I spent a lovely afternoon at Callaway Winery a few weeks ago when researching last Sunday's feature in the Press-Enterprise about Temecula. The gift shop was decorated with gorgeous theme displays--all featuring wine and wine-style products. After browsing through the gift shop, my husband and I stepped into the tasting room for a glorious "Wine and Truffle" tasting.
I've been a wine and chocolate lover for years, but until recently, BassMan has been more of a beer and pretzels man. He's evolved in recent years to enjoy good wines, artisan cheeses, and yes, gourmet truffles. While taking in the wine and truffles, BassMan commented repeatedly how well the wine complimented the chocolate and the chocolate served the wine. He even admitted, "Now I get why you've always raved about wine and chocolate."
The wine and truffles tasting at Callaway is $20 ($15 for wine club members) and includes four wines (two white, two red) paired to perfection with four truffles. I learned from our server there's a technique to wine and chocolate tasting.
After you've swirled and sniffed, sipped, swished and savored the wine, take a bite of the truffle. Chew it slowly, allowing the creaminess to blend with the residual of wine in your mouth. Take another sip of wine to combine the flavors. Ah, bliss.
I described the phenomenon to BassMan, who loves a good analytic explanation nearly as much as the experience. The tart or dry taste of the wine counteracts the sweetness of the chocolate, while the sugar in the chocolate sweetens the wine.
Starting December 1st through December 12th, you can visit Callaway Vineyard & Winery each evening between 5-8 p.m. for after-hours shopping, holiday music, evening gifts, special surprises and occasional visits from Santa. There will be activities and treats for kids of all ages including face painting, letters to Santa, story time, hot-mulled wine, holiday cider, and much more during this old-fashioned holiday event.
Each evening at 6:30 p.m, Callaway's holiday elves will take visitors on a "Jingle Bell Tour" through the winery. The first 100 guests receive a special nightly give-away.
Later, you can warm your hearts and bellies with hearty soups, sandwiches and seasonal faire available for purchase from Callaway's signature full-service restaurant, Meritage at Callaway.
Causes Carolyn Bass Supports
Catalina Island Conservancy, Habitat for Humanity, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, HorseNet Rescue