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Meet the Husband-and-Wife Teams of Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country

Friday, January 31st, 2020

All’s Fair in Love and… Wine?

With gorgeous vistas, world class wines, happening tasting rooms, friendly and knowledgeable people, amazing culinary options, and year-round perfect weather, there are few better places to spend Valentine’s Day – or any day, really – than Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. But, what if you work in Wine Country? And, what if you work in Wine Country with your significant other?

Thinking about taking the next step with your honey and opening a winery? After catching up with some of Temecula Valley’s iconic winery couples, we learned that it is indeed possible to keep the romance alive, even when it means spending all day together on the job. It just involves lots of wine, functional plumbing, and occasionally leaving work at work, which, according to these dynamic duos, is harder that it sounds.

Les & Dorian Linkogle

LES AND DORIAN LINKOGLE, BRIAR ROSE WINERY

Les is the winemaker and the visionary force behind the winery. Dorian focuses on the administrative and hospitality-driven side of the business. They have been together for over 45 years, 20 of which have been spent operating the winery together.

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Les: Dorian and I were high school sweethearts.

TVWA: Awwwww. What is the best part about working together?

Dorian: Sharing our passion for this wonderful wine culture with one another.

TVWA: What is the worst part?

Les: You never stop working. You don’t take the necessary time off away from the winery, and the business dominates almost all of your conversations.

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

Dorian:  One harvest, under the light of the full harvest moon, Les set up a table in the middle of the vineyards. The table was complete with tablecloth, candle, wine and two glasses. Much to my surprise he wanted me to experience the magic of the energy of the vineyards just prior to harvest. As I sat there with him, I did experience the energy and sense of awe as I viewed the beautiful fruit hanging from the vines in the shadow of the moonlight, and I truly did feel the energy of the vines just as he had described.  It was an enchanted evening; one I will never forget.

Deane & Christine Foote

DEANE AND CHRISTINE FOOTE, FOOT PATH WINERY

Deane is the winemaker and works in the tasting room. According to Deane, Christine is “pretty much everything else. CFO, CEO… she’s the boss.”

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Deane: We met 20+ years ago while working at Teledyne in the City of Industry.

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

Deane: Seeing each other all the time and enjoying it.

TVWA: Do you ever not enjoy it?

Deane: When we have occasional differences in opinion on what should be done next. But she keeps me in line.

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

Deane: Our first date. We have been together ever since.

Nick & Cindy Palumbo

NICK AND CINDY PALUMBO, PALUMBO FAMILY VINEYARDS & WINERY

Nick is the winemaker and Cindy, like Christine, is “everything else.” This seems to be a theme among winery couples!

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Nick: We met at Texas Lil’s in 2000, back when Old Town was a one-horse town. Cindy had chicken pox and I asked her if she wanted to go to “Wally World.” Truth. We got married in 2003.

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

Nick: The best part is we live and raise our kids onsite, in a healthy and beautiful environment. We live a healthy lifestyle, doing what we believe in and showing our kids that working hard and staying true to what you believe in is rewarding in many ways.

TVWA: What is the worst part?

Nick: The worst part is we never seem to “get away.” That said, we live and work where other people dream of “getting away” to!

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

Nick: It’s tough to pinpoint just one anecdote. Raising family, multiple farm animals and crazy customers over the years has afforded us years’ worth of stories. However, one that stands out is when a long-time customer requested a taste of our Sangiovese on his death bed. Seriously. It brought tears to our eyes.     

Ray & Loretta Falkner

RAY AND LORETTA FALKNER, FALKNER WINERY

Ray is the Chairman and CFO, in charge of all winery operations, including production and sales. He is also in charge of the on-site restaurant, Pinnacle. Loretta is the President and CEO, in charge of all weddings, special events and the gift shop. They have been together for 22 years, 19 of which have been at the winery.

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Ray & Loretta: We met through friends in Dallas, TX, where we were living prior to moving to California

in 2000. While we each came from different work backgrounds (technology and fashion retail), we merged talents to build our winery operation. We had previously worked together at a start-up internet company in Dallas named Shabang.  

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

R&L: The best part is sharing in the successes when they occur. It also makes it easier to “bring work home” when there are work issues that are best discussed in great length in order to arrive at the best possible solution.

TVWA: What is the hardest part?

R&L: The most difficult part is when there are wide differences of opinion and neither of us wants to give in. We can usually get over the stubborn positions to reach a compromise though. Sometimes it is also difficult to get away from work when you see each other most hours of the day.

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

R&L: One of them was the creation of our “Luscious Lips” wine and label.  Loretta felt that the winery should produce a visually catchy label that customers would be attracted to and purchase.  She decided two lips on the label would be the selling point.  Numerous employees and friends were asked to provide “lip imprints” so we could decide what to use.  All employees and friends were involved in the selection process. Ray wanted the lips embossed on the label so you could feel the lips as well as see them.  The next step was the wine itself – a Syrah with about 3% residual sugar. It was a true collaborative effort, and Luscious Lips has been an extremely successful wine ever since. 

Akash & Elena Patel

AKASH & ELENA PATEL, AKASH WINERY

Akash is the owner and director of the winery, and Elena is the wine club manager. They have been together for 9 years.

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Akash & Elena: We met at school in 2004.

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

A&E: Working together to create a place that people love coming to visit. A place, that if it wasn’t ours, we would visit. Plus, watching our joint visions come to life right in front of our eyes.

TVWA: What is the worst part?

A&E: There is no worse part! (Cough cough)… Not being able to shut off work after hours, and talk about things other than the winery.

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

A&E: We’ve only been at it for 12 months, so we are still in our honeymoon phase of love and peace. Right now it is all memorable.

Carrie & Charlie Peltzer
Photo Courtesy of @paigecreative / @temeculavalleyvibe

CARRIE & CHARLIE PELTZER, OWNERS, PELTZER FARM & WINERY

Charlie is a professional investor in “rusty gold” and antiquities. Carrie is a designer. Together, she dreams it and he builds it! Much of what you see around Peltzer Farm & Winery are products from this duo. They have been together for 24 years.

