6p-9p / Free to the public

Live Music Sunday / 2p-5pm / Free to the public
Please check our website www.lorimarwinery.com for a list of scheduled of performers.

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Valentine Dinner / February 9 / 5:30-8:30pm / Champagne Reception and 3-course dinner with wine / Live Guitarist played by Vince Mendoza while fine dining in our Vintner’s Lounge / Wine club member – $100.00 per person* Guest – $110.00 per person* *Tax & Gratuity not included / Reservations required, email e.jennings@masiadelavinya.com or with your server in our tasting room. Space is limited, reserve early to ensure your spot!

Friday Nights @ Masia / 5pm to 8pm / Free to attend / Join us in the Vintner’s Lounge & Patio for live music from a variety of talented musicians every Friday starting at 5pm.

Live Music on the Patio at Masia de la Vinya / Every Saturday from 12pm – 4pm / Enjoy great wine and great music! / Please check our website www.masiadelavinya.com for additional information and a list of scheduled performers.

Maurice Car’rie Winery
Arts & Craft Fair / Every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 11a-5p / Maurice Car’rie Winery offers a charming arts and crafts fair every Friday – Sunday from 11:00 AM to 5 PM. Located on the front picnic grounds at the beautiful Maurice Car’rie Winery are craft vendors with wares that are handmade such as jewelry, paintings, and ceramics along with fun items like great handbags and designer-style sunglasses Open to the public, free admission

Maurice Car’rie Saturday Live Music Outdoors Under the Lights / June 10 & 24 / 6p – 9p / Various local artist performances. Admission is free for this concert / For a schedule of performers, please visit www.mauricecarriewinery.com

Miramonte Winery
Live Music & Entertainment / Every Friday and Saturday / 6:00p-9:00p / Free to the public / No reservations required / For a list of scheduled performers, please visit www.miramontewinery.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Valentine’s Day Dinner
/ February 14 and February 16th / 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM / There is nothing more romantic than a Valentine’s Day Dinner in Temecula wine country. We are celebrating at Annata Bistro/Bar with two beautiful evenings featuring an exclusive holiday menu and delicious craft cocktails. Dinner includes a five-course meal, a glass of sparkling wine on arrival, 20% off all drinks, including craft cocktails. Dinners are prepaid via credit card and cost $100 per person, $85 for wine club members / By reservation only at http://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Valentines-Day

Paint Nite in the Barrel Room / February 3, 4, 10 & 17 / 1:00pm – 3:00pm / Tickets $45 /Raise your glass to a NEW kind of night out! Paint Nite® invites you to create art over a glass of wine at a Mount Palomar Winery, guided by a professional artist and party host. Grab your friends 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!). Use the coupon code CREATE30 to save $15! / Reserve at https://www.paintnite.com/venues/mt-palomar-winery-133232

Oak Mountain Winery

Valentine’s Dinner / February 10 / 6p-9pm / Oak Mountain Winery is offering two 3-course dinner menus: Lobster & Filet $150 per couple or Lambchops with rosemary hibiscus jam $120 per couple / For additional information and reservations please call 951 699-9102 or email events@oakmountainwinery.com

Ponte Winery
Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Restaurant at Ponte
/ February 14 / 5:00-8:00pm / Cost: $8 & up Join us at The Restaurant at Ponte for a romantic, al fresco Valentine’s Day Dinner. Enjoy live music on our scenic patio as you and your Valentine dine from an extensive menu of winter cuisine. View menu here.

