An Afternoon at Wilson Creek Winery: “I’m not sure if it’s the ambience, the company or the wine, but this is about the best Reuben I’ve ever had.”

A recent trip to Temecula, CA as part of our Wine for No Reason travels with several other couples provided wonderful content for this blog, although I’ve been too busy to share most of it. Today’s focus is on lunch at the Wilson Creek Winery, and reflections on how the setting adds to the enjoyment of a shared meal.

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Photo courtesy of Wilson Creek Winery

We met our fellow Wine for No Reason travelers at Wilson Creek on the first full day of our Temecula trek. One of the couples in our group had been there before and knew it would be just right. This place is more than just a winery: it is a sprawling compound that offers a full experience that includes whimsical outdoor art, a large tasting room and gift shop, landscaped grounds and vineyards that allow you to enjoy the California sunshine, and an excellent restaurant.

Arriving early, the Grill-Meister and I took a stroll through the vineyard and admired the grapes and the scenery.

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This part of the vineyard is called Merlot Mesa

Creekside Grille is nestled between the vineyard and the beautiful grounds, providing the perfect setting for a relaxing lunch with friends.

fullsizeoutput_8e0Creekside Grill at Wilson Creek Entrance

Still early when we ambled over to the restaurant, the Grill-Meister and I sipped chardonnay in the perfect, 72-degree, dry mountain climate while waiting for our friends. It felt like the world had slowed down a little, which is exactly how I want to feel on vacation. Don’t you?

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Yes Dear Chardonnay
I loved the name of this Chardonnay; see the fine print at the bottom, which says “Happy Wife Vineyard” and “Family Reserve”?

Our friends arrived and we had a lovely, lively, laughter-filled lunch. The menu at Creekside Grille is what I would call eclectic / American / locavore / foodie, with choices ranging from a Reuben sandwich to an octupus salad to a bison burger.

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A steelhead salmon filet with white asparagus and a salad
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The Caesar salad had the perfect amount of tangy dressing and crouton
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The Reuben, with a side of the Vineyard Salad, which had organic baby greens, candied pecans, bleu cheese, golden raisins and a delectable vanilla balsamic vinaigrette

It was a glorious afternoon of conversation, excellent food with much sharing of bites and wine-tasting. We were perfectly carefree and our time there felt like a gift; everything, including the weather, was over-the-top good. One of our friends summed it up, earnestly declaring:

I’m not sure if it’s the ambience, the company or the wine, but this is about the best Reuben I’ve ever had.

He went on to wax poetic about the Reuben, the company, the wine and the ambience, and we all dove into a discussion about how the place you’re in and the people you’re with have a huge impact on your enjoyment of a meal. We reveled in our current place (Temecula, Wilson Creek) and peeps, and then went on to describe some of our other “most memorable meals” throughout our lives.  Looking back, every one of our stories about fabulous meals included vivid descriptions of the setting and the companion(s).

It’s never just about the food. The setting and the people matter just as much.

I could go on about this topic, and perhaps I will, on another day. But for now, here are a few more photos of the lovely Wilson Creek Winery. Check it out if you ever get to Temecula. And look for us – we are definitely going to go back.

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Back home at Glover Gardens and sorting through pictures, I realized that we had had one of the wines before.

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Photo courtesy of Wilson Creek Winery

The Almond Champagne was the bubbly component for an Empty Nest New Year’s party a few years ago (just the two of us, at home). We really liked this champagne ~ at Glover Gardens or in Temecula ~ and will have it again. It is slightly sweet without being cloying and compliments fruit and chocolate desserts. It paired extraordinarily well with my friend Katherine’s homemade baclava, a holiday tradition. (Side note to Katherine: this is one of the reasons we need our allotment increased – so we’ll have some left for New Year’s!)

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The Wilson Creek Almond Champage was a New Year’s Eve hit for the two of us a few years ago, especially when sipped with the baclava (on the left in the green wrapper); I can hardly wait to try this combination again!

Resources:

Copyright 2017, Glover Gardens Cookbook

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