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Carrie: My aunt and uncle lived on the same street in Orange as Charlie and introduced us. At the time, we both had significant others… BUT, I later found out Charlie had two farm pups named Bonnie and Blue and I quickly fell in love with all of them. He’d take them to work with him every day. It was adorable. The rest is history and it’s been bliss ever since!

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

Carrie: My favorite part about working with Charlie is coming up with an idea, spinning it around my head, and putting it on paper. Charlie takes once glance and he’s off building it. He loves projects (most of the time) and I love ideas – it just works.

TVWA: What is the worst part?

Carrie: The fact that you can’t just shut it off… without three glasses of wine, that is.

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

Carrie: One of my favorite stories is from while we were building the Crush House. Starbucks was getting

rid of some of their furniture for a remodel. Charlie, being Charlie, picked up a couple of leather chairs they threw out and brought them home. We ended up putting the two chairs in the middle of the Crush House. Every day at 4 or 5 pm when we were done with the day, we would sit in those chairs, relax, talk about what was next in the build, dream about the future of the place, and crack a cold one. They’re still in Charlie’s workshop to this day!

Steve & Valerie Andrews

Valerie & Steve Andrews, Oak Mountain Winery

Steve is the President and Valerie is the Vice President of this dog-loving winery. They have been together for 22 years.

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Valerie:  We met online on a singles site

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

Valerie: We have the same work ethics. We create our next project together, from planting our vineyards over 20 years ago, to building our 10,000 square-foot wine cave. Steve has the technical ideas and expertise while I am the creative, artistic side.

TVWA: What is the worst part?

Valerie: There is no worst part.

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

Valerie: In the very beginning we bottled our small amount of wine with a gravity feed, 4-spout bottler. Steve had the tote of wine raised on a forklift so, by gravity, the wine would flow to the bottler that we had set on the ground. I was in charge of putting the bottles under the spouts and then pulling them off when full for Steve to cork. Well, sometimes the bottler would lose its prime, so I had a syringe to suck the wine back to prime. It didn’t work very well, so I just would suck on the end of the spout to get the wine going again. Eight hours later there was a very happy, very drunk Val. Steve still laughs about that one.

Gerry & Rosie Wilson

GERRY AND ROSIE WILSON, WILSON CREEK WINERY

It is impossible to talk about Temecula Valley Wine Country Couples without thinking about Gerry and Rosie Wilson of Wilson Creek Winery. These two lovebirds have been together for a whopping 65 years! Read the story of how they met here.

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

Rosie: Being together and sharing this journey. Knowing what each other is doing each day.

TVWA: What is the worst part?

Rosie: There isn’t one.

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

Rosie: When we were building the winery, someone told us that the Balloon and Wine Festival was to be at Lake Skinner the next day. We felt that we should have something to show people driving by our property that we were building a winery, so we constructed a sign that said “Wilson Creek Winery” and added a white oval at the top that said “Open Soon.” We slogged through the mud and rain and installed it. Well, with all the problems that occurred along the way, we opened nearly TWO years later. I guess we gave the word “soon” a new meaning!   

Bill & Jenifer Wilson

BILL & JENIFER WILSON, WILSON CREEK WINERY

It looks like Gerry and Rosie started something much bigger than their relationship when they got together, because this other iconic Wilson Creek Couple has been together for 32 years!

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Bill: I was going to a bar early because a person I had never met and haven’t seen since forgot his ID!

Jenifer was there following a Heart Association fundraiser, hoping to find a handsome doctor, but met me instead.

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

Bill: We see each other every day!

TVWA: What is the worst part?

Bill: We see each other every day!

TVWA: Do any moments stand out for you during your time working together?

Bill: It was when we were building the winery, living in a double wide with no electricity & no running water, with a 4 year old and a 2 year old. One day, my wife hands me a training potty dispenser for me to empty, and proclaims, “It’s not your daughter’s.” That was extremely motivating to hurry up and get the construction done! 

Phil & Carol Baily

PHIL & CAROL BAILY, BAILY WINERY

Another famous Temecula Valley couple, Phil and Carol Baily were among the first to settle in Temecula Valley and build the region to what it is today.

TVWA: How did you two meet?

Phil: We were introduced to each other by our sisters in 1967 in Whittier, California where we both were raised. Our sisters felt that we were a perfect match; they were right, because five months later we were married, and this past November, we celebrated our 52nd wedding anniversary.

TVWA: What is the best part about working together?

Phil: Every part of our business is the result of both of us working hard and working together.  Every major decision was made by the two of us hashing things out, not being afraid to take the steps to begin, and adjusting as things evolved and the environment changed. And we’re not done yet.

Special thanks to all the winery folks who contributed to this piece. For more about Temecula Valley Wine Country and all the passionate people who make it so special, click HERE.

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February Winery Events

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Akash Winery
Valentines Valenwines Dinner with Naughty Pig Butchery / February 14 / 6.30pm – 10.30pm / $125pp / Includes 6-course meal carefully paired with Akash wine / Limited seats available / Please visit www.akashwinery.com for advanced reservations and additional information.

Avensole Winery
Romantic Valentine’s Weekend Menu at Avensole / February 13th – 15th / $160 per couple, includes one glass of wine per person / Join us for a romantic four-course prix-fixe couples dinner in the Restaurant for Valentine’s weekend! Try our seasonal hand-crafted cocktails – Tickled Pink, P.S. I Love You and Avensole’s Passion. To view full Valentine’s menu, please visit our website: www.avensolewinery.com/restaurant. Reservations are recommended.

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 / See website for reservations at www.avensolewinery.com

Baily Winery
Port Vertical Tasting at The Estate Tasting Room / Feb 14, 15, & 16
Hourly seating’s from 11am – 3pm / $35 per person plus tax / Tasting will be 3 vintages of Port (2003, 2006, 2009) plus a charcuterie plate and dessert for two. Tasting will take place at Baily Estate Tasting Room located on Pauba Road / Reservations with a credit card required call Lisa 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.

