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Temecula. For those of us in Southern California, we know it as a place between LA and San Diego. It’s a great place for a quick getaway with your girlfriends or a romantic staycation with the hubs. It’s far away (but close enough) to make you feel like you left on a real vacation without the TSA pat down. We love Temecula for the beautiful, 100-degree summer days… said no one ever! There’s one very good reason to do the drive to Temecula: VINO. The most award winning winery in the region is South Coast Winery. Fear not. There is air conditioning.
Drive off the 15 freeway and head inland. Soon, you will be surrounded by grape goodness. It’s a wonderful sight for those who share my passion for all things wine and amazing. Wander around the vineyards and you might find grape clusters ready to be plucked for a grape fight… LOL. Not sure if the good people at South Coast Winery would like that, but you only live once, right? Besides, who hasn’t watched Lucille Ball’s 1956 grape stomping in Italy. Oh, the good old days…
The tasting room is dark. Wooden floors, high wooden beams. We bought a sampling card. 5 wine tastings for $20. Big insider tip: If you purchase a wine membership, they send you a tasting sample card for you and a friend every quarter. You also get 3 bottles each quarter plus discounts galore. Save a dime on wine. Now who doesn’t like that?
Just in case you have one too many tastings, you can stay at the hotel. If you are not into wine (we might not be friends then), there are yoga classes and spa treatments. For your wining and dining entertainment, there is an elegant restaurant with a rustic undertone decor.
Monchong fish with seared scallops. The texture of the roasted cauliflower puree was creamy and soft. It complimented the fish and salty seared scallops beautifully. The peppery arugula tied the entire dish together. Delicious. Delicious. Delicious!
Surf and turf. Perfectly seared steak and scallops. Maybe a little too much salt on the scallops, but overall, this is a satisfying and solid dish.
Before you leave, you must visit the wine shop. My purchase: GSM 2010. Made up of grenache, syrah, and mourvedre. You can taste the complexity from each of the varietals. The notes of French oak barrels are delicate. Hints of lavender, berries, and spices that are oh so pleasing. Strong on the tannins but still enjoyable. For a food pairing, consider a steak au poivre with roasted potatoes. It’s a wine to take home and remember that day you visited South Coast Winery and beat the heat with fine wine in Temecula time.