Tag Archives: Holiday Cocktails
8 Reasons Why a Winery Wedding in California Should be at the Top of Your List
Posted on May 26, 2023 in Weddings
Travel to Africa with the Experts!
Posted on May 5, 2023 in Lifestyle
Dear fellow travelers,
Are you looking for a unique and unforgettable experience in Africa? Look no further than South Africa, where you can immerse yourself in breathtaking landscapes and witness some of the world’s most fascinating wildlife up close.
At the heart of this experience lies the Global Conservation Force (GCF), a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation of wildlife and their habitats around the world. And we are proud to announce that GCF has partnered with Kariega Game Reserve, one of the most beautiful and sustainable game reserves in South Africa, to offer a truly exceptional travel experience. Our very own, Jeff Littrell, Director of Events and Catering, and also on the Board of Directors for GCF. has first-hand knowledge of how to experience Africa right.
Traveling to the other side of the planet is a real commitment . One should you do with as much advice as possible from the experts. Jeff has been there five times and making his fifth later this year. Experience the awe-inspiring beauty of Kariega Game Reserve and the vital conservation work of the Global Conservation Force. Kariega Game Reserve is located in the Eastern Cape, just a short drive from the coastal town of Port Elizabeth. The reserve spans 10,000 hectares of pristine wilderness and is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including elephants, rhinos, lions, and more. And with GCF’s expertise and support, Kariega Game Reserve is committed to ensuring the long-term survival of these incredible animals and their ecosystems. When you book a trip to Kariega Game Reserve through GCF, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the incredible work being done by the organization to protect and conserve the wildlife in the area. You’ll be able to join expert rangers on game drives and guided walks, where you can get up close and personal with the animals and learn about their behavior and habitats.
Imagine being escorted this fall to the Western Cape, stay at an all-inclusive Homestead house in the middle of the reserve. You will be pampered to for five days with your own chef, stocked bar, game drive vehicle and extremely knowledgeable drivers. It is a thrilling experience to be at a braai (the term for African BBQ) and hear lion’s roaring in the distance. But it’s not just about wildlife. Just outside of Cape Town are premier wine regions, Stellenbosch and Franschhoek. During the tour you will be driving the Garden route from the Western Cape to the Eastern Cape which is around 400 miles broken up into three legs with lots to see and do on each leg.
It’s an adventure you’ll never forget and you have a chance! Join us on the next trip! Some of our wine club members have already signed up to join us at the Homestead House. I invite you to join us on Friday, June 23rd, at 4 pm, to share a glass of wine and hear more about this incredible journey. Let us transport you to the heart of Africa and provide you with an unforgettable experience that combines luxury, adventure, and conservation. SIGN UP HERE
Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!
Regenerating the Future: How High School Students are Leading the Way with Regenerative Agriculture – Meet the Regeneration Generation
Posted on April 21, 2023 in Giving Back
There seems to be a barrage of negative environmental news lately, such as the alarming rate of losing a species on Earth every 10 minutes. Additionally, there is an estimation that only about 40 to 60 harvests are left while our current agricultural systems can provide a sustainable food supply. Unfortunately, there are little to no prospects for technological fixes such as genetically modified organisms and agricultural chemistry, which, despite their promises, have actually greatly accelerated the degradation of our life-supporting biological systems.
It would be easy to understand an attitude of apathy from young people based on tThe highly degraded commons of our life supporting ecosystems and a functional worldview that we have handed them, after the mildest climate and the great potential of human intellectual achievement in the history of mankind.
The birth of the Regenerative Agriculture Club
It would be easy to understand but not what you would find if you went into the Temecula Valley High School and other schools in our region. What you would find his students who in 2019 got together with supportive and innovative faculty members Megan Mahan and Toby Brandon and started a Regenerative Agriculture Club. While other students were working on their thespian, musical, or athletic abilities, these students decided to work on regenerating the future for all.
In 2019 students from the Temecula Valley High School got together with supportive faculty members and administration and said that they wanted to start learning about the concepts of regenerative agriculture which not only include the regeneration of basic life supporting biological systems but also includes all elements of the Eco, the whole house which includes biology, economics, politics, and social and organizational theory. The students soon realized that the best method of learning is hands on application, and the best application is in your own backyard. They looked to the hillside behind the Temecula Valley High School, which had been largely abandoned except for an infamously challenging cross country field trail through the disrupted soils that no longer even supported natives plant or animal species. They envisioned an the evolving learning laboratory in their backyard where they could see the application of regenerative principles develop over time in person and share with their fellow students.
