Queen Bee Eats for a Day

Wine and Wind February 22, 2009

My sweetie and I got a joint email from the other bee and hubby today about a day trip they recently took to Temecula wine country, just outside of Orange County, California.  It’s a really wonderful place and I wanted to share the email…it’s funny and made us wish we were there again, too.

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At Callaway Winery

Dear QB and Sweetie,

The subject [title] is meant to say wine and wind (as in a windy road, but I never thought about “wind” – as in “to wind a string” and “wind” – as in “blowing air” being spelled the same). We digress.

We went back to Temecula wine country Saturday to pick up our “wine club” bottles – it was better than having them all shipped.  Also, we are trying to plan little day trips in the convertible.

[When we were there on our honeymoon, we purchased a few bottles from each winery we visited, having the other bee couple join the wine clubs, since they live nearby and can take advantage, so that we all got better rates on the tastings and purchases for the day. – QB]

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At Ponte Winery

We had an early start, getting there by 11 am (we felt this was late enough to begin drinking…)

We began at Wiens, which we think may be our favorite so far.  There was only one other car in the parking lot so we figured the place was deserted, but were shocked to walk in and find 40+ people in the tasting room.   As members they pointed the way to the back room, where we found the other car owners. The crowd was part of a tour around the area, not drunk drivers clearly like the rest of us.

[Disclaimer – they did not drive drunk.  The other bee’s husband was a responsible designated driver. – QB]

At Ponte Winery

At Ponte Winery

Down to business, *tickets, 8 tastes, picked up our club bottles, plus one extra that I just plain liked (actually when putting them away I realized I ALWAYS buy the same bottle – at least I’m consistent – LOL).

Moving on…went to Ponte, this place was obviously crowded outside and in.  Again, we took advantage of our membership going into the private tasting room. There were a good number of people in this smaller room too, but not so so many, so the servers didn’t bother with tickets, just poured around glasses.  And opened bottles, we tasted, showed us what comes in the club package (cab franc and bubbly rose), so we tasted that, they found a reserve of 2005 Zin [Zinfandel] magnums, so we all tasted that, she showed us an aerating pourer, and we tasted wine with that, and since I super liked the bubbly rose I compared it to another bubbly and then tasted the rose again….I think you guys can see where this is going.

Stumbling out of Ponte, we made our way (car top down shades on) over to Callaway. Finally we sat down for a bite to eat at Meritage. We are loving that restaurant, we always want to try another one, but for the 3rd time have had a top notch meal.

[We all ate at this wonderful restaurant together when we were out for the honeymoon.  A post soon to come. – QB]

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Ortega Highway

Realizing that I was beyond tipsy, we decided to drive home.  But we had planned to take a more scenic drive home this trip – the freeway is always congested and puts a damper on the day. The drive was through HWY 74 (a.k.a Ortega Hwy, v. popular with the bikers) which takes us through some National Forests (and apparently past Hells Kitchen Restaurant) – and up and over the Hills instead of around them like we drove with you.  How can I describe – minimal shoulders, sharp turns, Patrick downshifting, even though we are in an automatic just so the Bug could slow down without riding the bakes…think James Dean driving through the Hollywood Hills – only my hubby playing the role of J.D. and the ending wasn’t tragic – but was nearly vomitous. The drive was super beautiful although way windy (again I am referring to winding – not breezy).

Note for next time: take the scenic drive there NOT back.

Missed the experience without you guys.

XOX,
HHB and Hubby

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