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5 Facts About Blended Wine

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Blended wines are some of our favorites because they are the most complex and interesting types of wine.  Here are the 5 facts you need to know about blends:

1. Difference between varietals and blends: A standard varietal like Malbec, Chardonnay etc., is made from the same type of grape. Sometimes winemakers will use grapes from different plots of a vineyard or different regions for a varietal, but they are all the same type of grapes. In the U.S. a varietal needs to be 75 percent of one type of grape, while in Europe it’s generally 80 percent and in Argentina it’s 85 percent. It’s possible for wineries to add other grapes to a varietal to enhance the elements and still call it a single varietal wine.

Blends are what their name suggests. They typically consist of at least 40-50 percent of one type of grape and a smaller mix of two or more other grapes.

2. Blending makes wines more complex: Blending is used to maximize the expression of a wine. It can enhance aromas, color, texture, body and finish, making it a more well-rounded and complex wine. If a wine doesn’t have a strong scent, for example, a winemaker can add five percent of a more potent smelling grape and can experiment with different types of varietals coming from other vineyards. They could have been aged in oak barrels, fermented in various kinds of vessels or just harvested in different phases of ripeness.

In Argentina, the heart of most blends is Malbec. Merlot can be used to give the wine a better aroma and make it seem fresher or smoother. Cabernet Franc or Sauvignon are often added for structure or tannin concentration to make a more powerful wine. Creating the perfect blend also depends on the characteristics of the year and the expression of each grape. The possibility for combinations that result in a quality blend are endless.

3. Some single varietals are made for blending: Winemakers will often make a barrel of Malbec, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or other wines solely for the purpose of blending. As the grapes are being harvested, a winemaker determines what they think will be the best formula for a blend. Allotting specific barrels for blending allows them to experiment in finding the best types of mixtures. The idea is to highlight each grape’s strength and complement the other grapes being used in the blend.

4. The timeline for mixing wines varies: Winemakers mix blends in a steel tank. Lower cost blends are rarely aged in oak and higher cost blends are generally aged in oak. Some winemakers put blended wines into an oak barrel half way through the aging process, while others put the wines together one to two weeks before bottling. Some try letting the wines ferment together from start to finish. Again, the goal is to develop the best of everything in the wines and each winery determines what approach works best for them.

5. Some grapes aren’t used for blending: White wines tend to be pure varietals. However, there are some exceptions, particularly in certain regions in Europe where two or more white grapes are used. Pinot Noir is a type of grape that is rarely blended. That is why when you are having a Burgundy it will likely be a 100 percent Pinot Noir.

Here are some great Temecula Valley blends you won’t want to miss!

Callaway Winery ~ Calliope Red – Blend of Mourvedre, Cinsault, Syrah, Grenache and Petite Sirah

Lorenzi Estate Wines ~ 2013 Rated R Red Blend – Blend of Merlot, Syrah, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah

Lorimar Winery ~ 2016 Vineyard Blend –  Blend of Grenache, Viognier and Roussanne

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa ~ 2015 Cabernet Rosé – Blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon

Vindemia Winery ~ 2015 Commonwealth – Blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc & Petite Syrah

Copy source: Ross Szabo; The Huffington Post

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Summertime Sipping!

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Barbecues are a great way to enjoy the outdoors and celebrate the day with Dad. And all that grillin’ just screams for a good red wine. But if you’re thinking it’s too warm for red, think again! With these few tips, finding the perfect summer sip won’t have to put your love of red on hold.

  • Chill out! Pop your bottle of red wine in the fridge for about 30 mins – or in an ice chest for about half that – and you’ll be amazed at how much more refreshing it will taste.
  • No or Low Oak wines are generally fresher and fruitier.
  • Low to Moderate Alcohol levels usually equate to lower tannin levels for a wine that won’t weigh you down.
  • Light to Medium bodied wines tend to be easy on the palate, bright and light.

So, whether you’re in the backyard or on the beach – serving burgers and brats, or steak and grilled veggies – there’s tons of options for pairing your favorite Temecula Valley wine with whatever you’re serving up.

If the mainstay is red meat, a spicy Zinfandel or Syrah would be perfect. If you’re looking for a more mellow choice, a fruit forward Merlot always works; it’s also great with chicken, pork chops or fish. If your fave is a Cabernet, go ahead and drink what you like. But try not to shortchange your options. Go for a nice red blend for the best of all worlds. And don’t forget about a blush wine; there’s nothing a nice dry rosé can’t do for spicy ribs and coleslaw – or a plate of spicy hot wings!