Bel Vino Winery
Valentine’s Day Bash / February 14 / 6pm-10pm / $5pp pre-paid admission on our website or $10pp at the door / Enjoy a variety of vendors, music by DJ Mike Dillinger, beer garden featuring Garage Brewery. Full Bistro will be open / Please visit www.belvinowinery.com to reserve.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Love is a Work of Heart / February 14 / Seating at 5pm-5:30pm or 7pm-7:30pm / $76.50 Wine Club | $85.00 General Public / We invite you to join us this Valentine’s Day to experience the work of heart that our Executive Chef, Anthony Bar, has created for this very intimate evening by indulging in a delightful four-course dinner accompanied by live music. A wine pairing option is available/ Price is per person plus tax and 20% gratuity. Reservations are recommended (951) 587-8889. Make a reservation or view the menu online: www.callawaywinery.com

Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $40 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 $30 / 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 2pm / 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

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member / 1pm & 3pm Monday-Sunday / Your guided experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with perfectly matched culinary bites from our Chef. Learn about the history of our beautiful Temecula Valley & get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning Sparkling wines are made. Our Wine & Food Pairings are approximately 90 minutes & limited to eight guests.  Make your reservation today!  Must be 21 or older / Reservation Information: Reservations recommended – Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
13th Annual Super Chili Bowl / February 2 / 3pm-8pm / Chili Competitor (10 total): $15pp, Wineclub attendee: $25pp, non-wine club attendee $40pp / Join us for Food, Wine, Beer and Football in the Barrel Room. The chili competition kicks off at 3pm. Do you have what it takes to win? Price includes Chili Tasting, snacks, wine or beer. Price increase day of event / Please call 951.491.0825 to reserve and for additional information or visit www.cougarvinedyards.com

Sweetheart Special, Valentine’s Day / February 14 / 11a-8p / Lunch for two with a view! Make your reservation for this Heart Themed meal. Includes heart-shaped pizza, Caesar salad, 2 glasses of wine or beer, 2 heart shaped triple chocolate Ghirardelli brownies and a long stem red rose while seated in our Adirondack chairs. Reservations required; space is limited. Price is for 2 people, Wine club $50 ($60 for 6-8p), non-wine club $55 ($75 for 6-8p) / Please call 951.491.0825 to reserve and for additional information or visit www.cougarvinedyards.com

Monthly Cooking Class with Executive Chef Alex Alimirante / February 26 / 5pm-7pm / Wine club $60pp, non-wine club $65pp / Learn to make Gnocchetti under the guidance of Chef Alex!  Go home with the recipe and special gnocchi paddle after making and tasting your pasta / Please call 951.491.0825 to reserve and for additional information or visit www.cougarvinedyards.com

Danza del Sol Winery
Lovers’ Flight / Enjoy a Valentine’s couple paired tasting in the Club House / February 13 / Limited seating available at 11am, 1pm and 3pm / Sparkling greeting followed by 5 wines, cheese, & dessert pairings. Cost: $45 per Couple – Member; $48 per Couple – Non-members / For reservations call 951-302-6363 x21 or online at www.danzadelsolwinery.com/events

It’s LEAP YEAR…An Extra Day, Come & Play! – Blind Tasting Event in the Club House / February 29 / 3pm / How well do you know Danza wine? Come test your wine knowledge! / Cost $30 per person – Member; $35 per person – Non-Member / For reservations call 951-302-6363 x21 or online at www.danzadelsolwinery.com/events

Europa Village
L’Amore at Europa Village Valentine’s Dinner / February 14 and 15 / 6:00pm-8:00pm / Tickets: $129; Société $116.10 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. For reservations please visit www.europavillage.com

Bridal Show / February 20 / 4:00pm-7:00pm / Tickets: $5/ Tickets at the Door: $10 / Congratulations, you’re officially engaged! Please join us at Europa Village and meet some of the best wedding vendors in Temecula. Our Bridal Show is the perfect opportunity to tour all of our property and meet our event managers.  Enjoy a day in wine country filled with sparkling wine, appetizers, and prizes / For tickets please visit www.europavillage.com

A Night of Comedy with Amy Ashton and Friends / February 20 / 6:00pm-8:00pm / Tickets: $58.00; Société $52.20 / Come out to Europa Village for a fun night of wine, food and laugh-out-loud comedy with headliner Amy Ashton and comics from HBO, Netflix, and Comedy Central! The Amy Ashton and Friends Stand Up and Talk Show includes lots of laughs, advice, and prizes! / For tickets please visit www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Valentine Heart Cork Wall Art / February 9 / 12pm-2pm / $45 per person or $80 per couple / Includes a glass of champagne, all your painting supplies needed and your corks. The perfect Valentine’s gift for your loved one! We only have 20 slots available so please get your reservations in! / Please visit www.falkerwinery.com  for reservations.

Valentine Lunch Specials / February 14th – 17th / 11:30am-3pm / Valentine Lunch Special for 2 in the Pinnacle Restaurant $65 for Two + tax (regular menu available) For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com. Reservations required please call 951-676-8231 option 4

Valentine’s Dinner in the Pinnacle Restaurant / February 14 / 5:30pm-9:30pm / Prix Fixe menu. $134+tax per person ($124+tax wine club) Early Bird Seating at 5:30pm $114+ tax per person ($104+tax for wine club) For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Entertainment provided by Harmony Road Duo / Reservations required please call 951-676-8231 opt. 4 or visit www.falknerwinery.com

Valentine’s Dinner in the Pinnacle Restaurant / February 15 / 5:30pm-9:30pm / Prix Fixe menu. $134+tax per person ($124+tax wine club) Early Bird Seating at 5:30pm $114+ tax per person ($104+tax for wine club) For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Entertainment provided by 15th- LDR Acoustic Blend / Reservations required please call 951-676-8231 opt. 4 or visit www.falknerwinery.com

