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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

Ingredients:

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

Sauce:
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
Salt
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup roasted garlic puree
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

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

Directions:

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

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Strawberry and Pear Phyllo Tarts

Monday, September 25th, 2017

There is just something so delicious about the correlation between food, wine and the seasons. Specifically speaking, a sweet Strawberry and Pear Phyllo tart, a glass of late harvest wine and a crisp autumn day. Savor the last few weeks of the strawberry and pear season by preparing this easy dessert. It pairs perfectly with Ponte Winery’s popular 2015 Late Harvest.

Ingredients:
12 sheets phyllo dough (14 inches x 9 inches)
3 T butter, melted
2 T brown sugar
½ T raw honey
1 tsp lemon zest

Filling:
¼ cup muddled strawberries
2 cup ripe pear slices
2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 T brown sugar
2 teaspoon lemon juice
Powdered sugar (optional)

Directions:
Roll up phyllo dough and cut into 1/4-in.-wide strips. Place strips in a large bowl; toss with butter, 2 tablespoons brown sugar and honey until coated. Divide strips into six portions; shape into bowl shapes by placing strips criss-cross in a muffin pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 5-7 minutes or until golden.

In a small saucepan, heat muddled strawberries, sliced strawberries, pear slices and 1 tablespoon brown sugar until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Just before serving, spoon onto phyllo. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired. Serve with Ponte Winery’s 2015 Late Harvest.

Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe & photo courtesy of Ponte Winery

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Wine Country Recipe: Pecan-Orange Pancakes for Mother’s Day

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Pecan-Orange Pancakes
Recipe courtesy of The Restaurant at Ponte
Pair with Ponte Winery’s 2012 Moscato

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
Zest of 2 oranges, finely chopped
½ cup pecans, lightly toasted and chopped
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 ¼ tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt
Pure Maple Syrup

How to Make:
Beat eggs and milk together. Add flour, sugar, orange zest, toasted pecans, oil and salt. Mix to combine, using care to break up any flour lumps. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter on a griddle or skillet and ladle in ¼ to 1/3 cup pancake batter. When the small bubbles that appear in the batter begin to burst, flip the pancake and cook for a few more minutes. Remove from pan and serve with butter and maple syrup.  Pair with Ponte Winery’s 2012 Moscato and add some fresh orange juice for a delicious mimosa.

 

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St. Patrick’s Day in Temecula Wine Country

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Spend Saint Patrick’s Day Weekend in Temecula Valley and celebrate the luck o’ the Irish with a visit to your favorite winery with your closest pals.  St. Paddy’s Day brings a ton o’ live music entertainment, happy hours and some great special events, March 15-17.  See below for the details!

St. Patrick’s Day (Monday) Happy Hours:
The Cellar Lounge, Ponte Winery
The Vineyard Rose, South Coast Winery

Saturday and Sunday Live Music & Entertainment at:
Bel Vino
South Coast
Mount Palomar
Europa Village
Leoness
Lorimar
Callaway
and more!

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
2nd Annual Temecula St. Patrick’s Day 15k
Sunday, March 16 / 9:00a
Race through country roads & finish w/ a glass of green sparking wine
21+ – includes a sparking wine tasting & glass to keep.
For tickets and to register, click here

Oak Mountain Winery
St. Patty’s Sizzlin Saturday
Saturday, March 15 / 5:00p-9:00p / Admission: $1
Tickets available on Caves of Oak Mountain’s Facebook page
Corned beef melts & Irish fries from Devilicious.

Maurice Car’rie Winery
Craft Fair
Saturday & Sunday, March 15 & 16 at 10am
Lots of holiday arts & crafts on sale at the beautiful outdoor craft fair

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Go Green with Va Va Verde
Available March 1-31 /for discount of $105 pp
50-min full body ‘therapeutic’ massage
Receive a $20 spa voucher for one $85+ spa treatment on your return visit.
Book now 951.587.9463

 
Click here for the full events calendar!
 
St. Patrick’s Day Toast: “Here’s to you and yours, And to mine and ours, And if mine and ours ever come across you and yours, I hope you and yours will do as much for mine and ours and mine and ours have done for you and yours!”  — traditional Irish saying
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Wine Country Recipe: Simple & Healthy Chicken Chili from Ponte Winery

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

Simple & Healthy Chicken Chili

Courtesy of Ponte Family Estate Winery

Serves 6-8

Kick off the New Year with this quick and healthy chicken chili recipe. The perfect weekday meal, this hearty low-fat stew is a snap to put together and tastes even better if made the day before. Cook low and slow for a simmered braised result; or stir everything together and serve – either way, it’ll satisfy. When it comes to chili, delicious toppings are almost as important as the dish itself! Grated cheddar cheese, greek yogurt (doubles as sour cream) and minced scallions are a great trio. Or get creative with black olives, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh basil. Don’t forget the best part: the Temecula wine pairing from our good friends at Ponte Winery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients

  • 3-5 chicken breasts
  • 1 package chili seasoning
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 3-5 cans stewed tomatoes (can be different styles), drained
  • 4-5 cans of beans (kidney, black-mix it up!)
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 can of corn (optional)
  • 2 celery sticks (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste

 

Instructions

In a large crock pot, combine stewed tomatoes, onion, garlic and chili seasoning. Add beans, tomato paste and chicken breasts (if chicken is frozen, thaw first). Cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. Once done, shred chicken by mashing with a potato masher or use two forks to shred meat.  Set out various bowls of shredded cheese, sour cream or greek yogurt and scallions to garnish on top.

