We had the pleasure of enjoying a weekend in Temecula Wine Country for Jeanette’s birthday. I booked a night stay with the Inn at Churon Winery (50% off for wine club members) to ensure we were as close to all of the planned wine tours and tastings as we could be. We highly recommend staying here if you want more of a quiet and romantic setting. It’s a clean hotel, spacious rooms, proximate to other wineries (sits directly across from a major wine producer, Miramonte Winery), and has a great selection of wines to choose from in their wine tasting room.
Here are some of the highlights of Churon Winery to ensure you make the best of your trip:
1) Do the 5-course meal that they offer on the weekends. You’ll have to make a reservation but you can be sure that it’s intimate, tasty, and a memorable dinner for a special occasion or to refuel after all the wine tastings you’ll be doing throughout the day.
2) They just started serving their 2013 Chardonnay already and it’s one of our favorites right now. It’s on the oaky side (as opposed to the more crisp/acidic Chardonnays). If you want to try a red, be sure to get your hands on the Cabarnet Sauvignon. All tastings are only $5 for a flight of 5 wine tastings. The ladies behind the counter are super nice and knowledgeable. Also, be sure to try their assortment of sparking wines.
3) Lastly, do your research and take advantage of one of their events. They often have patio grills, wine club pickup events, summer concerts, and the aforementioned 5-course meal dinner.
“I have enjoyed great health at a great age because every day since I can remember, I have consumed a bottle of wine – except when I have not felt well. Then I have consumed two bottles.” -Bishop of Seville
We are firm believers in the many benefits of wine, one of which is the total wellness of the body, soul and, mind. A wine that encapsulates this in it’s name alone is Benessere. Benessere translated from Italian into English means “well being.” What a beautiful name for a bottle of wine! And speaking from experience, when you taste a bottle from Benessere Vineyards you can experience the wellness flowing through your body.
Benessere Vineyards is located in St. Helena in Napa County. They are a small family-owned vineyard offering several Italian varietals.
For those of you unfamiliar with Italian varietals, here are some facts of a few common Italian wines:
- Pinto Grigio: originally ‘Pinot gris’ from Burgundy, France. Pinto gris grown in Italy is known as “Pinto Grigio”
- Moscato: sweet, floral aroma and taste. Fourth most widely-planted grape in Italy.
- Aglianico: (pronounced ‘ahl-Yah-nee-koe’) is a black grape that originated in Greece. This wine is also thought to have the “longest consumer history of all.”
- Sagrantino: one of the most tannic red wine varieties in the world.
- Sangiovese: (pronounced ‘san-jo-veh-zeg’) found mostly in Tuscany.
Visit Benessere Vineyards in person when you take a trip up to Napa County, or enjoy a bottle or two from their online shop to experience the wellness that wine brings to your body. I recommend the Sangiovese!
It’s that time of the year again….the holidays! This is our favorite time of the year for so many reasons. We love the cold weather, the decorations, the parties, the food, and of course the wine!
Because shopping is also inevitably something that we ALL have to do this holiday season, we thought it appropriate to write a post on some cool wine-related gifts that you can buy for that special someone.
Without further ado, here is our list of top 5 wine gifts!
1) Wine Opener: Sound too simple of a gift? Perhaps…but there is quite a variety to choose from. You can either go on the higher end with a fancy electric wine opener that can run you $30 and up or a waiter’s corkscrew for $5 and up . For the former, we like the Brookstone version. If you want a standard waiter’s corkscrew, be sure to get one that has a small blade and built strong for those hard-to-pull corks. We like the Le Creuset waiter’s corkscrew.
2) Wine Aerator: Vinturi Classic Wine Aerator (Approximate Retail Value: $40; Currently on sale for $30 at select stores). Aerators are designed to speed up natural aeration and develop red or white wines in the time it takes to pour a glass. Taste the difference!
3) Personalized Wine Glass(es): Always a classy touch when you can add someone’s name, a special quote, or an important date to a wine glass. These can run you about $30 for a two-glass set but do your research as some can be pretty pricy. We recommend thetipsygrape.com.
4) Gift Certificate to a Local Wine Bar: Enough said. Can’t go wrong here! Here are a few recommendations in the southern California area:
5) One-year Wine Membership: If you really want to give something special to a loved one, then a wine membership is the way to go. However, this may take some research into determining which winery is their favorite and what types of wines they enjoy. Wine club memberships typically send wines in three different types of shipment options: all reds, all whites, or mixed wine bottles. They can also vary in quantity, where some may offer 6 bottles per shipment while others may only send 2 bottles. Wine club memberships can also range from $150 to $500 (or more) so shop around for the best option.