Students Transform Abandoned Hillside into Thriving Regenerative Laboratory
These students, with assistance and guidance from high school Science faculty members Meghan Manion and Tobey Brannon, developed a concept for the hillside project. They reached out to industry professionals to develop this hillside regenerative agricultural learning laboratory. The students recruited assistance from Greg Pennyroyal, Professor of Viticulture at Mount San Jacinto College (MSJC), Vineyard Manager, and practitioner of regenerative viticulture at Wilson Creek Winery. Additionally, they sought help from, Tom Curry, regenerative olive Grove manager and local food entrepreneur, and Leah Di Bernardo, founder and owner of EAT marketplace, a farm to table restaurant, and champion of high nutrient density food and public health in our region.
During the 2020 school year, the students began conducting biological surveys investigating regulatory and technical aspects of developing their hillside regenerative outdoor laboratory project. They also began to gather institutional, political, and fiscal support for their proposal. Over the next two years, the students developed a systematic approach to learning what is necessary for a project of this scale, including the invaluable life skill of tenacity. They overcame numerous financial, bureaucratic, and technical barriers that any major project encounters, and did not let anyone interfere with their dreams.
Regenerative Agriculture Club Achievements
The Regenerative Agriculture Club has over 100 members, and has been featured on an ABC News segment. They have organized several fundraisers, and had a high level meeting with the staff of MSJC College, including with John Kemp and leading technical experts from Advancing Eco Agriculture. The club has received funding from the Specialized Secondary Program grant from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The high school now has an approved curriculum for a regenerative agriculture high school science program and is coordinating with the development of a program offering an AS degree in regenerative System theory for entrepreneurs and social change, and Regenerative Agriculture.
During Spring Break in May 2023, the land clearing was finished, and irrigation and infrastructure systems are being installed with the direct involvement of the students, who are involved in all aspects of this project.
A basic tenant of systems theory-based ecological science is that nature constantly innovates, launches, reevaluates, and re-innovates. This is the essence of an organizational theory called Agile Management, which like many things we “discover” are actually just processes of nature we have wisely learned to adopt. The organization and execution of this project follows this basic environmental principle and will be constantly adapting, learning, and improving. The founding members of the regenerative AG club are also evolving and learning. They have all been accepted to Berkeley or Davis to study environmental sciences. Their acceptance is largely credited to their innovative work on the regenerative AG hillside project.
Inspiring the Regeneration Generation
9 Reasons Why the Temecula Valley is the Best Wine Country
Posted on April 19, 2023 in Lifestyle
In addition to their knowledge and experience, they are also very approachable, friendly, and willing to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have. Their commitment to customer service is second to none. From helping you pick out the perfect bottle to offering tasting room experiences, you will be sure to leave with an unforgettable experience. Meet the Wilson Creek Winemakers.
At Wilson Creek Winery, we are proud to say that many of our wines have achieved ratings of 90+ with Wine Enthusiast Magazine. You can find some of those wines on our website. These exceptional ratings are a testament to the quality of our wines and their unique terroir. Whether you’re looking for a bold Malbec or a sweet white like our Golden Jubilee, you can be sure that a bottle from Wilson Creek Winery will provide an unforgettable experience.
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How to Store Wine at Home: A Guide to Keeping Your Favorite Wilson Creek Wines Fresh and Flavorful!
Posted on March 30, 2023 in Wine 101
Wine is a delicate beverage that requires proper storage to preserve its quality, taste, and aroma. If you’re a wine enthusiast, you know how important it is to store your wine correctly. We will discuss everything you need to know to properly store your favorite wines at home.
Is It Necessary to Have a Wine Refrigerator?
A wine refrigerator is not a necessity, but it can significantly improve the quality of your wine. A wine refrigerator allows you to store your wine at a consistent temperature and humidity level, which is crucial for preserving its flavor and aroma. It also protects the wine from light and vibrations, which can alter its taste and aroma. However, if you do not have a wine refrigerator, you can still store your wine in a cool, dark, and stable environment.
What is The perfect temperature to store white wine?
The perfect temperature to store white wine is between 45°F to 50°F (7°C to 10°C). This temperature range is ideal for preserving the delicate flavors and aromas of white wine. If you store white wine at a higher temperature, it may lose its acidity and freshness. On the other hand, if you store it at a lower temperature, it may lose its aroma and flavor. Therefore, it’s essential to keep white wine at the right temperature to ensure it stays fresh and delicious.
What is The perfect temperature to store red wine?
