We went wine tasting in Temecula,CA last weekend. It was a food/wine pairing event put on by 20 of the 25-30 wineries in that area and we were given tickets by one of the winery owners. I think you have to applaud the wineries there for a valiant effort to develop that area, but they are at a distinct disadvantage in a state with the best wine regions in the country if not much of the world. The wineries are fun, and certainly worth the experience, particularly if you can't make it to the 'better' wine regions or if you're just starting out enjoying wine. But...... if you do a lot of tasting and have a well-developed palate, Temecula is a challenge.
I was wondering if any of the wine lovers here have found any Temecula wines that compare favorably with the mid to upper quality wines of the Central Coast, Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino or even the Foothills area of California. I had a Sauvignon Blanc at Baily and a Syrah at Leonesse that were OK, but that was about it. Part of the problem, I think, was that the pre-paid wine/food people were directed to separate areas at each winery (to keep them separated from regular tasters who hadn't paid for the food) and often the wine we were served had been sitting outdoors for long enough to get too close to the 90 degree temps of the day...... not showing them at their best.
On another note..... Wilson Creek Almond Champagne (Temecula) is very popular in Orange County, and is sold at almost every supermarket in the area. It is made for them by Weibel, near Lodi, and it is a mystery why they think they can call it "Champagne" when the 'real' California sparkling wine makers are careful to avoid the use of that word on their products. Anyway......... This is reasonably decent budget sparkling wine with almond oil infused into it, making it sweet but interesting, especially in Mimosas,etc.. My question is whether there is a better quality, less 'mass-market' infused sparkler out there that anyone knows about.