A few Temecula Valley wine suggestions for your next barbecue:

Baily Winery ~ Rosé of Sangiovese: fun, fruity and full of character

Danza del Sol Winery ~ Grenache: the color is light, but the aromas are bright

Maurice Car’rie Winery ~ Cody’s Crush: Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Petite Sirah blend

Oak Mountain Winery ~ Merlot: berry, raspberry, blackberry, plum, and abundant smokey oak

Robert Renzoni Vineyards ~ Big Fred’s Red: ripe blueberry and black cherry, hints of caramel

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Grilled Three Cheese Sandwiches with Mustard Aioli

Friday, June 1st, 2018

Crisp, creamy and peppery, these sandwiches make a spectacular simple supper or decadent late-night snack. For the perfect pairing, try with your favorite Temecula Valley Zinfandel or Sauvignon Blanc.

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 cup shredded Fontina cheese

½ cup shredded Jack cheese

½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

8 rustic-style sandwich bread slices

unsalted butter, softened

1 cup watercress, with stems

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

1 tablespoon brown, stone ground, or Dijon mustard

Directions:

1. Toss to mix the Fontina, Jack, and Gruyere cheeses in a medium bowl.

2. Use your fingers to pinch 2 small holes, 2 inches apart, in each slice of bread (to allow a little cheese to ooze out and make the bread extra crispy).

3. Spread a thin layer of butter on one side of each slice.

4. Arrange 4 of the slices, butter-side down, in a large skillet.

5. Cover each slice evenly with a quarter of the cheese mixture.

6. Cover the cheese with a quarter of the watercress.

7. Top the watercress with the remaining slices of bread, butter-side up.

8. Place the skillet over medium-low heat and cook the sandwiches for 8 minutes, or until golden brown on the bottom. Turn the sandwiches and brown the other side.

9. Transfer the sandwiches to a cutting board, turning them so that the watercress is on top of the cheese.

10. Mix the mayonnaise with the mustard to make the aioli. Remove the top slices of bread and spread the unbrowned sides with the desired amount of aioli. Replace the bread, brown-side up, on the sandwich. Serve immediately.

Receipe and photo courtesy of the Wine Institute of California

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Treat Mom This Mother’s Day!

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Show your Mom how special she is! Lunch, brunch, dinner – or just a day of wine tasting – is surely one way to get on her good side. There are plenty of options for a special day in Temecula Valley Wine Country!  Here are just a few:

Baily Winery
Mother’s Day Lunch / May 13 / 11:00a-3:00p / Join us for a three-course lunch at Carol’s Restaurant / Cost: $49.95 per person, children 12 and under $15.95, 5 and under is free / Includes choice of soft drink, iced tea, coffee, or tea / By Reservation Only * Credit Card Necessary for Reservation. 24-hour cancellation notice required, or credit card will be charged $100 / For reservations call: 951-676-9243

Bel Vino Winery
“Mama’s Time to Wine” A Pre-Mother’s Day Comedy Event / May 10 / 11am-4pm / A comedy show featuring comedian Janice Remland. Tickets are $25 and include admission to the show, a glass of wine, hors d’oeuvres, a VIP tour of the vineyards and shopping with our local vendors. Join us for laughs, wine, and shopping! Paid reservations required. For more information call 951-428-2358 or email Elizabeth@belvinowinery.com

Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / 10am -2pm / Celebrate your mom by treating her to our gourmet brunch featuring delectable items such as fresh baked scones, Cap’n Crunch French toast, lobster mac & cheese and chocolate bacon eclairs! A brunch is not complete without mimosas of course! Paid reservations required. Buffet brunch is $45 per person with the option to add bottomless mimosas for an additional $20 per person. For more information please call 951-428-2358 or email Elizabeth@belvinowinery.com

Europa Village
Mother’s Day Lunch / May 13 / Join us for a Gourmet Three-Course Champagne Lunch prepared by Europa Village’s Executive Chef Dean Thomas with Live Music by Jimmy Patton! / Adult Tickets: $54.99 / Société $49.49 Children Tickets: $17 / Société $15.30 / For reservations and additional information, please visit www.europavillage.com

Danza Del Sol Winery
Bad Mom’s Mimosa Bar / May 13 / 11am – 4pm in the Club House / Its Mother’s Day, so “Party like a Mother” at our Bad Mom’s Mimosa Bar with $5 Mimosas! Enjoy a relaxing day with mom while celebrating with mimosas, great wine, live music by Dustin Jake, and food for purchase from Chef’s Pantry! No RSVP required / For additional information, please visit www.danzadelsolwinery.com

Falkner Winery
Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch in the Pinnacle Restaurant / May 13 / 10:00am-3:00pm / Entertainment provided by Desert Rose Duo / $72.95+/person (Wine Club $62.95+/person), Children (3-10) $30.50+/child (Wine Club $25.95+/child) / Reservations required 951-676-8231 option 4 / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com

Fazeli Cellars
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / Seating at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30 and 1:30pm (75 per seating) / $59.95 Regular; $49.95 for Members / $19.95 Kids (12 and under) / $19.95 Bottomless Mimosa or Bellini / Treat Mom to a delicious buffet brunch with live music! Carving station, pasta station, omelet station and more! / Purchase tickets here: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390493/Mothers-Day-Brunch.html