Wine Appreciation Class / February 15 / 10am-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge; $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP / RSVP’s required 951-676-8231 x. 109 or email wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Fazeli Cellars
A Winter Evening in Paris / February 14 / Seating times varies / $185 | $160 Members (per person) / Join Fazeil Cellars Chef Daragh Matheson and treat your special someone to a 5-course wine and food pairing dinner along with live music. To view a complete menu and additional information please visit http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-391379/Valentines-Day-2020.html

Leoness Cellars
Dinner by Candlelight in The Restaurant at Leoness
/ February 14 / Seating 5:30pm – 8:30pm / 4-course wine paired menu / Wine Club Members $110 pp + tax; Non-Wine Club Members $125 pp+ tax / Please note a 72 hour cancellation policy with a $40 cancellation fee /  For reservations, please call 951.302.7601 ex 4

Peltzer Family Cellars
Paint and Sip with Pretty Paints Party / February 6 / 6pm-9pm / $50 per painter / Pretty Paints and Peltzer Winery are pouring on the Galentine’s Fun with a step by step Paint & Sip Workshop in the Crush House. Create your own monogrammed name with wreath on wooden pallet. Template included! We’ll all be finding our creative side in the unique tasting room, which is unlike any other in Temecula’s Wine Country. We can’t wait! Live music & DJ! / To reserve please visit reserve at etsy.com/shop/prettypaintsparty 

Saturday Night Fever / February 15 / 6pm-9pm / $10 entrance includes a glass of specialty Sangria / We’ve got the fever… Saturday Night Fever to be exact! Boogie on down for a groovy night at Peltzer complete with a DJ, Baja Eats, and all the disco drinks your heart’s desire. Dress in your 70’s best and enter in our costume contest! Can you dig it?  / 21+ only; please reserve at www.peltzerwinery.com

Dueling Pianos / February 20 / 6pm-10pm / $45 per ticket includes a complimentary glass of our Signature Sangria / Give the gift of music to your friends, fam, or significant other for Valentine’s Day! Join us in the Crush House on February 20th from 6:00-10pm for a high energy, totally amazing, interactive dueling pianos show with The Killer Dueling Pianos. This fan fave event sells out quickly, so make sure to purchase your tickets in a hurry! Crush Club Members will receive 10% off tickets and 20% off wine. Food truck eats will be available for purchase at 6:00 so that y’all can grab a bite and a drink before the show starts at 7:00! *Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable* / (21+) Reserve at Peltzerwinery.com

Ponte Winery
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

Somerset Vineyards & Winery
Monty Monday’s
/ Come out & enjoy wine and live R&B music featuring Monty Seward! Every Monday starting Feb. 10th / 6pm-9pm / Open to the public; no cover charge. Optional reserved seating for two (2) available for $50; advanced reservations required. Cost includes a bottle of wine, charcuterie board and reserved seats for the music night. For more information and to reserve, please visit our website at www.somersetvineyard.com

Un-Valentine Package / February 14 / 5pm-9pm / $70 Public, $60 Wine Club Members / Enjoy a meal that includes a pizza and salad to share, a welcome glass of sparkling wine, hand-dipped chocolate strawberry, and one glass of wine per person/ DJ – Vreal for entertainment / To reserve, please visit www.somersetvineyard.com

Tasting Class with Certified Somm / February 16 / 10:30am-2:30pm / The four-hour class price ranges from $55 – $120 depending on individual tickets, couple tickets, member or non-member / An Entertaining Learning Experience with a Knowledgeable & Experienced Educator Instruction and Tasting with Certified Sommelier & Wine Educator George “Frankie” Franceschi. Reserve your seats for an entertaining, enthusiastic learning experience about the history of wine grape varietals, their origins, their climate preferences, and wine culture and producers. Class is informal with the opportunity for interaction / For reservations please visit www.somersetvineyard.com

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Valentine’s Day Dinner / February 14 /5:30pm-9:00pm / Celebrate your special someone with a romantic wine country three-course dinner and wine pairing. Our Executive Chef and winemaker have paired up to make this truly a night to remember / Cost: $150 per person, $199 with wine pairing / Reservations required; please visit www.wineresort.com for more information.

Cupcake & Wine Pairing / Fridays and Sundays in February / 3:00pm / Cost: $55 per person, $50 Wine Club / Available throughout February, Fridays and Sundays at 3 p.m. During the month of February, South Coast Winery offers a special Wine and Cupcake Pairing in the Tasting Room. Five award-winning wines from the vineyards will be paired with various flavored cupcakes by local baker Carly Magee / Reservations required please visit www.wineresort.com 

Behind the Scene Wine Tour / Available daily / 1pmand 3pm / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member or Military / 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, reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Thornton Winery
Café Champagne’s Valentine’s Dinner / February 14 / 5:00pm – 9:00pm / A special 3-course treat for your sweet. Dinner will be accompanied with a live violinist / $84.00 pp. plus tax and gratuity / Call for Reservations (951) 699-0099 or visit www.thorntonwine.com

Wilson Creek Winery
Bubble Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday 10am-3pm / $51.95, Buffet only: $41.95, Children: $16.95 / Enjoy all your breakfast favorites, omelet stations, waffle stations, seafood stations, carving stations and dessert stations with beautiful vineyard views / Buffet (+ unlimited sparkling). Now serving Bloody Mary’s! / Reservations can be made at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com or call 951.699.9463 for additional information.

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Fun Facts About….Late Harvest Wine

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Late Harvest Wine Grapes

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 five fun facts about late harvest wine!
Facts courtesy of Snooth and Wikipedia

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.

Looking for a great bottle of Temecula Valley Late Harvest Wine? Check these wines out!