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Bouquet Restaurant / February 14 / 6:00-9:00pm / Cost: Prix-Fixe menu, $95 per guest / Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the one you love with an upscale, five-course, prix-fixe dinner prepared by our chefs at Ponte Vineyard Inn. Dine in our romantic, quiet dining room near a crackling fire, or al fresco on our intimate, heated courtyard. Cheers! View menu here. Reservations required: 951-676-7898

Super Bowl Sunday in The Cellar Lounge / February 4 / Game time 3:30pm / Cost: Menu Items $13 & up / Head to The Cellar Lounge to catch the big game on the big screen! Enjoy a delicious Gameday Menu, as well as draft brews, signature cocktails and Ponte wine on tap. View menu here.

sounds of a variety of musicians, from jazz sax and alternative contemporary to rock blues! / Time and Entertainment schedule varies / Free to attend / Visit www.pontevineyardinn.com for an entertainment schedule.

Happy Hour in The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn / Every Monday-Thursday / 4pm-6pm Free to attend / Head to Temecula Wine Country’s only cocktail bar, The Cellar Lounge at Ponte Vineyard Inn, for happy hour specials on craft beer, flatbreads, Ponte wine on tap and more! Menu items $6 and up / For more information please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com

Brunch at Bouquet Restaurant / Every Saturday & Sunday / 7:30am-3:00pm / Offering indoor & outdoor seating options, Bouquet is the perfect spot to gather for a gourmet brunch. Enjoy a relaxing ambiance with stunning fountain courtyard, pond & vineyards views / To view menu and for reservations please visit www.pontevineyardinn.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Wine & Cupcake Pairing Tour / Every Friday & Sunday in February + Valentine’s Day / Begins at 3:00pm / Valentine’s Day just got sweeter! Every Friday and Sunday in February + Valentine’s Day, come join us for the ultimate Wine and Cupcake Pairing. Before you indulge, you will have a chance to take a tour and go behind-the-scenes of our working winery / Cost: $60 | $50 Wine Club / Reservation Information: Purchase your tickets at SouthCoastWinery.com

Valentine’s Day Dinner at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant / February 14 / 5:30pm – 9:00pm / Celebrate the most romantic day of the year with that special someone! Let us host you for a romantic 4-course prix fixe dinner in The Vineyard Rose Restaurant complete with a pre-selected bottle of South Coast wine per couple / $125 per person / Reservation Information: Reservations required on OpenTable.com

Wild Horse Peak Reserved Tastings / 10:00am – 6:00pm / Reap the benefits of wine tasting at South Coast Winery with our new bar set up with exclusive Wild Horse Peak wine tastings for our guests to try / Included with tasting ticket purchase / Reservation Information: No reservations required.

Winter Warmup at GrapeSeed Spa / Available February 1-28, 2018 / *Available Monday-Friday only / Start the New Year with a 50-minute Warm Stone Massage or 50-minute Epicuren Facial. Includes lunch & a glass of bubbly poolside / Cost: $115 / Reservation Information: Call to book today! 877.552.1731. Cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.

Golden Bear Wine Tour / Saturday and Sunday / 11am-12:30pm, 2pm-3:30pm / This Tour will highlight why South Coast Winery has been awarded California Winery of the Year for the 4th year. You will be able to experience 8 of our award-winning wines paired with Chef Choice individual plates of California cuisine. You will also receive a logo wine glass to take home to remember your experience with us while you enhance your wine knowledge. Golden Bear Tours are offered Saturday and Sunday at 11 am and 2pm. Space is limited, and advance reservations are required. Must be over 21 years of age to attend. This is a 75-minute walking tour followed a 45-minute food and wine pairing / Cost: $60 per person, $55 Wine Club / Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today. 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.

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday/ $40pp; $35pp Wine Club Member / Learn more about our spectacular Southern California Temecula winery with a behind-the-scenes wine tour, from vineyards to crush pad. Each tour concludes with 5 wines paired with an individual plate of specially prepared lite-bite foods, designed to enhance your wine knowledge and experience / Reservation Information: Call 866-994-6379 Ext. 7217 to reserve your spot today / Due to the limited sizes of each tour, advance reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Sunday’s Live Musical Entertainment in Vintner’s Garden / 1pm-5pm /Join us for live music entertainment in our Vintner’s Garden / For a schedule of entertainment please visit www.southcoastwinery.com

