KAY'S WINE BLOG
Rows of vineyards with a haze during rainy season in Temecula Valley
It's Raining in Wine Country.
...and that's a big deal, for several reasons. Yesterday morning, calls and emails from wineries started coming in to Grapeline. "We're closed due to rain." First off, don't panic and change your plans if you're coming out on a wine tour. One of the advantages of a tour with a wine country insider is that they will know exactly which of California's 3,700 or so wineries are closed on any given day. Rain is a big deal in California Wine Country, and really big rain is a really big deal. The reason for the closures - many along rural routes like the Deportola Wine Trail in Temecula Valley - was ... Continue reading...
A couple sitting on a tractor at Palumbo Family Winery in Temecula Valley
Put Some Vino in Your Valentine
"Let us celebrate the occasion with wine and sweet words." Titus Maccius Plautus said that. You probably have never heard of Titus. Me neither. But when I googled “wine, romance, quotes,” I found his little Valentine's Day aphorism, and it was the perfect sentiment. Titus was a Roman playwright who penned enduring comedies 200 years before Christ was born. Even way back then, as now, wine and romance went together like chariots and horses; like marble statues and columns, like empires and slave labor. So, if you’re still fretting over what to do on Cupid’s day, just put a little vino in your ... Continue reading...
Banner with red wine grapes with information for Vintage Paso in Paso Robles, CA
Vintage Paso - Extra More Funnest
Life is fun. Spending a day in wine country is more fun. Spending a day in wine country when the Vintage Paso celebration is in full force is extra more fun. But if you want your Vintage Paso experience to be the extra more funnest, you should try it the Grapeline way. What is Vintage Paso? It's a three-day celebration of wine, that used to be called Zin Fest, but apparently the other varietals complained about not having their own Fest. So in a nod to political correctness, the name is more generic. But the idea is the same. Three days celebrating (mostly) the heralded Zinfandels Paso is ... Continue reading...
Woman on a hill looking at rolling hills of vineyards in Temecula, CA
Temecula Valley Wine Country - a Worldwide Top Destination
Used to be, if you were a winemaker in Temecula Valley, you probably had a chip on your shoulder. Napa Valley gets all the international recognition. Sonoma, Paso Robles, Santa Barbara, and Monterrey are not as world-renowned, but all are well known among more serious oenophiles. But Temecula? Where the hell is Temecula? Change takes time, and Temecula has been rising in the wine country ranks, but locals still lamented that the recognition it deserved still eluded Temecula. This month, the chip comes off the shoulder. Wine Enthusiast, in its just-released February 2019 issue, proclaimed ... Continue reading...
Two sisters smile with Avensole lunch items ready to eat
California Restaurant Month in Wine Country
January is California Restaurant month. If you eat food, and if at any time in January you'll be in California, then you'll be happy to learn that we are now in the midst of California Restaurant Month. For those of you who read my scintillating blog on International Pinot Noir Day (posted on August 17), it will come as no surprise that restaurants in California have their very own month. After all, Pinot Noir has its own day... as do many other wine varietals, and many more obscure things, including Fried Green Tomatoes as one example of how absurd the everything-has-its-own-Day trend has ... Continue reading...
Over one hundred wine barrels lining a rustic wine cave in Sonoma
My Sonoma Wine Tasting Tour
Not long ago, I went on a Grapeline wine tour, which is not a big deal for me. Because I go wine tasting a LOT. But if you have never been on a wine tour, you might want to know what it's like. If so, read on. I woke up at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn and Spa, and I was already happy. The Fairmont is not actually in the town of Sonoma, but rather in the nearby burg of Boyes Hot Springs. The name refers to the hot water that makes its way to the surface from the ancient mineral springs 1100 feet below the Fairmont. Soaking in these naturally heated mineral-rich waters is one of the many ... Continue reading...
Happy couple toast while tasting on a Grapeline Wine Tour in Temecula, CA
A Beginner's Guide to Wine Tasting Tours
When it comes to wine tasting tours, options abound. Here's a little primer from your friendly Wine Country Guru Gal, so you can be a guru too when it's time for you to shop wine tours. There are two categories of wine tours. One is the private tour, where you and your group have a vehicle and a itinerary that is exclusive to you. Think: chartering a private plane. The other is a shared tour, also called a public tour, or a join-in tour. For a shared wine tour, you join like-minded wine lovers and spend the day tasting with them. Think: buying two seats on an airliner. The private option is a ... Continue reading...
An outdoor picnic table setup with a variety of wines and paired lunch items
Food and Wine Love Affair, Part Three
In this, the third installment of my "Food and Wine Love Affair" series reviewing Temecula Valley Wine Country edibles, I present the culinary offerings at South Coast Winery Resort and Spa, at Fazeli Cellars, and at Miramonte Winery. More than once, after discovering I am familiar with Temecula Valley Wine Country, someone has asked me if I've had the banana pancakes at The Vineyard Rose Restaurant at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa. As of this week, I can answer in the affirmative, and also understand why this breakfast item is a widespread topic of conversation. The Rolling Hills Bananas ... Continue reading...
Many bottles of wine lined up in random size order
Sizing Up Wine Bottles
I showed up at a holiday gathering recently and presented the host and hostess with a very expensive bottle of Caymus Cabernet. They recognized the renowned vintage, and for a moment they were obviously impressed, but that reaction quickly passed. My penchant for selecting the perfect showing-up-at-your-party gift was surpassed into oblivion by an ancient king from the Bible. You see, immediately after I walked in, Salmanazar showed up. Salmanazar is a HUGE bottle of wine. In this case, a huge wine bottle containing 9 liters of Rombauer Chardonnay, a heralded Napa elixir -- the equivalent of ... Continue reading...
Pouring wine with the bottle covered in aluminium wrapping to conceal it's Temecula maker
People's Choice - Temecula's 2018 Blind Tasting
The people have chosen. And by people, I mean NOT the highly-trained and super-sensing professional wine critics whose opinion we rely on to help us justify spending way too much for a bottle of wine because it has a 90+ score attached to it. Just regular people who know good wine when they taste it. On the afternoon of October 28, it was sunny and warm, with temperatures in the mid 80's, and a light breeze stirred the shade umbrellas in the courtyard of the palace-like Fazeli Cellars. The perimeter of the courtyard was lined with tables draped in beige linens, and covered with a continuous ... Continue reading...