Late Harvest Viognier, Danza del Sol Winery; $38
Late Harvest Malbec, Doffo Winery; $69
Late Harvest Gewurztraminer, Europa Village; $24
Late Harvest Grenache, Lorenzi Estate Vineyards & Winery; $36

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Dungeness Crab and Avocado Tostadas

Friday, January 31st, 2020

Dungeness Crab and Avocado Tostadas

Unlike the bean- and cheese-laden tostadas served in many restaurants, these are featherlight and heart healthy. The salad-like topping helps stretch the costly crabmeat, and you’ll save money by buying a cooked crab and extracting the meat yourself. Packaged tostada shells come in a variety of sizes; use any size you like. Serves 4

Ingredients
2⁄3 cup (130 g) finely diced tomato
1⁄3 cup (40 g) finely minced green onion, white and pale green part only
1⁄4 cup (10 g) chopped fresh cilantro, plus whole leaves for garnish
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 serrano chile, finely minced
2 large, ripe avocados
2 limes, 1 halved, 1 quartered
Kosher or sea salt
8 corn tostada shells, about 5 inches (13 cm) in diameter
1 head pale, crisp romaine lettuce, about 6 ounces (185 g), halved lengthwise, then very thinly sliced crosswise
1⁄2 pound (250 g) Dungeness crabmeat
1⁄3 cup (75 g) crema (Mexican-style sour cream)
Mexican-style hot sauce or Tabasco sauce, for serving (optional)

Directions
In a large bowl, combine the tomato, green onion, chopped cilantro, garlic, and as much of the minced chile as you like. Halve and pit the avocados, then scoop the flesh from the skin and add to the bowl. Squeeze the juice of 1∕2 lime over the avocado. Using a fork, mash the avocado coarsely, incorporating the other ingredients in the bowl as you work. Season with salt and add more juice from the other 1∕2 lime as needed to achieve a guacamole with good flavor.

Top the tostada shells with the guacamole, dividing it evenly and spreading it to the edges. Top each tostada with the romaine and then with the crab, dividing them evenly. Drizzle each tostada with 2 teaspoons crema. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve immediately with the lime wedges and with the hot sauce, if desired.

Suggested Pairings:

Callaway Vineyard & Winery – 2016 Special Selection Chardonnay ~ Pairs with herb chicken, pork chop, grilled shrimp and pasta with cream & butter sauces.

Chapin Family Vineyards – 2016 Sauvignon Blanc ~ Pairs well with fish, salads, and soft cheeses.

Maurice Car’rie Vineyard & Winery – 2017 Sauvignon Blanc ~ A mouth-watering, deeply satisfying delight, with pleasant herbal and grapefruit aromas on the nose.

Wiens Family Cellars – 2018 Chardonnay ~ Green Apple, Meyer Lemon, Almond.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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January Winery Events

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

Fun wine events!

It’s the start of another new year and if you haven’t visited Temecula Valley Wine Country lately, now’s the time! Check out January’s calendar of events and make plans to visit us soon!

Avensole Winery
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: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-369934

Baily Winery
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.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
Prix Fixe Friday & Sunday at Meritage / 5pm to 8pm / For $40 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 $30 / 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 2pm / 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

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Wine & Chocolate Pairing / Every Friday of the month / 3:00pm / $45 Per Person ($40 Wine Club) / Your guided pairing experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with 5 custom chocolates from local chocolate shoppe, SugarPlum Farm. Get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning wines are made and learn how Carter Estate wines compliment and bring out the unique flavors of chocolate. Our Wine & Chocolate Pairing is approximately 90 minutes & has limited availability to provide a more intimate experience for our guests. Make your reservation today! Must be 21 or older. Reservation Information: Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member / 1pm & 3pm Monday-Sunday / Your guided experience includes a specially selected flight of five of our Carter Estate wines paired with perfectly matched culinary bites from our Chef. Learn about the history of our beautiful Temecula Valley & get a behind-the-scenes look at how our award-winning Sparkling wines are made. Our Wine & Food Pairings are approximately 90 minutes & limited to eight guests.  Make your reservation today!  Must be 21 or older / Reservation Information: Reservations recommended – Book a pairing on CarterEstateWinery.com

Cougar Vineyard & Winery
Cougar Meets Italy – Preview Event / January 15 / 6:00pm-8:00pm / Watch Bottle Shock in our Barrel Room / $ 10 per person includes a glass of wine and all the popcorn you can eat!  / Tickets available through www.cougarvineyards.com

Cougar Meets Italy – Main Event / January 16 / 6:00pm-9:00pm / $70 pp for Wine Club Members, $75 for non-members / Professional “Bottle Shock” wine judging comparing Cougar wines with their Italian counterparts.  Audience wine tasting and judging with the same wines.  Ticket price includes dinner and logo wineglass to commemorate the event plus musical accompaniment / Price increase January 1st.  Ask about special pricing for preview event and main event.   Tickets available through www.cougarvineyards.com  / Limited seating and will sell out!

Charcuterie Workshop / January 29 / 5:00-7:00pm / $45 wine club $50 non-wine club / Hello Friends! We are inviting you to join us for our charcuterie workshop: an amazing evening of fun, friendship, food, and of course, great wine. Explore your creativity as you prepare your very own personal charcuterie board utilizing the finest cured meats and cheeses enjoying a glass of wine. Continue to impress your guests with your very own board, included with workshop. Our workshop makes for a great gift idea, date night, or opportunity to make new friends! We look forward to seeing you! / To Purchase tickets please visit www.courgarvineyards.com

Europa Village
Lunch & Cooking Demonstration with Celebrity Chef, Sarah Faherty! / January 26 / Starts 12:00pm / Tickets $125/Société $116.10 / Join us for a cooking demonstration by a celebrity chef, Sarah Faherty. Enjoy a 3-course meal and learn how to cook like a pro. Ms. Faherty first developed her love of food and wine pairing when she was traveling during her time abroad working in the Army Intelligence Field. Throughout her travels she had the opportunity to learn about food and wine as it pertains to other cultures. Sarah Faherty was featured as the runner-up on this season of MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay, Aaron Sanchez and Joe Bastianich on the FOX network / For reservations please visit www.europavillage.com