Leoness Cellars
“Spend the Day with Mumm”
/ May 13 / 11:30-6:00pm / Join us for a special “Spend the Day with Mumm” 4-course menu and dessert bar at The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars / Cost: Adults $60 Kids (age 11 and under) $20 / Includes sparkling white wine and strawberry sparkling cider / For more information or to make your reservation, email restaurant@leonesscellars.com or call (951) 302-7601 ext 4 / View our Adult and Kid’s Menus at leonesscellars.com/Winery-Events

Lorimar Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / Two seating’s: 10a- 12p or 1:00p – 3:00p / Celebrate mom with Lorimar Winery and a special brunch buffet on the Sunset Patio. Live music, delicious wine, brunch and more! / Adults $45, Kids $22.50 (3-11). Includes one complimentary mimosa and ice cream from Mariposa. Additional Mimosas are $5 / Reservations required. Call 951.694.6699 or visit www.lorimarwinery.com

Monte De Oro Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / 2 Seating Times: 1st 9:30am-11:30am, 2nd 12:30pm-2:30pm / General Admission: $65 / Wine Club: $55 / Children: $25 (Ages 3-10) / We’ll be serving a buffet-style brunch with several stations covering savory to sweet and everything in between (like Chicken & Waffle Skewers, an Eggs Benedict Station and a Donut Bar to name a few). An unlimited Mimosa Bar and a bottle of award winning Monte De Oro wine to take home for each mom in your group comes with your reservation as well! With all that, the panoramic views of Temecula Wine Country while relaxing on our patio with your loved ones is the quintessential cherry on top! / Reservations Made Online www.montedeoro.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Mother’s Day at Annata Bistro/Bar / May 13 /11:00a- 8:00p / Celebrate Mom with a beautiful Mother’s Day meal at Mount Palomar Winery’s on-site bistro. We will be serving signature dining items from Annata Bistro/Bar along with brunch classics like crêpes and omelets. All Moms will receive one complimentary mimosa made with Mount Palomar Winery’s Brut Sparkling wine! / For Menu, pricing and reservations, please visit https://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/MothersDay.

Oak Mountain Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / 11am – 2pm / Enjoy breakfast and brunch items, dessert and drinks at the Cafe Cave at Oak Mountain Winery / Cost: $53, Members $48, Children 10 & under $20 / For reservations and to view full menu items, please call 951.699.9102 or online www.oakmountainwinery.com.

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
Mother’s Day Brunch and Dinner / May 13 / Brunch 8am-3:30pm; Dinner 4:30pm-9pm / Make Mom’s day memorable by joining us for brunch and dinner at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant. Brunch will be served from 8am to 3:30pm, then we move on to dinner service from 4:30pm to 9pm. Save the date so you don’t forget, it’s Sunday May 13th, call now for reservations! / Make your reservation online at https://www.southcoastwinery.com/dining/reserve or you can also reserve your table by calling 951-587-9463 ext. 7230

Thornton Winery
Mother’s Day Buffet / May 13 / 10:00am-4:00pm / $64.95 plus tax and tip; $19.95 under 12 yrs., under 5 yrs. free / For complete buffet menu please visit our Cafe Champagne’s page at www.thorntonwine.com / For reservations, please call 951.699.0099.

Wiens Family Cellars
Mother’s Day Amour Brunch / May 13 / 11:00am / Treat Mom to a day in the French Countryside! Enjoy French inspired faire by Chef Volker, live music by the Taryn Donath Duo, a Mimosa bar with free-flowing Amour De L’Orange sparkling, photo booth, and a relaxing experience! / Cost: $75.00 – $93.75 / For reservations and information, please visit http://www.wienscellars.com/res-409026/Mothers-Day-Amour-Brunch-2018.html

Wilson Creek Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / 10am-3pm / Our Mother’s Day Bubble Brunch is the perfect way to show your mom how much you love her! Make your reservation for a lovely brunch with amazing food stations, sparkling wine, bloody mary’s, and spoiling your mom / Brunch only: $55.95 / $50.95 (WC); With Bubbly: $65.95 / $59.95 (WC); Kids: $16.95 / $15.29 (WC) / For reservations please visit: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Reservations.aspx

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May Winery Events

Friday, April 27th, 2018

Spring has sprung and the buds are breaking in Temecula Valley Wine Country!  It’s such a beautiful time here in the valley and we invite you to join us and celebrate the season. There’s always much to do in wine country; check out some of the events being held this month.

