A little less than 2 weeks ago I attended the WOW – World of Wine Event in Temecula which is a barrel tasting and it is the first regional tasting event of the year hosted by the Temecula Valley Winegrowers Association! I always love to visit Temecula to go wine tasting and it is only an hour and a half from my home in South Orange County…Win win!! 🙂
Temecula Wine Country is located off of the 15 & 79 freeways and the main streets of wineries include Rancho California Road and the De Portola Road. With more than 30 wineries in Temecula and more wineries continuing to pop up all over town, the World of Wine event showcased more than 40 wine grapes grown and bottled in Temecula Valley, from sparkling to sweet, white to red, and everything in between! Established in 1984, the Temecula AVA (American Viticulture Area) consists of 33,000 acres, of which approximately 1,300 acres are currently planted to commercial vineyards.
With the World of Wine Event, we were each given a “Wine Passport” to sample a variety of different wines and to sample bites to eat that paired with each wine all throughout wine country! With 30 different wineries that participated over the 2 day event, March 7 & 8 from 10am-4:30pm each day, there were so many places to visit and it did not seem possible to visit each and every single one. Since I was only able to attend on Sunday, March 8, I made a list ahead of time as to which wineries were a must do for me & I ended up getting through 8 of them! As a pretty seasoned wine drinker, I am always excited to sample the new varietals all of the wineries have to offer! It may sound crazy, but I personally have more than 120 bottles of wine at home and they are not even all able to fit on our 2 different wine racks! See my picture here. 🙂
This awesome event gives wine drinkers a sneak peak at what wines are going to be released in spring and an opportunity to sample different dishes that pair with each wine accordingly. This event is called the World of Wine Winter Barrel Tasting weekend and there is also a barrel tasting later in the year for the Fall Harvest, so stay tuned for that event when it comes as well! The awesome thing about Temecula also as I briefly mentioned above is the location. Temecula is located only 60-90 minutes away from San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Palm Springs areas and very close to Riverside as well!
The wineries that I had an opportunity to visit for the World of Wine Event included Callaway, Miramonte, Mount Palomar, Ponte, South Coast, Wiens & Wilson Creek Wineries…not too shabby in one day I would say! 🙂
At Callaway I sampled 3 different wines, which included a 2011 Special Select Chardonnay and 2 different Cabernet Sauvignon wines…one from 2011 & one from 2012! Our wines were paired with an empanada de Cerdo with green garlic and pork. There were also some discounted wine opportunities at Callaway to take advantage of!
At Miramonte, I tried a 2013 Verdehlo which was a light white wine with pineapple and tropical fruit notes…quite lovely. We also had the 2012 Bin #380, a red Rhone Blend, a 2011 Estate Syrah, and a 2012 Tempranillo which was fresh from the barrel and had not even been bottled yet! 🙂 Paired with these wines was a delicious slow cooked Kalua pork slider on a Hawaiian roll! Yum!
Mount Palomar was serving a 2014 Riesling & a 2011 Sangiovese. Both of these wines were young wines that also came straight from the barrel! To pair with the white was an Asian inspired chicken skewer with peanut sauce and to pair with the red was a pot sticker with a sweet Thai chili sauce. These were both great selections to go with these young wines and gorgeous view of Temecula Valley. I seriously love this winery…It is truly such a beautiful place to check out!
At Ponte Family Estate Winery I tried 2 lovely wines that were Italian Varietals that were called the 2014 Arneis and the 2011 Doppietta & they were paired with Mediterranean vegetables with premium Italian sausage and spoon bread. This dish looked similar to a crab cake and had a slight bite to it, but was excellent in flavor! I think these wines were some of my favorites of the day as they were very unique in flavor and they were something new to me since I had never heard of these varietals before. Some exciting news is that Ponte is actually opening another winery just for all of their Italian grapes and since I am going to Italy in June, I was very fascinating about this new winery to come that the Ponte Staff was sharing all about with me. 🙂
At South Coast Winery, I had the 2012 Wild Horse Peak Cabernet Franc, the 2014 Sauvignon Blanc, and for my own pick, I happily selected the 2013 Wild Horse Peak Sangiovese as it is a classic favorite of mine! These wines were paired with a lovely chicken leg and from what I understand, on Saturday they were also serving osso bucco. It was a great selection as always at South Coast!
At Wiens Family cellars, there was a lovely party going on with a Mexican theme and it was so much fun visiting this winery! Wiens was serving a 2012 Tempranillo, and a Dulce Maria, which is a moderately sweet wine. Also, I was offered a special barrel sampling of the 2013 Tempranillo, which of course I was happy to try. 🙂 Served with these wines were some amazing street tacos made with a prime skirt steak as well as an Oaxacan potato cake topped with shrimp salad. I thoroughly enjoyed this stop and could have drank the 2012 Tempranillo and ate tacos for days if I had no worries of gaining weight or going back to work.
The last stop we made on our journey was to Wilson Creek Winery and at Wilson Creek they were serving 3 wines which included a 2012 Family reserve Cabernet, a 2011 Family Reserve Cabernet, a 2013 Spring White and of course, last but certainly not least their Signature Almond Champagne…(a must try if you never have had it! Pared with our wines at Wilson Creek was a tomato braised short rib with parsley root puree & roasted vegetables. This was a delicious pairing and I event went up to get a second short rib! 🙂
Have you ever been to Temecula or visited any of the wineries I mention above? Please share your experiences below and don’t forget to also check out my article about how to go wine tasting for half price in Temecula here –> Wine Tasting in Temecula for Half Price
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