Falkner Winery
Wine Appreciation Class / January 18 / 10-12:30pm / $45 pp; $40 Connoisseur, $20 VIP. $80 pp with lunch option / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge / RSVP is required. Please call 951-676-8231 x. 109 or email wineclub@falknerwinery.com 

Lorimar Winery
Laugh your Glass Off / January 16 / Show starts at 7:00 pm / $20/$18 Wine Club Members / Pairings Food Truck opens at 6:00 pm / Join us for a night of wine, comedy and good times! / For Mature Audience Only (21+). For tickets please visit https://shop.lorimarwinery.com

Masia de la Vinya Winery
I Regret Nothing…New Year’s Brunch
/ January 1 / 11:30am – 2:30pm / Catered by Chef Flavor; breakfast Bahn Mi, burritos, grilled vegetable & goat cheese scramble, iron skillet potatoes & fresh fruit / $28 members, $33 guests, $14 children 4yrs-12yrs old. Add bottomless mimosas for $16 / For reservations: click the ticket link on our post to access www.masiadelavinya.com/events or call 951 – 303 -3860 ext.1 / Refundable cancellations will be permitted within 72 hours of event. 

Oak Mountain Winery
Live Concert KG’s featuring Roscoe Vaunt
/ January 10 / 6pm to 9pm / Join us for a concert in our newly renovated Vineyard view pavilion. $10 gets you in the door with Food, wine, beer & brandy cocktails available for purchase!  Tickets required & Space is limited!  Call 951-699-9102 or Get your tickets online at https://shop.oakmountainwinery.com/event-tickets-c11.aspx

Peltzer Family Cellars
Peltzer Ice Rink
/ Open until January 12th / M-F, 3-9pm and Sat-Sun, 1:30-9pm. Sessions every 1.5 hours / Peltzer Ice Rink offers ice skating fun to the Temecula Valley Wine Country! Hot Cocoa, food trucks & and an Ice Rink Bar on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays / Cost and reservation information children 3-11 are $12 while General Admission is $16. You can pre-purchase your session on Peltzerwinery.com to ensure your desired skate time.

Skate with an Ice Princess / January 5 / 3-6pm / Let it go on the ice with your two favorite frosty ladies! The Ice Queen and the Snow Princess are comin’ back to the Peltzer Ice Rink for skating and photo ops. / Cost and reservation information to purchase your skate session with the Ice Queen and Snow Princess, visit peltzerwinery.com, select your correct session type, then choose the January 5th date at either 3:00pm or 4:30pm. Children 3-11 are $12, General Admission is $16.

Supercross Watch Party / January 11 / 5-9pm / Come watch the Supercross LIVE with us on the big screen in the Crush House on January 11th from 5-9pm. We’re teaming up with Road 2 Recovery to raise funds for their amazing organization that aids AMA licensed professional motocross/supercross and action sport athletes with financial assistance while recovery from debilitating injuries. They also provide emotional and motivational support to these athletes and their families. Food Truck Eats by Devilicious Food Truck, Q’s Tacos Food Truck, and The Woodfire Pizza Wagon / Cost is $10 includes raffle ticket to win a signed jersey and full dirt bike kit. Children under 10 are free.

Somerset Vineyard & Winery
Somm Wine Tasting Experience / January 19 / 10:30am-2:30am / Tickets range from $55 – $120 / An entertaining learning experience with a knowledgeable & experienced educator instruction and tasting with a certified sommelier & wine educator George “Frankie” Franceschi. This class will enhance your wine tasting experiences wherever you go and help you appreciate the fine art of wine making. After, Kurt Tiedt, owner & tour guide extraordinaire, will take you on a tour of the barrel room where you will also enjoy tasting wine from the barrel / Limited seating. To reserve please visit https://shop.somersetvineyard.com/res-425670/Tasting-Class-With-Certified-Somm.html

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Behind the Scenes Wine Tour / Available daily / 11 AM, 1 PM and 3PM, Monday through Sunday / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member or Military / 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, reservations are required with prepayment, and are non-refundable. Guests must be over 21 years of age to attend.

Wilson Creek Winery
Bubble Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday 10am-3pm / $51.95, Buffet only: $41.95, Children: $16.95 / Enjoy all your breakfast favorites, omelet stations, waffle stations, seafood stations, carving stations and dessert stations with beautiful vineyard views / Buffet (+ unlimited sparkling). Now serving Bloody Mary’s! / Reservations can be made at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com or call 951.699.9463 for additional information.

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Still Hungry After the Holidays? Meet Temecula Valley’s Other Rockstars – the Chefs and Restaurants of Wine Country

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

We all associate wine country with gorgeous scenery, rolling vineyards, welcoming tasting rooms, the unmistakable sound of corks popping… but, unique to Temecula Valley Southern California, we also find a whole world of culinary delight waiting to be uncovered. Unlike many other prominent wine regions, visitors to Temecula Valley can actually dine among the vines at quite a few restaurants on-site at the local wineries.

Before we all embark on the post-holiday cleanse or New Year diet, and just in time for Restaurant Month, we thought we would turn the spotlight on the amazing places to dine in wine country, not to mention Temecula Valley Southern California’s other rockstars – Wine Country Chefs. Here are a few to check out.

Chef Kevin Grant

The Cave Café at Oak Mountain

Dine 75 feet underground in one of Wine Country’s most unique settings – the wine cave at Oak Mountain, which features a seasonal menu cooked with locally sourced ingredients, designed to share and pair with Oak Mountain wines. Chef Kevin Grant has honed his craft through years working in some of the top kitchens in California and around the world, from resort-style dining to intimate, chef-driven restaurants. His perspective not only comes from his classical French training, but incorporates the unique backgrounds of others in his kitchen, through which he hopes to tell the story of California cuisine – where it has been, and where it is going.