This makes quite a lot of chili but you can freeze any leftovers and have dinner made for a few nights. This chili recipe pairs well with Ponte Winery’s 2010 Malbec, which is a medium to full bodied red wine with aromas of blackberry, plum, and black pepper. But remember, you can pair this recipe with whatever Ponte wine is your personal favorite!

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Winery Spotlight: Get to Know… Ponte Family Estate

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

The Story

Located in the heart of Temecula Wine Country, Ponte Family Estate offers guests a “day in the country,” with its spacious rustic-style tasting room, al fresco dining, and extensive marketplace gift shop nestled within more than 300 acres of vineyard. The 60-room, mission-style Ponte Vineyard Inn is an ideal wine-country hotel for visitors to enjoy a “stay in the country.” Ponte Family Estate offers an approachable, memorable experience that welcomes both new and experienced wine lovers. Visitors can enjoy tours of the winemaking process, participate in special events like the Annual Grape Stomp Festival, or work with the winery’s event planners to create an exceptional wine country wedding or other special event. With its picturesque setting, approachable wines, farm-fresh cuisine, upscale lodging and array of activities, Ponte Family Estate is one of the most sought-after and complete wine destinations in Southern California.

The Wines

As a boutique California winery producing about 1500 cases a year for each varietal, Ponte focuses on quality rather than quantity. Ponte wines feature crowd-pleasing single varietals like Moscato and Pinot Grigio; plus their friendly signature blends, like Super T, Beverino and “Angry Wife” Red. Popular Ponte white wine blends include the “Isabel” and “Juliet” lines. Plenty of choices for the sweet wine lover, too! Ponte fans love the pretty Rosé Spumante and the many Late Harvest varietals, which pair well with a cheese plate or dessert. For a special holiday host gift, consider giving the Ponte Holiday Magnum or a Zinfandel Port.

To shop the Ponte wine store online, click here.

 

The Tasting Room, Marketplace and Winery Tours

Ponte’s tasting room is open daily from 10am-5pm. Tasting includes 6 wine tastings and a Ponte wine glass.

Mon – Fri $15 per person
Sat – Sun $20 per person

Located in the expansive country-style tasting room, the Ponte Marketplace is one of the best in the valley. Guests love to sip wine while shopping 3,500 square feet of fabulous and unique gifts. There are charming wine accessories, home accents and delicious specialty foods on sale every day.

Ponte Winery offers one-hour vineyard and winery tours seven days a week. Jump on board their new 12-passenger electric bus and tour the 310 acre ranch while learning about Ponte’s grape-growing philosophy. Taste three signature Ponte wines, right next to the vineyards they come from. Visit the winery facilities to learn about the art and science of winemaking. The tour ends with sample tastes from stainless steel tanks and giant oak casks.

Monday – Friday
1:00 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday
11:00 a.m. | 1:00 p.m. | 3:00 p.m.

Vineyard Bus Tours are:
$25 per guest

Have a question? Please call 951-694-8855.


Dining at Ponte: Bouquet, The Cellar Lounge and The Restaurant at Ponte

Ponte offers more dining options than most other Temecula Valley wineries. The Restaurant at Ponte has been voted one of the top 50 best outdoor restaurants by OpenTable. This al fresco lunchtime eatery offers upscale California cuisine with Mediterranean flavors seven days a week. Dinner can enjoy the new Bouquet and The Cellar Lounge located next-door at the Ponte Vineyard Inn.  The chefs at Ponte Estate focus on locally-sourced ingredients and artisan recipes.

Learn more about restaurant choices at Ponte Family Estate here.

 

Ponte Holiday Events and Ponte Vineyard Inn Packages

Cyber Monday Special: Sunday-Thursday bookings at Ponte Vineyard Inn made on Cyber Monday, December 2 will be priced 30% off regular rates. Subject to availability; stay should take place between Cyber Monday and the end of 2014. Blackout dates include all holidays.

Holiday Shopping Sundays: Ponte Winery’s festively decorated Tasting Room and Marketplace offers a carefully curated selection of gourmet delicacies, elegant housewares, cookbooks and wine. Guests are invited to shop while sipping hot cocoa and listening to holiday music under twinkling lights. Wine tastings are available for purchase. Sunday, December 15th and 22nd 10:00am-5:00pm.