Happy Hour at the Vineyard Rose Restaurant/ Monday – Friday: 3:00pm – 5:30pm, Saturday -Sunday: 3:30pm -5:30pm /Join us in our Vineyard Rose Restaurant lounge for appetizers, lite bites & pizzas / Reservations Recommended. 951.587.9463 ext. 7230

Late Night Happy Hour at The Vineyard Rose / Fridays and Saturdays / 9:00 – 11:00am / Looking for something to do late night in Temecula Valley’s wine country? South Coast Winery’s Vineyard Rose restaurant now has late night happy hour! / Cost: View Happy Hour Menu at South CoastWinery.com / Reservation Information: Reservations recommended – 951.491.8077

Thornton Winery
Café Champagne Valentine Dinner / February 14 / 5:00 pm – 9:00 pm /Valentine’s Plated Dinner: Four Appetizer Choices – Choose One appetizer. Four Entrée Choices – Choose One entrée. Three Dessert Choices – Choose One Dessert / Cost: $82.00 plus tax and tip / Reservations: Call (951) 699-0099

Friday Night Live Music / Every Friday night / 6pm-9pm / Free admission / Please visit our website for a schedule of performers at thorntonwine.com or call 951.699.0099. Reservations are a must for dinner table.

Wilson Creek Winery
Valentine’s Day Dinner / February 14 / 6-9pm / Delight in a romantic 4-course dinner with vineyard views / $150 per couple (includes a bottle of sparkling wine). Reservations required at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com

Bubble Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday / Enjoy all your breakfast favorites, omelet stations, waffle stations, seafood stations, carving stations and dessert stations with beautiful vineyard views / Buffet (+ unlimited sparkling): $51.95, Buffet only: $41.95, Children: $16.95 / Reservations can be made at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com.

Live Entertainment / Every Saturday and Sunday / 12pm – 4pm / Free to the public / For a list of scheduled performers, please visit www.wilsoncreekwinery.com.


Baked Pears with Coconut Chocolate Crumble

Thursday, February 1st, 2018

Want to surprise that special someone with a yummy Valentine’s treat?  This recipe looks perfect for the occasion!

Delicate and fragrant, these baked pears have a sweet crunchy topping laced with coconut and chocolate. Pair with your favorite Temecula Valley Sparkling Rosé or Dessert Wine.


2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon all purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

6 Bosc pears (about 2 pounds), peeled, quartered, cored and cut lengthwise into ½ inch slices

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

½ cup water

1½ cups sweetened flaked (dried) coconut

1 cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons brown sugar

½ teaspoon sea salt

1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted cold butter, cut into small cubes

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate pieces


Preheat oven to 375° F

Mix the 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Toss the pears with the lemon juice in a large bowl.

Add the cinnamon mixture and toss again.

Spread pear slices evenly into a buttered 9-by-13-inch baking dish and drizzle with the water.

Bake in the preheated oven for 50 minutes or until pears are tender.

While the pears are baking, make the crumble.

Mix the coconut, 1 cup flour, 3 tablespoons brown sugar, and salt in a large bowl.

Using your fingers, pinch the butter into the coconut mixture to form a slightly damp coarse mix with pea-size crumbles.

Spread the mixture on a cookie sheet and bake for 12 minutes or until golden brown. (Can be baked in the oven with the pears).

Remove the crumble from the oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Sprinkle chocolate evenly over the crumble and let rest for at least 5 minutes before serving.

To serve, divide pear slices among 6 dessert plates and top each serving with a spoonful of crumble.