The perfect temperature to store red wine is between 55°F to 65°F (12°C to 18°C). This temperature range allows red wine to age properly, developing more complex flavors and aromas over time. If you store red wine in a place that is too cold, the flavors and aromas will be muted, and the wine may taste flat. On the other hand, if you store it at a higher temperature, it may age too quickly, leading to a loss of flavor and aroma.
Do the Bottles Have to be Stored in a Certain Position?
Yes, the position of the wine bottles can affect the quality of the wine. Wine bottles should be stored horizontally, so the wine is in contact with the cork. Storing wine horizontally helps keep the cork moist, which prevents it from drying out and allowing air to enter the bottle. If air enters the bottle, it can cause the wine to oxidize and spoil, leading to a sour or vinegar-like taste.
How Long Can You Store Wine?
The length of time you can store wine depends on the type of wine and how it is stored. Generally, most red wines can be stored for up to five years, while white wines should be consumed within two to three years. However, some wines can be stored for much longer, such as high-quality Cabernet Sauvignon or Bordeaux blends, which can age for up to 20 years or more. It is important to note that not all wines are meant to be aged, and some are best consumed young.
Can wine expire?
Yes, wine can expire. The expiration of wine is determined by its age and storage conditions. If you store wine in a warm or humid environment, it may expire more quickly than if you store it in a cool, dark, and dry place. Once wine expires, it may have an off-taste and smell, making it undrinkable. When wine is exposed to oxygen, it can start to oxidize, leading to a loss of flavor and aroma. Additionally, if wine is stored in a warm or humid environment, it can spoil quickly. To prevent wine from going bad, store it in a cool, dark, and dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources.
Can wine freeze?
Yes, wine can freeze. When wine freezes, the water in the wine expands, which can cause the bottle to break. Additionally, freezing wine can alter its flavor and aroma. Therefore, it’s essential to keep wine at a consistent temperature above freezing to ensure it stays in its best condition.
How are European Wines Different from United States Wines When It Comes to Aging?
European wines and United States wines have different styles and characteristics when it comes to aging. In general, European wines are known for their ability to age well, while United States wines are typically meant to be consumed young. This is due to several factors, including the differences in climate, soil, and winemaking techniques.
European wines, particularly those from France and Italy, are typically made from grapes grown in cooler climates, resulting in higher acidity and tannin levels. These higher levels of acidity and tannins help the wine to age well, developing complex flavors and aromas over time. In addition, many European wines are aged in oak barrels, which can add further complexity to the wine.
In contrast, United States wines are often made from grapes grown in warmer climates, resulting in lower acidity and tannin levels. These wines are typically more fruit-forward and are meant to be consumed young, without the need for aging. However, there are exceptions, particularly with high-quality California Cabernet Sauvignon and other Bordeaux-style blends, which can age well for several years.
In conclusion, properly storing wine at home is crucial for preserving its quality and flavor. By storing wine at the perfect temperature and in the correct position, you can help to ensure that it remains enjoyable for years to come. Additionally, understanding the different characteristics of European and United States wines can help you to determine how long to age your wine and when it is best to consume it.
Enhance your wine collection with the exquisite taste of Wilson Creek wines!
Best St. Patrick’s Day Wines
Posted on March 10, 2023 in Lifestyle
As we approach St. Patrick’s Day, many of us are looking forward to indulging in traditional Irish dishes and raising a glass to celebrate. While many of us may immediately think of beer when we think of St. Patrick’s Day, wine can also be an excellent choice for those looking to switch it up. If you’re looking for the perfect wines to accompany your St. Patrick’s Day feast, look no further. Here are our top St. Patrick’s Day wine recommendations:
If you’re looking for a crisp, refreshing white wine to enjoy on St. Patrick’s Day, we recommend Wilson Creek’s 2020 Pinot Grigio, for lighter fare like Irish soda bread or potato soup. This wine has a crisp and refreshing taste with notes of pear, melon, honeysuckle, and a hint of oak. The bright acidity and crisp dryness of the Pinot Grigio pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the soup and complements the bread.
When it comes to pairing wine with hearty meat dishes like corned beef and cabbage, we suggest reaching for our 2019 Petite Sirah. This wine boasts a rich and full-bodied flavor profile with notes of dark fruit and chocolate, making it the perfect complement to savory meat dishes. The tannins in this wine will help cut through the richness of the meat and balance out the flavors of the dish.
Peach Bellini Sparkling Wine
For a festive twist on your St. Patrick’s Day celebration, we recommend our Peach Bellini flavored sparkling wine. This wine is perfect for toasting on St. Patrick’s Day and has a light, effervescent quality that makes it a refreshing choice. This wine has a sweet and fruity taste with a hint of peach, making it a perfect match for Irish cream desserts or fruit salads. The effervescence of the sparkling wine will also help cut through the richness of these dishes.
