Please, do yourself a favor and print out coupons prior...
Monday was the perfect day for wine tasting....low 70's and clear skies and my BF and I both had the day off PLUS we had coupons (most are only good mon-thurs). What could be better?!
AFG had never been wine tasting. I am no wine connoisseur by any means but am PRETTY familiar with wine country and the whole process. I might have been a time or two (or three or four or five) before.
We looked at the ones we had coupons for and went in order.
We stopped at the Inn at Churon first. I had never been and after a little googling, we thought it would be worth our while. Since it was a Monday and dead, there was only one other group tasting with us. We went down a spiral staircase to the tasting room/gift shop and had the place almost to ourselves. We sprung for the $12 tasting so we could keep a glass (duhhh you need a glass from everywhere you go and I don't have a Churon glass yet). The lady serving us was super nice/helpful. Our favorite by far was the Golden Nectar. Super sweet and fruity a.k.a. dangerous.
that's golden nectar on the left :)
Next we hit up Maurice Car'rie. I'm a fan because they have pineapple champpers. It doesn't so much TASTE like pineapple as it does smell like it. Mmmmmm. They also have some infamous bread they sell (and serve hot on the weekends) stuffed with brie. I never even knew about this but apparently it's to die for. Although at $16 a pop we decided to wait and actually eat lunch somewhere and have a real meal that included more than carbs and cheese. Delicious but I need to be a lot drunker to order that or with be with a bunch of my brie obsessed girlfriends. Their wines are just OK...but they did give us both of our glasses to take home which was nice and unexpected since we were using coupons.
Faulkner was next for lunch and tasting. We decided on them for lunch (even though we had no coupon for the restaurant). We googled Pinnacle's menu and the ahi sandwich screamed my name.
I ate:Gourmet Ahi Burger
Soy marinated and grilled Ahi tuna, wasabi aioli, fresh lettuce and tomato, served with sweet potato fries
Baked Chicken Cannelloni
Chicken, lemon, artichokes, mushrooms, and asparagus rolled in delicate crepes, topped with Alfredo sauce & Parmesan cheese topped with sun-dried tomatoes and parsley
They were both good buttt the kicker was the fresh baked bread and olive oil/herbs/balsamic vinegar. Best part of lunch hands down! I may be slightly biased though as I have been depriving myself of all carbs and pretty much anything delicious for the past week or so. It was garlicky and delicious!
After lunch at Pinnacle, we tasted at Faulkner. It wasn't my favorite but the lady was super nice and gave me a glass even though we bought the cheaper tasting which did NOT include a glass. I asked her if I could just pay more for a glass and she happily wrapped one up for me, no charge :). Honestly, I wouldn't have minded springing for the more expensive tasting but in all honesty, we did not need 7 tastings...4 would do just fine. We were feeling pretty happy at this point and AFG even got caught in the act belting out Zac Brown Band in the parking lot.
walking up to Faulkner
I like the Vegas chips to keep track of your tasting
Ponte was next. I've been a few times before and love it. I've eaten there and loved it. My parents are also members. Soooooo all sign point to YES. GO. Please go to Ponte if you are a Temecula virgin. They have a large tasting room and lots of cute kitchen-y, entertaining, little decorative accents in their shop. The back patio and grounds are beautiful as well. Their wines are delicious. We liked every single one we had there. Out server was fantastic too, super nice and explained everything (and gave us both our glasses to take home despite our coupons). I seriously cannot say enough good things about Ponte. It's delicious and beautiful.
took our tastes outside since we had it to ourselves
in the golden afternoon...
We were definitley feeling all our tastings but I had to show the BF what South Coast is all about. I am a huge fan of Southcoast! I love their tasting room that is loaded with fun stuff to buy and the stuffed cougar in the corner. I don't know the "cougar story" but apparently you're supposed to ask about it when you visit. I never have. Oops. We heard from some people at Ponte that South Coast had a great happy hour so decided to check it out. It was a pretty amazing menu!
I'll take one of everything.
HAPPY hour :)
Stella, Stone, or Sam Adams for $1.75?! Unheard of! The sliders were pretty good...I tired to get aggressive and order the antipasto salad too but was so lovingly reminded how much bigger my eyes are than my stomach and resisted. And we got a beer because I'm just such a sucker for a good deal.
Fantastic wine tasting trip! Next time I'm going to Longshadow Ranch. I mean...a winery/ranch?! YES PLEASE.
Linzo says: Don't forget the coups!