Chef Steve Stawinski

Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek Winery

Here, diners enjoy wine-inspired casual fare based on seasonal, locally-sourced ingredients, while surrounded by lush, 30-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon grapevines, an herb garden, and baskets brimming with colorful flowers. Executive Chef Steve Stawinski credits his passion for cuisine to his upbringing in New Jersey, where food was always a focal point in his family. He even tells the story of adding white wine to a pan once as a child when his mother’s back was turned, because he had seen it done on a cooking show. Voted as one of the Inland Empire’s Best Chefs in 2009, Steve brings decades of experience in the hospitality industry, from high-end steakhouses to bistros and banquets.

Chef Anthony Bar

Meritage at Callaway

Few winery restaurants offer guests such stunning vineyard views as Meritage Restaurant at Callaway Vineyard & Winery. Executive Chef Anthony Bar brings with him passion and talent cultivated over many years studying and working in kitchens the world over, including Lille, France, where he attended culinary school; St. Martin where he served as the Executive Chef at Coco Beach Orient Bay; Texas, where he served as Executive Chef at high-demand restaurant La Maison; and Los Angeles. World travel has deeply influenced his culinary vision, which he now applies to creating seasonal, farm-to-table meals enhanced by the winery’s on-site greenhouse and garden.

Chef Jason Barradas

Pinnacle Restaurant at Falkner Winery

This multi-award-winning restaurant not only boasts truly spectacular panoramic views of Wine Country, but also thoughtful – and decadent! – Mediterranean-style cuisine. Executive Chef Jason Barradas has a long history in California kitchens, having trained at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco and worked at five-star restaurant Amaya at the Grand Del Mar Resort. He brings this immense experience to Pinnacle, where he works to create fresh and imaginative dishes to pair with Falkner’s lineup of premium wines.

Chef Alex Alimirante

Sangio’s Deli at Cougar Vineyards & Winery

Cougar Vineyards & Winery focuses on quality wines made from Italian grape varieties. Of course, no glass of Italian wine (SoCal-style) would be complete without an expertly made Italian sub, panino, cheese and charcuterie plate, or hand-tossed pizza on offer at this casual yet totally gourmet spot located conveniently in the winery’s tasting room. Sangio’s Chef Alex Alimirante trained at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and brings with him 7 years of culinary experience. Lucky for us, he is leading a new series of cooking classes at the winery. 

Chef Jose Esparza

The Vineyard Rose at South Winery Resort and Spa

This all-day restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring California ingredients – some from South Coast’s very own organic gardens – promoting healthy lifestyle menu selections. Executive Chef Jose Esparza oversees culinary operations and develops menus at both South Coast and Carter Estate Winery and Resort. Being a true Wine Country chef, he works closely with award-winning South Coast Winery Master Winemaker Jon McPherson to offer guests wine-friendly pairings to enjoy with their meals.

Other top spots to enjoy a gorgeous meal in an equally gorgeous vineyard setting include the European castle-like Carol’s Restaurant at Baily Winery; Mama’s Rosa’s Trattoria at Robert Renzoni Vineyards, featuring Wine Country’s only brick oven for some of the most epic pizzas this side of Italy; the ultra-elegant Restaurant at Leoness Cellars; the stunning al-fresco terrace Restaurant at Avensole Winery; and Baba Joon’s Kitchen at Fazeli Cellars, offering Persian-inspired Mediterranean cuisine in a spectacular setting.

While not technically in Wine Country, Bluewater Grill in the heart of Temecula’s business area is also a must-visit and certainly deserves an honorable mention. Not only does this hot spot offer fresh, sustainably caught seafood prepared in a variety of ways from classic to modern, amazing happy hour specials, a shaded (and heated when needed!) patio and pet-friendly area, it also boasts one of Temecula’s best kept secrets – zero corkage fee on local wine, making it the perfect spot for dinner after a day of wine tasting to bring one of your local purchases to pair with your meal.

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Wine Country Recipe ~ Deviled Egg Trio

Thursday, December 19th, 2019

Deviled Egg Trio

Deviled eggs disappear fast at parties, especially when they’re dressed up with smoked trout or caviar or made extra devilish with harissa. Serve with your favorite Temecula Valley Rosé or Sparkling wine for the perfect pairing.

Ingredients
1-1/2 dozen large eggs, at room temperature
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon (125 g) mayonnaise, or more as needed
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

With smoked trout:
¼ teaspoon prepared horseradish, or to taste
1-1/2 ounces (45 g) smoked trout
Fresh dill for garnish

With harissa:
1 teaspoon harissa paste, or to taste
Fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
Maras chili or hot paprika for garnish

With caviar:
1 tablespoon thinly sliced chives
1 ounce (25 g) California sturgeon caviar or salmon roe

Makes 36 deviled egg halves, 1 dozen of each type

Directions:

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Prepare a large bowl of ice water. Working in 3 batches of 6 eggs each, use a large spoon to lower the eggs one at a time into the boiling water, reducing the heat to keep the water from jostling the eggs against the pan and cracking them. The water must boil but not too vigorously. Simmer for 10 minutes exactly, then use a large slotted spoon to transfer the eggs to the ice water. Remove when cool and peel. Cut in half lengthwise and scoop the yolks into a bowl.

Add the mayonnaise and mustard to the yolks and mix vigorously with a fork or spoon until creamy and completely smooth, adding a touch more mayonnaise if necessary. Resist the temptation to use a food processor or mixer, which could cause the filling to break; the filling will become smooth if you work it persistently. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture evenly among 3 bowls. You should have about 2/3 cup (150 ml) per bowl.

For the smoked trout deviled eggs: Stir in the horseradish, then fill 1 dozen egg halves with the mixture, using a spoon or a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Top each egg half with a small piece of smoked trout and garnish with a wisp of dill.

For the harissa deviled eggs: Stir in the harissa paste, adding more if desired. Fill 1 dozen egg halves with the mixture, using a spoon or a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Garnish each egg half with a small cilantro leaf and a sprinkle of chili or paprika.