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 link: http://www.avensolewinery.com/res-369934

Baily Winery
Mother’s Day Lunch / May 13 / 11:00a-3:00p / Join us for a three-course lunch at Carol’s Restaurant / Cost: $49.95 per person, children 12 and under $15.95, 5 and under is free / Includes choice of soft drink, iced tea, coffee, or tea/By Reservation Only * Credit Card Necessary for Reservation. 24-hour cancellation notice required, or credit card will be charged $100 / For reservations call: 951-676-9243

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
Viva El Mariachi / May 5 / 6-10pm / A Mariachi concert to celebrate Cinco de Mayo featuring recording artist Hector Dominguez with special guests Mariachi Nuevo Tequila and Peter C. Torres / Doors open at 6:00pm, show starts at 7:00pm / For more information call 951-234-4279 or email hdproductions01@hotmail.com

“Mama’s Time to Wine” A Pre-Mother’s Day Comedy Event / May 10 / 11am-4pm / A comedy show featuring comedian Janice Remland. Tickets are $25 and include admission to the show, a glass of wine, hors d’oeuvres, a VIP tour of the vineyards and shopping with our local vendors. Join us for laughs, wine, and shopping! Paid reservations required. For more information call 951-428-2358 or email Elizabeth@belvinowinery.com

Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / 10am -2pm / Celebrate your mom by treating her to our gourmet brunch featuring delectable items such as fresh baked scones, Cap’n Crunch French toast, lobster mac & cheese and chocolate bacon eclairs! A brunch is not complete without mimosas of course! Paid reservations required. Buffet brunch is $45 per person with the option to add bottomless mimosas for an additional $20 per person. For more information please call 951-428-2358 or email Elizabeth@belvinowinery.com

Callaway Vineyard & Winery
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.

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

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member or Military / 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

Europa Village
Festa featuring Mrs. Jones Revenge / May 4 / 5:30pm – 8:30pm / Enjoy wine, food and live music by Mrs. Jones Revenge, benefiting Hospice of the Valley / Free admission; Food available for purchase at $18 / For more information please visit www.europavillage.com

Mother’s Day Lunch / May 13 / Join us for a Gourmet Three-Course Champagne Lunch prepared by Europa Village’s Executive Chef Dean Thomas with Live Music by Jimmy Patton! / Adult Tickets: $54.99 / Société $49.49 Children Tickets: $17 / Société $15.30 / For reservations and additional information, please visit www.europavillage.com

Danza del Sol Winery
Food Truck Friday / May 4 / 5:30pm – 10pm in the Club House / Price: $8.00; Adults Only / Come join us for a night of fun as we celebrate with food, wine, and JD Priest and his Band! / For additional information, please visit www.danzadelsolwinery.com

Bad Mom’s Mimosa Bar / May 13 / 11am – 4pm in the Club House / Its Mother’s Day, so “Party like a Mother” at our Bad Mom’s Mimosa Bar with $5 Mimosas! Enjoy a relaxing day with mom while celebrating with mimosas, great wine, live music by Dustin Jake, and food for purchase from Chef’s Pantry! No RSVP required / For additional information, please visit www.danzadelsolwinery.com

Falkner Winery
Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch in the Pinnacle Restaurant / May 13 / 10:00am-3:00pm / Entertainment provided by Desert Rose Duo / $72.95+/person (Wine Club $62.95+/person), Children (3-10) $30.50+/child (Wine Club $25.95+/child) / Reservations required 951-676-8231 option 4 / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com

Sip N Paint Class “Van Gogh Sunflowers” / May 16 / 6-8pm / $35 per person / Includes all materials. Wine available for purchase by glass or bottle. Wine Club Members receive applicable discounts / Reservations are required online @ Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Wine Appreciation Class / May 19 / 10am-12:30pm / Designated for all levels of wine knowledge; $45/person /$40 Connoisseur/ $20 VIP; $70/person with lunch option / RSVP required, please call 951-676-8231 x.109 or email wineclub@falknerwinery.com

Fazeli Cellars
Cinco de Mayo Salsa Night! / May 5 / Doors open at 6:30pm with a 45-minute salsa lesson / Admission: $20; $15 for Members / Includes a glass of sangria. Cinco de Mayo Food Menu Items including Street Tacos! Wine, Beer, Sangria and our special Margarita cocktail available for purchase! / Purchase tickets here http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390494/Cinco-De-Mayo-Salsa-Night-5518.html

Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / Seating at 10:30, 11:30, 12:30 and 1:30pm (75 per seating) / $59.95 Regular; $49.95 for Members / $19.95 Kids (12 and under) / $19.95 Bottomless Mimosa or Bellini / Treat Mom to a delicious buffet brunch with live music! Carving station, pasta station, omelet station and more! / Purchase tickets here: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390493/Mothers-Day-Brunch.html