Let us know if you purchased any of these for your loved ones. Cheers and Merry Christmas!
-A & J
On a very special November weekend Andrew got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. For our faithful followers who want to know how it happened, here is how it went:
With the help of our camera’s self-timer, a newly purchased tripod, and a beautiful Rancho Palos Verdes sunset, we decided to take Christmas card pictures to send out this holiday season. Unbeknownst to me, Andrew had additional plans in mind for the evening. During our Christmas photo shoot with the Rancho Palos Verdes backdrop, Andrew was in charge of setting the camera at different angles. Fifteen minutes into taking photographs and adjusting the camera, he set the consecutive self-timer and approached me slowly, smiling. He knelt down beside me and proceeded to propose. Again, little did I know, he caught the whole proposal on camera.
As you will see, I was laughing during his proposal because I thought he was joking and just posing for the photos. He had done such a great job convincing me we were not going to get engaged yet and that he was waiting to ask my parents for my hand in marriage. I assumed that there was NO way this was real. As soon as he pulled out the ring, I’m sure my eyes widened as much as they could. I was in shock. He admitted this proposal had been planned for several weeks and my parents and friends were in on the secret. Tears of joy started rolling down my face. This was real! A few moments later I had a gorgeous ring on my finger and a handsome man to call my fiancé.
Amidst the wedding planning, we’ll still be trying to post on our blog www.fromvine2vino.com and of course on Instagram & Facebook.
There’s a lot to be said in a few words. That’s why we love short sayings. Sayings that speak to our hearts in a meaningful and often enlightening or humorous way. Below is a list of some of our favorite wine quotes. Salud!
Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped, but with others, drink the whole bottle. – Paulo Coelho
Beer is made by men, wine by God. – Martin Luther
I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food. – W.C. Fields
Either give me more wine or leave me alone. – Rumi
A gourmet meal without a glass of wine just seems tragic to me somehow. – Kathy Mattea
Wine is the most civilized thing in the world. – Ernest Hemingway
Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance. - Benjamin Franklin
Wine to me is passion. It’s family and friends. It’s warmth of heart and generosity of spirit. Wine is art. It’s culture. It’s the essence of civilization and the art of living. – Robert Mondavi
Wine makes every meal an occasion, every table more elegant, every day more civilized. – Andre Simon
Good wine is a necessity of life for me. – Thomas Jefferson
What’s your favorite quote about wine?
To kick off the educational aspect of this blog, we decided to give you a little introduction to the most common white grape varieties. Below you will find a list of the white wines, their origin, a simple fact about each type of wine and how to pronounce those suckers. This by no means is a comprehensive list of all the white wines in the world, it’s just the beginning. We’re learning too! Plus, white wine is our favorite, so we decided to start there. Salud!
|Leading White Grape Varieties
||Often referred to as a “buttery” or “creamy” wine; you can expect to taste really rich flavors such as tropical fruits if the bottle is coming from a warmer region while cooler regions produce crisp wines that taste like apple; Burgundy region is responsible for introducing this wine. Great with a salad, frittata (or other egg-based dishes), chicken, seafood, and crab.
||From Germany and can be expected to be very aromatic when smelled; Sweet wines do dominate this variety but can be found dry all over the world (Germany, CA, and Australia especially). Very versatile with pairing possibilities (to name a few: Asian cuisines, seafood, Cajun food, and salads)
|Sauvignon Blanc [Sah-vee-N’YOHN BLAHN(k)]
||This is one of the driest and most “crisp” wines you’ll taste; fairly acidic and very aromatic when smelled; CA version is fruitier and has a fig-like taste. Have this wine with a good shrimp risotto.
||Not a well-known variety which makes it underestimated. Commonly blended in the Bordeaux region to be made into both a sweet or dry wine. Australia will produce more dry varieties, while France will be sweeter.
|Other Top White Grape Varieties
||Referred to as “Albariño” in Spain. Crisp wine that is on the lighter side; this grape variety typically is used to produce Vinho Verde in Portugal.
|Chasselas [SHAHSS-lah] Continue reading
WARNING: The consumption of wine may lead you to have intellectual conversations that seem to make sense. Has this ever happened to you? Let me paint the scene for you… It’s a Friday night. You’re drinking a glass of wine with a loved one, close friend or new acquaintance you met at a local wine bar. In-depth discussions about philosophy, life, death, current events or even theology spark to new heights. Where did this come from? Continue reading