For the caviar deviled eggs: Stir in the chives, then fill 1 dozen egg halves with the mixture, using a spoon or a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Top each egg half with a small spoonful of caviar, dividing it evenly.

Suggested Pairings:

Akash Winery ~ 2018 Parlez Vous Rosé – This fresh, dry style rosé, has aromas of strawberry, plum, and cranberry with a crisp lime finish.

Hart Winery ~ 2017 Rosé of Sangiovese – Lightly pink, near-dry, delicately scented and flavored Rose′ wine, very much in the dryer, food-friendly European style.

Thornton Winery ~ NV Brut – Apple, pear and tropical aromas meld with toasty yeast flavors, while the finish is long and creamy.

Recipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Holiday Wine Guide

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Cheers to the holidays!

Your Holiday Wine Guide, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country Style

It’s the most wonderful time of the year for a very good reason: the holiday season is filled with deliciousness. From epic family meals, to festive office parties, to coworkers bringing in all sorts of home-baked treats, to endless cocktails and tipples – there is plenty to indulge in. There are also so many occasions that call for wine!

In Temecula Valley, we enjoy a warm, Mediterranean climate that offers long, sunny days followed by afternoon breezes and cool, crisp nights; these conditions are ideal for ripening grapes while retaining balance and acidity. As a result, we are able to produce a wide range of wines from dozens of different grape varieties – plenty of which are absolutely perfect for holiday sipping and entertaining. Here are a few of our favorites this season.

When it’s time to celebrate:

Temecula Valley produces some truly wonderful sparkling wines in a range of styles from sweet to bone dry. Many Temecula Valley sparklers are even made in the painstaking “méthode traditionnelle” or Champagne method, where the wine undergoes secondary fermentation (the one that gives the wine its bubbles) in the bottle, and spends a long time on its “lees” – the little yeasty cells that give traditional method sparkling wines those unmistakable and delicious toasty, brioche-like aromas.

A few to try:

Carter Estate Winery 2015 Brut Sparkling, $35

South Coast Winery Ruby Cuvée Sparkling Syrah NV, $24

Thornton Winery Brut Rosé NV, $52

When you need to please a crowd:

When hosting a party or even just entertaining your family who doesn’t agree on anything – especially wine – finding a few crowd-pleasing sippers is essential. You will want to pick a versatile white and an easy-drinking red that pair with a variety of different cuisines and aren’t overly heavy or rich. Save the heady stuff for sipping solo after the last dish has been washed and put away, and you finally have a few minutes to yourself to lounge by the fire.

A few to try:

Danza del Sol Winery 2018 Vermentino, $28

Oak Mountain Winery 2018 Chardonnay, $24

Peltzer Family Cellars 2017 Sangiovese, $42

Fazeli Cellars 2014 Phel Phel Cinsault, $38

When it’s time to pop something special:

This is perhaps the wine that is saved for the main dinner. You may even opt to decant it tableside for a bit of added drama. Regardless of what you are serving, you will want a couple of bottles of something truly extraordinary to mark the special occasion.

A few to try:

Lorenzi Estate 2017 Dijon Clone Estate Chardonnay, $45

Leoness Cellars 2016 Signature Selection Syrah, $100

Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2014 Fiore di Fano, $75

Wilson Creek 2017 Family Meritage, $65

When you’re ready for something sweet:

Who needs dessert when you can pour yourself a small glass of dessert wine? There are many wineries in Temecula Valley that are producing some truly impressive dessert wines. Serve these alongside something simple like a tray of Italian cantucci or a winter cheese course with all the fixings, like nuts, candied fruits, honeys and sweet breads. Or, just pour a taste of the sweet nectar and move to the living room for those long and spirited post-meal conversations with loved ones.

A few to try:

Hart Family Winery 2012 Ancient Vines Angelica, $75

Wiens Family Cellars 2016 Late Harvest Primitivo, $26

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Holiday Spiced Mulled Wine

Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Spiced Mulled Wine

Spiced mulled wine is a winter favorite — warm, flavorful, and always so comforting! And, it’s incredibly easy to make. We’re definitely going to give this recipe a try over the holidays.

Ingredients:

4 cups apple cider
1 (750-ml) bottle of your favorite Temecula Valley red wine
1/4 cup honey
2 cinnamon sticks
1 orange, zested and juiced
4 whole cloves
3 star anise
4 oranges, peeled, for garnish

Directions:

Combine the cider, wine, honey, cinnamon sticks, zest, juice, cloves and star anise in a large saucepan, bring to a boil and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Pour into mugs, add an orange peel to each and serve. Paskolos smulkiajam ir vidutiniam verslui, greitieji kreditai internetu visą parą bedarbiams, automobiliui be užstato su vekseliu, Luminor ir SEB bankų vartojimo paskolos būstui https://paskolos-internetu.eu

Recipe courtesy of the Food Network/Ina Garten

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Temecula Wine Pairings for Your Thanksgiving Table

Friday, November 1st, 2019

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) 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 a viognier 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 2016 Special Selection Chardonnay; $25.00

Danza Del Sol Winery, 2017 Pinot Grigio; $30.00

Briar Rose Winery 2017 Estate Viognier; $28.00

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 2014 Castelleto Sangiovese; $40.00

Leoness Cellars 2016 Cellar Selection Zinfandel; $42.00

Doffo Vineyards 2016 Syrah; $62.00

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, 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon; $40.00

Monte De Oro Winery 2015 Merlot; $32.00

Wiens 2017 Reserve Tempranillo; $65.00

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.

Somerset Winery 2018 Muscat; $23.00

South Coast Winery Black Jack Port; 18.00

Robert Renzoni Vineyards 2017 Moscato; $22

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 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 2017 Chenin Blanc; $20.95

Miramonte Winery 2018 Rosé; $28.00

Falkner Winery 2018 Sauvignon Blanc; $27.95

Palumbo Family Vineyards & Winery 2014 “50/50” Blend; 45.00

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