Leoness Cellars
“Spend the Day with Mumm”
/ May 13 / 11:30-6:00pm / Join us for a special “Spend the Day with Mumm” 4-course menu and dessert bar at The Restaurant at Leoness Cellars / Cost: Adults $60 Kids (age 11 and under) $20 / Includes sparkling white wine and strawberry sparkling cider / For more information or to make your reservation, email restaurant@leonesscellars.com or call (951) 302-7601 ext 4 / View our Adult and Kid’s Menus at leonesscellars.com/Winery-Events

Lorimar Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch
/ May 13 / Two seating’s: 10a- 12p or 1:00p – 3:00p / Celebrate mom with Lorimar Winery and a special brunch buffet on the Sunset Patio. Live music, delicious wine, brunch and more! / Adults $45, Kids $22.50 (3-11). Includes one complimentary mimosa and ice cream from Mariposa. Additional Mimosas are $5 / Reservations required. Call 951.694.6699 or visit www.lorimarwinery.com

Laugh Your Glass Off / May 24 / Pairings opens at 6:00pm, show starts at 7:00PM. Tickets are $20 / Reservations required. Call 951.694.6699 or visit www.lorimarwinery.com

Masia de la Vinya Winery
Sip & Swirl Bottle Edition / Bottle Painting Art Class / May 19 / 1:00pm-4:00pm / Members $49.00/ Non-Members $52.00 /Relax, Sip & Swirl while creating your very own hand painted Wine Bottle! Includes 1 glass of Sparkling wine / Reservations required, please visit www.masiadelavinya.com

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

Monte De Oro Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / 2 Seating Times: 1st 9:30am-11:30am, 2nd 12:30pm-2:30pm / General Admission: $65 / Wine Club: $55 / Children: $25 (Ages 3-10) / We’ll be serving a buffet-style brunch with several stations covering savory to sweet and everything in between (like Chicken & Waffle Skewers, an Eggs Benedict Station and a Donut Bar to name a few). An unlimited Mimosa Bar and a bottle of award winning Monte De Oro wine to take home for each mom in your group comes with your reservation as well! With all that, the panoramic views of Temecula Wine Country while relaxing on our patio with your loved ones is the quintessential cherry on top! / Reservations Made Online www.montedeoro.com

Signature Food & Wine Lunch / May 20 / 12pm-2pm / General Admission: $55; Wine Club: $48 / A culinary offering unique to Monte De Oro, our food & wine experts put together the freshest ingredients and take you through a 5-course showcase featuring Monte De Oro’s award-winning wine / Reservations Made Online www.montedeoro.com

Mount Palomar Winery
Mother’s Day at Annata Bistro/Bar / May 13 /11:00a- 8:00p / Celebrate Mom with a beautiful Mother’s Day meal at Mount Palomar Winery’s on-site bistro. We will be serving signature dining items from Annata Bistro/Bar along with brunch classics like crêpes and omelets. All Moms will receive one complimentary mimosa made with Mount Palomar Winery’s Brut Sparkling wine! / For Menu, pricing and reservations, please visit https://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/MothersDay.

Noise Pollution, An AC/DC Live Concert Tribute / May 18th / 6:00p – 10:00p / $25 pre-purchased, $30 day of the show / Playing all the hits such as: Thunderstruck • Highway to Hell • Back in Black • Hells Bells • Dirty Deeds (Done Dirt Cheap) • You Shook Me All Night Long • T.N.T. • For Those About to Rock and many more! / Tickets at https://www.heyday.com/np

Oak Mountain Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch / May 13 / 11am – 2pm / Enjoy breakfast and brunch items, dessert and drinks at the Cafe Cave at Oak Mountain Winery / Cost: $53, Members $48, Children 10 & under $20 / For reservations and to view full menu items, please call 951.699.9102 or online www.oakmountainwinery.com

The Great Beer Fundraiser / May 5 / 11am-5pm / Featuring Ironfire Brewing Company / Please join us in support of a staff worker who has been in the hospital two months due to a car accident. 100% of the proceeds will be going to the Jaime Valenzula’s Car Accident Relief Fun.

Palumbo Family Vineyard & Winery
Pop-Up Chef Dinner & Wine Pairing/ May 19 / 6:00 pm / $110 per person (gratuity not included) / 5-Course Menu Featuring Chef J Rivas creations / For reservation and to view the full menu, please go to https://palumbowines.worldsecuresystems.com/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=283859

Ponte Winery
Live Music at The Restaurant at Ponte / 5:30-8:30pm / Live music every Friday and Saturday night. Enjoy a gourmet meal and stunning views while listening to a variety of talented local musicians. Reservations recommended: 951-252-1770. For a schedule of performers, please visit www.pontewinery.com

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
Mother’s Day Brunch and Dinner / May 13 / Brunch 8am-3:30pm; Dinner 4:30pm-9pm / Make Mom’s day memorable by joining us for brunch and dinner at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant. Brunch will be served from 8am to 3:30pm, then we move on to dinner service from 4:30pm to 9pm. Save the date so you don’t forget, it’s Sunday May 13th, call now for reservations! / Make your reservation online at https://www.southcoastwinery.com/dining/reserve or you can also reserve your table by calling 951-587-9463 ext. 7230

Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 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.