New Year’s Eve Dinner and Package: The winery’s popular Restaurant at Ponte will be serving their full menu with specials in the winery’s stunning Barrel Room. Reservations accepted from 5:00pm to 8:00pm, on December 31st. For reservations, call (951) 252-1770. In addition, there will be a special seating for dinner at Bouquet Restaurant at Ponte Vineyard Inn with a prix fixe menu and wine pairings. Please contact Ponte Vineyard Inn at 951-587-8855 for tickets. After dinner, guests are invited to take the short walk via a designated path to neighboring Wiens Family Cellars for their vintage Las Vegas-themed New Year’s Eve Celebration, hosted by The King himself, Elvis Presley. Those who book rooms at Ponte Vineyard Inn will enjoy exclusive access to The Cellar Lounge, a complimentary bottle of Ponte Winery Moscato, a complimentary Bloody Mary at Bouquet the next morning and a 1:00pm late check-out.

To book a room at Ponte Vineyard Inn, call (951) 587-6688  or visit www.pontevineyardinn.com. To purchase tickets to the Wiens Family Cellars new Year’s Eve Celebration, please contact the winery at (888) 989-4367.

Ponte Family Estate is located at 35053 Rancho California Road, Temecula CA 92591 | www.pontevineyardinn.com | 951-694-8855

 

 

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Five Fun Facts About… Moscato

Friday, April 26th, 2013

Moscato, Muscatel, Muscat… what’s the difference between them? Just the names, actually.  Rather than just being one grape, Muscat includes a family of grapes in a range of colors (from white to brown, or to near black.)  For instance, Moscato is the Italian name and Muscatel the Spanish.

Here in the U.S., Moscato is making its mark and has become the hot wine of the moment. Some would say sweet versions of Moscato are ideal for the American sweet tooth; it’s also an easy wine for the new wine drinker to love.

For a perfect spring day, pack a picnic with a chilled bottle of Temecula Valley Moscato and pair it with good cheese, buttery crackers and seasonal fruit. Salud!

pipesmagazine.com

Here are Five Fun Facts About Moscato

1.  Muscat is the only fine wine grape that doubles as a table grape.

2.  Twitter currently buzzes with an average of 250 tweets an hour about people drinking their Moscato.

3.  In addition to Moscato, Muscatel and Muscat, this common white variety is also known as Muscadel, Muscat Blanc and Muscat Canelli.

4.  Virtually all pink Moscatos gain their hue from a splash of red wine, not skin contact.

5.  The breadth and number of varieties of Muscat suggest that it is perhaps the oldest domesticated grape variety, and there are theories that most families within the Vitis vinifera grape variety are descended from the Muscat variety.

Looking for a great bottle of Moscato wine in Temecula Valley?

Check these wines out!

 

Article sources:
Wikipedia, Muscat
WineIntro.com
Michigan University
Broker-wine.com
RoBeRt Haynes-Peterson/HawaiiBevGuide

 

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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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Wine Country Recipe: BBQ Burgers from Ponte Winery

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Simple Grilled Burgers with Ponte’s Secret Sauce

Ponte Family Estate is well-loved for their delicious al fresco restaurant so we asked them for a great grill recipe for summer. Here’s an interesting twist on an American classic – the cheeseburger.  And the best part about this burger recipe is it’s simplicity. This is an easy dish to prep and grill with the family for 4th of July weekend.  Pair with a light white wine – and sparkling lemonade for the kids!

Make the burgers using classic ingredients:

  • Ground beef (medium) or turkey patties (well-done)
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Pickles
  • Cheddar cheese (1-2 slices)
  • A bun, lightly grilled
  • Special Sauce (see below)

 

Measure the following ingredients by taste to make the special sauce:

  • Mayonnaise
  • Mustard
  • Mild curry spice
  • Dash of salt

 

*Pair with Ponte Winery’s Isabel 2010, a light and delicate summer white.

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Winemaker’s Rountable: Five Facts About… Pinot Grigio

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Sometimes spritzy, always easy, Pinot Grigio is certainly a favorite white wine for spring. With its warm days and cool nights, Temecula is an ideal spot to grow Pinot Grigio, which requires plenty of sunshine to develop the vibrant apple and melon flavors for which it is known. And everyone enjoys drinking it, especially when paired with a chunk of aged Gouda cheese, Marcona almonds and dried apricots, a grilled salmon salad with a healthy squeeze of lemon, or a nice bowl of penne tossed with spring vegetables and butter.

Below are five fun facts on this Old World varietal, plus some suggestions on where to pick up an affordable bottle at one of your local Temecucla Valley wineries.

  1. Pinot Gris (French) and Pinot Grigio (Italian) refer same grape – just different countries and different styles.
  2. Very closely related to the Pinot Noir grape, the grape normally has a grayish-blue skin, accounting for its name – gris meaning “grey” in French; pinot comes from the French word “pine cone,” which could have been given to it because the grapes grow in pine cone-shaped clusters.
  3. The first American Pinot Gris vines were planted in Oregon in 1966 by David Lett from Eyrie Vineyards.
  4. Pinot Gris grows well in the Central and South coastal areas of California. The Pinot Gris from California is often called Pinot Grigio because of its similarity in style to the wine of Italy.
  5. Pinot gris is considered an “early to market wine” – which means it can be bottled and out on the market within 4–12 weeks after fermentation.  This white can be opened and consumed young.


Temecula Valley wine country Pinot Grigios to try:

 

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