My Favorite Things: Ponte Edition

November 25, 2011 No comments »
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As most of you know from experience, there is a lot to do, see, smell and taste at Ponte. You probably know this particularly well if you are a Wine Club Member with us. I get asked quite often by guests and Wine Club Members what my favorite things are at the winery. “What should I do when I visit?”, “What’s your favorite item in the Tasting Room?”, “What wine should I bring home with me?” are among the most common questions. I decided to compile a little list of My Favorite Things: Ponte Edition (in no particular order). My list includes items in our Tasting Room that I highly recommend, things to do and various other highlights of Ponte!

Dinner at the Restaurant at Ponte on Friday and Saturday nights. I think it says a lot when, as an associate of Ponte, I LOVE coming here for dinner. The menu changes seasonally, the scenery is romantic and the food is just so good. My current favorite on the menu is the pan-seared halibut…amazing. Combine that with the live music that plays from 6-9pm and you have a relaxing evening in Temecula wine country. Make a Reservation

Our sustainability efforts. Changing over to greener methods is an ongoing process, but I really appreciate all the changes we’ve made thus far. We’ve done so much, from little adjustments like using only chlorine-free, recyclable paper and refillable toner cartridges for printers, to constructing our upcoming Ponte Vineyard Inn with sustainable wall and roof insulation to reduce HVAC usage. Learn more about our sustainability efforts.

Eclipse Chocolat with Lavender Sea Salt and Cacao Nibs. This is one of many decadent sweets we sell in our Tasting Room and I can’t resist it! I’m not even a “chocolate person” per se, but it’s amazing. Slightly salty with light lavender notes. I highly recommend pairing it with our Zinfandel Port or 2009 Late Harvest. Live too far to purchase it in the Tasting Room? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! We sell it in our Online Store as well.

Our 2009 Super T. Rich, bold and classic. This is definitely my go-to red of ours (my white would be Graciela). I like to pair it with, well anything. I like to be quite the rebel and drink red wine with lighter fare too, not just heavy dishes. Who says you can’t have red wine with fish or salad? It’s delish! Purchase the Super T here

Winery Tours. Have you ever taken one of our tours? If not, please do so soon! They are fun, interesting and you learn a lot. Our tour guides keep it simple, too. No boring and unnecessary details about wine that make you feel like you’re in a lecture hall. They are usually about 30-40 minutes. The tour guide will tell you about the history of Ponte, how the wine is made and you get to visit our tank yard and barrel room to taste a couple of unfinished wines. The tour itself is only $5 per person and tastings are sold separately. And if you are a Wine Club Member with us, tours are complimentary for you and your guests! Tours are at 1pm and 3pm on Saturday and Sunday or by advanced reservations during the week!

Bella Cucina Artichoke Lemon Pesto. Or as I like to call it “The Best Jarred Pesto in the World.” I mix it with whole-wheat pasta with chicken or shrimp for a simple dinner or I bake it with freshly-grated parmesan cheese and mayonnaise for a rich, bread dip. If I bring the dip to a party, it is always gone by the end of the night. Coincidentally, this pesto made “Oprah’s Favorite Things” list in 2004! We sell 6oz. and 23 oz. jars in our Tasting Room and Online Store.

Weddings at Ponte. Temecula Wine Country is a beautiful backdrop for celebrating one of the best days of your life, but I find Ponte in particular to be incredibly romantic and versatile. It’s rustic, classic and stunning in every season. On any given Saturday or Sunday at about 5 pm, you can find me gazing out of my office window at the gorgeous brides strolling down the aisle. Our Wedding Coordinators are so tuned-in to each bride and groom’s expectations. And our wine country weddings make for the most exquisite photography. If you are currently scouting out venues for your future nuptials, I highly recommend taking a site tour or visiting our website for more information.

Volcano Capri Blue jar candles by Aspen Bay. Another item we sell quickly in the Tasting Room and Online Store and one that I must have at home at all times. If you are a friend of mine, expect to see one under your Christmas tree because, as your friend, I think you should have one. It smells tropical, original and unlike any other candle I’ve ever had. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it burns well, lasts a long time and fills a room with its phenomenal scent.

Ponte’s Scallion Oil. If you have dined at our restaurant, then you probably enjoyed some of the “yummy green sauce” they serve with focaccia bread upon being seated. Our Scallion Oil has become so popular that bottling it became inevitable. This tangy, slightly sweet sauce is definitely one of my favorite items here at Ponte. In addition to using it as a bread dip, I use it as a great, unique salad dressing with seasonal veggies. I highly suggest including it in a holiday gift basket of treats for a friend, family member or coworker. You won’t hear any complaints from them. Also available in our Tasting Room and Online Store.

Our motto, “If you like it, then it’s good wine.” When I mentioned that Super T and Graciela were my 2 favorite Ponte wines, you might have cringed and thought to yourself that I have terrible taste. But that’s the beauty of wine tasting in general. There is no set standard of what should be considered good and bad. I prefer bold, dry reds and off-dry whites. You might love only sweet whites and hate dry reds. And that is perfectly ok! Each palate is different and stigma should not dictate what you drink. So drink up and enjoy what you love!

Elyse Barton
Wine Club Coordinator


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