Thornton Winery
Jazz Concert Series – Jonathan Butler, Kenny Lattimore & Michael Lington / May 6 / 4:00pm / General Admission $75, Gourmet Supper Package $150 / For reservations please visit www.thorntonwine.com

Mother’s Day Buffet / May 13 / 10:00am-4:00pm / $64.95 plus tax and tip; $19.95 under 12 yrs., under 5 yrs. free / For complete buffet menu please visit our Cafe Champagne’s page at www.thorntonwine.com / For reservations, please call 951.699.0099.

Santana Ways – Santana Tribute Band / May 25 / $10 Cover Fee / 6p-9p / Table reservation available and required. Must order dinner for a table! / Call: (951) 699-0099 for reservations and information.

Wiens Family Cellars
Mother’s Day Amour Brunch / May 13 / 11:00am / Treat Mom to a day in the French Countryside! Enjoy French inspired faire by Chef Volker, live music by the Taryn Donath Duo, a Mimosa bar with free-flowing Amour De L’Orange sparkling, photo booth, and a relaxing experience! / Cost: $75.00 – $93.75 / For reservations and information, please visit http://www.wienscellars.com/res-409026/Mothers-Day-Amour-Brunch-2018.html

An Evening for the Animals / May 19 / 6pm-10pm / Fundraiser to benefit Sale Ranch Animal Sanctuary- Champagne Reception, Dinner, Auction, Live Music by Dustin Jake & Missy Anderson / Cost: $120 Per Person / For reservations please visit https://www.saleranchsanctuary.org/copy-of-fundraiser-wiens-family-cel

Wilson Creek Winery
Mother’s Day Brunch
/ May 13 / 10am-3pm / Our Mother’s Day Bubble Brunch is the perfect way to show your mom how much you love her! Make your reservation for a lovely brunch with amazing food stations, sparkling wine, bloody mary’s, and spoiling your mom / Brunch only: $55.95 / $50.95 (WC); With Bubbly: $65.95 / $59.95 (WC); Kids: $16.95 / $15.29 (WC) / For reservations please visit: http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Reservations.aspx

Upper Room Wine Pairing Experience / Thursday-Sunday / 11-3:30pm / For a more exclusive and elevated wine tasting experience, join us on our second-floor overlooking the courtyard and vineyards in our Upper Room. Enjoy a guided tasting of our reserve wines paired with bites exclusively designed by our Executive Chef. Reservations required at http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Reservations.aspx

 

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April Winery Events

Thursday, March 29th, 2018

Spring has sprung and our local wineries are throwing plenty of fun April events to celebrate! So stop by your favorite winery to taste some great newly released wine, listen to music, learn a new craft and socialize with your fellow wine enthusiasts.

Avensole Winery
Easter Celebration at Avensole Restaurant / March 31 and April 1 / 11:00-6:00pm / An enticing prix-fixe three course menu (in addition to our regular menu) available Easter weekend! Courses starting with a choice of our beautiful Celebration Salad or luscious Loaded Baked Potato soup, followed by an herb crusted Rack of Lamb with Avensole Heritage wine reduction, and finish with the ultimate Chocolate Bread Pudding for dessert / Cost: $65 per person; Reservations recommended by phone 951.252.2003 x 301 or online at http://avensolewinery.com/restaurant

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

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.

Dog Easter Egg Hunt / April 1 / 1:00pm / 4th Annual event at Carol’s Restaurant; all dogs must be on leashes. Plastic eggs are filled with turkey hot dogs. Owners are responsible to make sure dogs do not eat plastic eggs. Carol’s Restaurant is open for lunch from 11:30am to 3:00pm with regular menu plus Easter Specials! Live music on the patio / Reservations strongly suggested / Call today 951.676.9243.

Callaway Vineyard & Winery

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

Carter Estate Winery and Resort
Elegant Food & Wine Pairing / $45pp; $40pp Wine Club Member or Military / 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

Europa Village
Easter Lunch / April 1 / 12pm – 3pm /Join us Easter Sunday for a delicious Lunch by Chef Dean, Egg Hunt with the Easter Bunny, Face Painting, a kids Jolly Jumper and live music by Jimmy Patton! Adult Tickets: $54.99 / Société $49.49 Children Tickets: $17 / Société $15.30 / For Reservations and information please visit www.europavillage.com or call 888.383.8767