In addition to enjoying great food and wine on St. Patrick’s Day, there are also plenty of fun activities to pair with your wine. Try hosting a wine tasting party with friends, complete with blind tastings and food pairings. Alternatively, take a stroll through a local vineyard or winery and enjoy a guided tour and tasting. Finally, consider hosting a St. Patrick’s Day-themed party, complete with festive decorations, Irish-inspired cuisine, and plenty of wine.
Overall, wine is a great addition to any St. Patrick’s Day celebration. Whether you’re enjoying a hearty meat dish or indulging in lighter fare, there’s a wine out there to enhance your dining experience. Come visit us at Wilson Creek Winery to pick up your perfect St. Patrick’s Day wines and raise a glass to the luck of the Irish. Sláinte!
The Big Game Pairings
Posted on February 10, 2023 in Wine & Food
Who is ready for some Football?!?
We definitely are, AND we have the Big Game Pairings to prove it!
Now, we know you all have been working so hard on the those New Year’s Resolutions and have been eating healthy, but let’s be honest with ourselves… we will ALL be benching those resolutions come Sunday! Super Bowl is the time to indulge in all of those delicious party foods and pair them with some of your favorite Wilson Creek Wines! So grab your favorite bottle, follow our pairing suggestions and watch the Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs go head to head!
Along with the smorgasbord of food, don’t forget to treat yourself to a variety of wines too. Trust me the wine will not go to waste!
At kickoff, start with a mouth-watering plate of loaded nachos! The diverse flavors in these nachos will pair great with the soft and fruity flavors of our 2019 Tempranillo. If you’re more of an French Onion Dip person we have you covered! The sweet French oak aromas of our 2021 “Yes Dear” Chardonnay pair great with the caramelized onions in the dip. It wouldn’t be Super Bowl if there wasn’t a tray of buffalo wings out on the table! When it comes to something bold and spicy it is always a good idea to pair it with something light and on the sweeter side. That’s why we HIGHLY suggest pairing this fan favorite appetizer with a chilled glass of our White Cabernet.
During the game, the main dishes are usually passed around. As soon as those pulled pork sliders come out, pour yourself a glass of our 2020 Bourbon Barrel Zinfandel. The smokiness on the nose will compliment your favorite BBQ sauce. Another crowd pleaser is a piping hot pizza. This classic dish of melted cheese and various toppings calls for a red wine that will have you going back for another slice…and glass! We suggest pairing your favorite pizza with our 2020 GSM.
Towards the end of the game while you’re (hopefully) doing your victory dance don’t forget the dessert! You can’t go wrong with a classic platter of chocolate chip cookies. This is the perfect time to pop open a bottle of our award winning Almond Sparkling! The rich chocolate in the cookies pairs great with natural almond flavor of our most popular sparkling wine. Plus it’s time to celebrate another successful Super Bowl Sunday!
Everyone have a safe and fun time!
Most Romantic Wines for Valentine’s Day!
Posted on February 2, 2023 in Wine 101
A day for celebrating love is St. Valentine’s Day. Here in the U.S. St. Valentine’s Day is celebrated on February 14th, and is often marked by flowers, chocolate, and little candy hearts. I say forget it, celebrate St. Vincent’s Day January 22 instead. I think it’s a better holiday for celebration. St. Vincent is the patron saint of wine and winemakers, just think of the celebratory possibilities.
So, who wants to trade in the small sugar-heart-shaped Valentine candy with “Be Mine” stamped on one side for a bottle of wine? Whether you’re toasting your ride-or-die Galentine, gathering your family around a cheese board, or cozying up for a date night with your sweetheart, we’ve got you covered.
Check out these perfect romantic wines and their pairings
Instead of the normal boring Valentine’s lunch, choose a you get a four course-wine-paired meal. This meal can start with a tasty appetizer paired with a sparkling wine. Sparkling Rose is the quintessential Valentines’ Day wine. From its romantic color to crisp and festival flavors, it sets the mood. Crisp, elegant, and flavorful Wilson Creek sparkling Rose is refreshing and bursting with aromas and flavors reminiscent of strawberries and melons. Pair this wine with a variety of cheeses or spicy Asian dishes. Chocolate-covered strawberries are an obvious choice with the sparkling Rose but if you have a yearning for a rich, and decadent dessert, share a molten chocolate cake with raspberry sauce.