Top with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream if desired.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery ~ 2015 Rosé of Sangiovese

Carter Estate Winery ~ 2014 Brut Sparkling

Hart Family Winery ~ 2017 Rosé of Sangiovese – Platinum Medal Winner; 2018 Winemaker’s Challenge Wine Competition

Thornton Winery ~ Non-Vintage Blanc De Noir


Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


Filet Mignons with Blue Cheese Butter and Cranberry Zinfandel Sauce Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

These tender filet mignon steaks are napped with a rosemary-infused red wine reduction and topped with a luxurious compound butter, making this dish worthy of any celebration. Pair with your favorite Zinfandel or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Serves 6


3 large heads garlic
Extra-virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 ounces blue cheese, room temperature

1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup plus 2 cups red Zinfandel wine
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup beef broth
1 (2-inch) sprig rosemary

Smashed potatoes:
2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, quartered
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup roasted garlic puree
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 filet mignons, each about 6 ounces
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, divided


Roast the garlic:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Peel away the outer layers from the garlic head, leaving the cloves intact. Slice about 1/4-inch from the tops of each garlic head. Arrange, cut-side up, on a large piece of foil. Lightly drizzle with the oil, then fold the foil up around the garlic and seal. Bake the garlic in the oven until the garlic is tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove and cool to the touch, then squeeze the garlic into a bowl, and mash with a fork to form a paste. There should be about 1/2 cup.

Make the compound butter:
Mash the butter, cheese, and 1 teaspoon of the roasted garlic paste in a small bowl to blend. Place the butter on a piece of plastic wrap and roll into a cylinder about 3-inches in length. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Remove from the refrigerator 10 minutes before serving and cut into 6 equal disks.

Prepare the sauce:
Combine the cranberries and 1/4 cup Zinfandel in a small bowl.
Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the 2 cups Zinfandel, the broth, and rosemary. Boil the sauce until reduced by half, about 25 minutes. Strain the sauce into a bowl through a fine-mesh sieve and discard the solids. Drain the cranberries and add to the sauce; discard the soaking liquid.

Prepare the potatoes:
While the sauce is reducing, place the potatoes and 1 teaspoon salt in a pot and cover with cold water. Boil until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the sour cream, roasted garlic, butter, pepper, and 1 teaspoon salt and mash the potatoes with a potato masher until well blended. Keep warm.

Cook the filet mignons:
Season the filet mignons with salt and pepper. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Arrange the meat in the skillet and cook to desired doneness, 4 to 5 minutes per side for medium-rare. Transfer the steaks to warm serving plates and top each steak with a knob of compound butter.

Pour the reserved wine sauce into the same skillet and bring to a boil, scraping up any brown bits. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 to 2 tablespoons butter until smooth and remove from the heat.

Spoon the sauce around the steaks. Serve with the garlic smashed potatoes.

Suggested pairings:

Carter Estate Winery & Resort 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Lot 4

Danza Del Sol Winery 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon

Doffo Winery 2014 Zinfandel

Ponte Winery 2015 Zinfandel

Recipe & photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California


Temecula Valley Wine Country Celebrates 50 Years!

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

Vincenzo & Audrey Cilurzo

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.

The first commercial vineyard in Temecula Valley was established in 1968 by Vincenzo and Audrey Cilurzo.

Since then, the region has grown into a bustling wine tourism destination, with more than 50 licensed wineries, 70 growers, lodging, dining and entertainment among the vines, and more than 5000 domestic and international wine awards.

The theme for the 50th Anniversary is “The People, Passion and Perseverance,” underscoring wine country’s history, while highlighting the entrepreneurs who pour their hearts into growing quality grapes and making premium wines year after year. The theme will be woven into all events and programming throughout 2018, culminating in a vineyard celebration dinner in association with California Wine Month, harvest and the annual CRUSH event, Temecula Valley’s signature wine and culinary showcase. Stay tuned for more information on www.temeculawines.org. 


Get to Know Merlot!

Wednesday, December 20th, 2017

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 Merlot?  Check these out:

Baily Winery 2012 Merlot

Bel Vino Winery 2013 Merlot

Falkner Winery 2013 Merlot

Leoness Cellars 2014 Vineyard Selection Merlot

Oak Mountain Winery 2013 Merlot


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