Festa with Crimson Crow / April 6 / 5:30pm – 8:30pm / “Enjoy wine, food and live music by Crimson Crow, benefiting Project T.O.U.C.H.! / Tickets: FREE Admission / Food Tickets: $18 / For Reservations and information please visit www.europavillage.com or call 888.383.8767
Spanish Cooking Class / April 14 / 12:00pm / Tickets: $58; Société $52.20 / Chef Dean is breaking out the paella pans and making his house made Sangria Royale! Let Executive Chef & Certified Culinary Educator Dean Thomas take your cooking to the next level at his professional cooking class – “Valencia Region of Spain” / For Reservations and information please visit www.europavillage.com or call 888.383.8767

Spanish Wine Education Class / April 22 / 12pm – 1:30pm / Tickets: $35; Société $31.50 / Let Europa’s Sommelier, Dr. Doug Garman take you on a journey through Spain, sampling Europa’s Bolero Cellars Spanish wines, and savor samples of fine food pairings prepared by Executive Chef Dean Thomas For Reservations and information please visit www.europavillage.com or call 888.383.8767

Danza del Sol Winery
Laugh Lounge / April 6 / 7:30pm / Savor some tasty bites, served from 6:00 -7:15 pm by Southfork Catering, and then sit back and enjoy the show with the first act taking the stage at 7:30pm Featuring Martin Atrushi with Mark Christopher Lawrence and Opening Act Brian Apprille / TICKETS $32 for members/$38 for guests / RSVP (951) 302-6363 X26 or k.hefley@danzadelsolwinery.com

Falkner Winery
Easter Champagne Brunch in the Pinnacle Restaurant / April 1 / 10:00-3:00pm / $59.95+/person (Wine Club $54.95+/person) Children (3-10) $26.00+/child (Wine Club $21.00+/child) / For full menu please visit www.falknerwinery.com / Entertainment provided by Harmony Road Duo? Reservations required 951-676-8231 option 4

Sip N Paint Class “Tuscan View / April 18/ 6:00-8:00pm / $35 per person / Includes all materials. Wine available for purchase by glass or bottle. Members receive applicable discounts. Reservations are required online @ Artfusionbdk.myshopify.com

Wine Appreciation Class / April 21 / 10:00-12:30pm / 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

FUNday SUNday in the Yard Garden / Every Sunday / 12:00-3:00pm / Lawn Game competition (starting at 1pm), Giant Jenga, Wine Pong, Cornhole and other limited lawn games available / BBQ to order, Sangria, Signature Drinks, Beer available for purchase

Fazeli Cellars
Library Wine Dinner / April 7 / 6:30 – 10:00 pm /Enjoy a 4-course meal paired with exclusive library wine / Doors open at 6:30 with a champagne greeting and live music / $140 Non-Member; $115 Members / *Limited Seating / Purchase tickets here: http://shop.fazelicellars.com/res-390371/Library-Wine-Dinner-4718.html

Gershon Bachus Vintners
Headbanger’s Ball / April 12 / 7:00-10:00pm / Fundraiser for Michelle’s Place Breast Cancer Resource Center hosted by Mark Davies of Sterling Productions. Featuring Hell’s Kitchen Chefs demonstration and Pot luck judging. DJ extravaganza by Sterling Productions and guest DJ’s, Live performances by Brian Stodart & Ginger Sherling and much more / Bring an appetizer to be judged by Manda Palomino & Anthony Rodriguez from Hell’s Kitchen / 100% of your entrance fee of $20.00 OR MORE goes to Michelle’s Place. First glass of wine courtesy of Mark Davies and Jacque Davies Reality Rally Team. Gershon Bachus Vintners wine by the glass or by the bottle available for purchase thereafter. 10% of all sales will be donated to Michelle’s Place / For RSVP please contact mark@sterlingdj.com

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

Mount Palomar Winery
Paint Nite / April 8 / 1:00pm- 4:00pm / 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! / Tickets $45 / https://www.paintnite.com/venues/mt-palomar-winery-133232

Wine Country Wienerfest / April 15 / 11:00am – 4:00pm / Admission is free /The Temecula Valley Dachshund club proudly presents the 9th Annual Wine Country Wiener Fest! Enjoy family friendly games, raffles & door prizes, and the annual “Dexter’s Derby” Dachshund races while supporting local Dachshund rescues. Spaces are still available for the vendors and the races, be sure to sign up before they sell out! / More at http://www.wienerfest.info

Murder Mystery Dinner – “An Award to Die For” / April 28 / Doors open at 5. Show starts at 6 / Price: $120++ / The Dainty Dames are hosting another intriguing murder mystery event live at Mount Palomar Winery! This interactive event live show gives you the chance to enjoy a three-course meal and a glass of sparkling wine while hunting for a killer and solving a mystery. Previous shows by the Dainty Dames at Mount Palomar have sold out, so don’t wait to get your tickets! For reservations, please visit http://www.mountpalomarwinery.com/Mystery