Keep the day light but still indulgent with a creamy, lightly sweet depth, Chardonnay. Chardonnays are a great choice for drinking alongside smooth or rich dishes. They often pair naturally with a variety of shellfish because of their soft oak and creamy profile. Our Yes Dear Chardonnay is buttery with aromas of vanilla and sweet French oak, making it a great complement to the sweet flavors and firm texture of shrimp, lobster, and scallops. Craving striped bass, crab, raw oysters? These along with broth-based soup create a perfect pairing for Chardonnay. As the name states, remember to always say “Yes Dear”.
Red wine is perfect for setting a romantic mood for the perfect date night. Forget the chocolates instead receive a beautiful dessert sauterne. Who wants long stemmed red roses when you can celebrate with a long finished Petite Sirah? Loved for its deep color and full-bodied flavors of blueberry, chocolate, plum and black pepper. Petite Sirah has high tannins which means you’ll want to match it up with a richer, more fatty food to create a balance. Try big and bold foods such as roasted pork, beef, aged Gouda or stuffed peppers.
This week is the perfect excuse for eating sugary goodies and drinking wine! Choosing a special wine and perfectly paired treat can make your day truly unforgettable. Have a romantic night sitting next to the fireplace and sip slowly while nibbling on dark chocolate truffles – a winning combination! Wilson Creek Decadencia is a fortified dessert wine make from century-old Zinfandel with a touch of natural chocolate added. Serve in a chocolate cup for extra decadence!
What about the perfect Valentine’s Day cocktail? Try a light white wine spritzer. Not only is this valentine’s drink easy to make but, with the addition of raspberries, it turns pink to match the holiday. Simply combine Riesling wine, sparkling water and Cointreau. Don’t forget to drop in some raspberries or strawberries. Looking for more unique ways to enjoy your wine, try one of our many wine cocktail recipes.
Romantic Custom Wine Labels
Consider adding a personalized touch by opting for a bottle of wine with a custom label. With a little bit of planning and creativity, you can create a truly memorable and unforgettable gift by downloading your favorite photo and adding meaningful words to it. This thoughtful gesture is sure to be treasured for a long time.
Start Designing Your Own Label
Enjoy a Romantic Date
Why not plan a romantic day out and treat your special sweetheart to an unforgettable experience of wine tasting? Not only is it a great way to spend time together, but it also offers the opportunity to discover new wines. Plus, it makes for the perfect setting to relax, unwind, and create lasting memories together.
Whatever you decide to drink and eat on this special day, remember that the purpose is to experience new things with the ones you love. Experimenting with different wines is a great way to dive into a newfound hobby or a tradition between you and your partner. No matter how you are choosing to celebrate, wine and love go together, just like you and your sweetheart. Have a warm, happy Valentine’s Day!
Cherry Heart Pies
Posted on January 31, 2023 in Recipes
These Cherry Heart Pies are such a fun and easy Valentine’s Day Dessert for your sweetheart or to even pass out as Valentine’s! We’ve also paired these with some of our wines at the bottom so let’s get to it!
CHERRY HEART PIES
- 1 box Refrigerated Pie Crust
- 11 oz Cherry Pie Filling
- 1 Egg
- 1 tbsp Milk
- White Sparkling Sugar or Powdered Sugar
- Heart Shaped Cookie Cutter
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Using a 3 to 4″ heart shaped cookie cutter, you should get 8-10 pies from 1 box of crusts.
- Cut as many shapes as you can get rerolling scraps as needed.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together egg and milk to make an egg wash.
- Place half of the hearts on prepared pan(s).
- Use egg wash to wet the edges of the hearts.
- Place a small amount of the pie filling in the center of each.
- Make a small x cut in the center of the remaining half of the hearts.
- Place an x heart on top of each filled heart and press and crimp edges.
- Brush sealed pie with egg wash and dust with sparkling sugar.
- Bake for 14-16 minutes until crust is browned.
- Allow to cool.
White Wine Pairing: 2021 Roussanne
Red Wine Pairing: 2020 Family Reserve Zinfandel
Cotton Candy Rosé
Posted on January 17, 2023 in Recipes
- 1/2 bottle of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur – chilled
- 1 bottle of Wilson Creek Rosé Sparkling – chilled
- Pink Cotton Candy
- Edible Gold Hearts
- Pour half a bottle of St. Germain into your pitcher
- Add in your bottle of Wilson Creek Rosé Sparkling and stir well; Chill until ready to serve
- Then place your cotton candy on top of your champagne flutes
- When it’s time to enjoy take their cotton candy flute and pour the Rosé cocktail over the cotton candy to make a beautiful pink drink
- Sprinkle your edible gold hearts over the top for a beautiful pop of color and detail
Cheers To That!