Valentines Day is all about romance, and nothing says romance like gourmet food in the Temecula Wine Country. We had the pleasure of attending Ponte’s Romantic Valentines Dinner, which did not disappoint.
When we stepped into the winery we were offered a glass of the Moscato Champagne as we waited to be shown to our dining area. The sounds of a saxaphonist playing for the Smokehouse greeted us as we walked to the wine club dining room.
The room was exquisitely lit and decorated for a romantic evening. Tables set for two, low lights, “Love” in pink on the walls, pink napkins, and a place setting full of wine glasses greeted us.
I won’t bore everyone with the details of each course, let’s just say each presentation by Ponte’s new Executive Chef, Frank Miller, was carefully prepared and tasted as good as it looked. From the appetizer to the main course, everything was fun to look at and delicious to enjoy.
Of course, what is gourmet food without accompanying wine? I have to say, not personally being one who fully appreciates the sweet whites, I was surprised by the Moscato. Ultimately, the winning wine of the evening was the Nebbiolo of course, a rich, dry and full red – the way wine is supposed to be (sorry, I’m partial to the reds).
Here’s the official list from the evening’s offerings:
Amuse Bouche paired with the Moscato
Salad (on crisp flat bread with a warm brie and caramelized onions tossed in a pomegranate Ponte Ariana vinaigrette) with Chardonnay
Intermezzo: Pink Grapefruit and Tarragon Sorbet (drizzled with green chartreuse) with Ariana
Entrée: Surf and Turf Wellington (natural grass fed filet mignon and lobster wrapped in puff pastry baked to a golden brown served candied horseradish cream, bouquet of vegetables) with Nebbiolo
Dessert: Hand Made Chocolate Bag’s (filled with passion fruit mousse, crème anglasie and passion fruit coulis finishing with Port
So, what’s missing from great atmosphere, food and wine? Music of course – but that was not lacking either. Each table was serenaded by a roaming violinist, along with a keyboardist, playing classic love songs like “Just the Way You Are”, and “Beautiful Tonight”.
There’s just one word to describe this evening, “Magical”. Special thanks go out to Ponte for inviting Taste of Temecula to this romantic evening. And don’t worry if you missed out on this dinner, you can visit the Smokehouse any night of the week or catch an event here. And of course, visit the tasting room any day to try the wines.
By Alex McLean, more photos from the evening here