Peltzer Winery
Donut Bar Pop-up / April 8 / 10am to 6pm / Peltzer winery is partnering with the Donut Bar in San Diego, they will be doing a pop-up shop here on property. Early bird tickets get you a mimosa and a first run choice at all the amazing donuts they make. For early bird tickets please go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/165424147593015 Tickets $15

Ponte Winery
Easter Sunday at The Restaurant at Ponte / April 1 / 11:00am-5:00pm / Join us at The Restaurant at Ponte on Easter Sunday for a meal with family and friends. Enjoy dining al fresco from The Restaurant’s standard menu, as well as from a selection of Chef prepared Easter Specials. Reservations recommended: 951-252-1770 / Cost: Menu Items $8 & Up | For reservations and to view menu please visit: https://www.pontewinery.com/restaurant

Easter Brunch Buffet at Bouquet Restaurant / April 1 / 10:00am – 3:30pm /Gather with family and friends at Bouquet Restaurant at Ponte Vineyard Inn for an Easter Brunch Buffet! Dine from an extensive offering of savory breakfast and brunch items, as well as a selection decadent pastries and desserts / Cost: $59 per Guest, $19 per Guest 12 & Under | For reservations please visit: https://www.pontevineyardinn.com/dining-bar/bouquet-restaurant/

Live Music at The Restaurant at Ponte / 5:30-8:30pm / Live music every Friday and Saturday night. Enjoy a gourmet meal and stunning views while listening to a variety of talented local musicians. Reservations recommended: 951-252-1770. For a schedule of performers, please visit www.pontewinery.com

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
Behind the Scenes Wine Tours / Tours are held daily at 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.

Thornton Winery
Easter Sunday Brunch / April 1 / 10:30am – 5:00pm / The Easter Bunny will be here, Face Painting and Live Music from 11:00am – 4:00pm / Adults $64.95, plus tax & gratuity, Children (6 -12 years) $19.95, plus tax & gratuity, Children 5 Under…FREE / Reservations are required please call (951) 699-0099

B.I.G. Soul, R&B, Jazz Music / April 6 / 6:00pm – 9:00pm / $10.00 Gen. Admission / Order tickets on our web site, www.thorntonwine.com or stop by the winery prior to concert and purchase in our Gift Shop or at Café Champagne / Reservations are required for a Table / Please call (951) 699-0099 * Must order dinner to reserve a table!

The Killer Dueling Pianos / April 27 / 7:30pm – 10:00pm / $10.00 Gen. Admission / Enjoy our Friday Night Live Music / Reservation and ticket sales at www.thorntonwine.com or stop by the winery prior to concert and purchase in our Gift Shop or at Café Champagne / Reservations are required for a Table / Please call (951) 699-0099 * Must order dinner to reserve a table!

Wilson Creek Winery
Easter Brunch / Sunday. April 1st / 10am-3pm / Brunch only: $55.95 / $50.95 (Wine Club). With Bubbly: $65.95 / $59.95 (Wine Club). Kids: $16.95 / $15.29 (Wine Club) / Our Bubble Brunch on Easter is always hoppin’! Hurry and make your reservation for a lovely brunch with your family, amazing food stations, sparkling wine, bloody mary’s, the Easter bunny, and a petting zoo! / Reservations can be made at www.wilsoncreekwinery.com or call 951.699.9463 for additional information.

Upper Room Wine Pairing Experience / Thursday-Sunday / 11-3:30pm / For a more exclusive and elevated wine tasting experience, join us on our second-floor overlooking the courtyard and vineyards in our Upper Room. Enjoy a guided tasting of our reserve wines paired with bites exclusively designed by our Executive Chef. Reservations required at http://www.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Reservations.aspx

Bubble Brunch Buffet / Every Sunday / $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.

De Portola Wine Trail
Big Red Fest / April 29 / 10am-5pm / Celebrate with the De Portola Wine Trail! Follow the trail and taste three red wines paired with gourmet food at 9 De Portola wineries and receive a logo glass! $59.99 early bird sale price (per person, plus tax) $69.99 after April 10th (per person, plus tax) Tickets & Information Online or Call deportolawinetrail.com 855.DWT.WINE

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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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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. 

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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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Wine Country Recipe ~ Mulled Wine

Friday, December 1st, 2017

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:

1 (750 ml) bottle of dry Temecula Valley red wine
1 orange, sliced into rounds
1/4 cup brandy (optional)
1/4 cup honey or sugar
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise
optional garnishes: citrus slices (orange, lemon and/or lime), extra cinnamon sticks, extra star anise

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a non-aluminum saucepan, and bring to a simmer (not a boil — you don’t want to boil the alcohol out!) over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and let the wine simmer for at least 15 minutes or up to 3 hours. Strain, and serve warm with your desired garnishes.

*You can also place the oranges, cloves, cinnamon, and star anise in a cheesecloth. Then simply strain and pull out the bundle when ready to serve.

Recipe courtesy of www.gimmesomeoven.com 

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