Summertime is wine time

Summertime is wine time
Ray Falkner of Falkner Winery in Temecula with his Luscious Lips wine, part of a “Seductive Series” four pack. Photo by Frank Mangio

It’s as if someone blew a whistle and the Fourth of July — the ultimate backyard party holiday — came and went.  My neighbors like to party at home and in other neighbor’s homes, so we all did a “progressive” barbecue and wine soiree before the fireworks took over all the fun.

There are still many nice evenings left and after a long day’s work, nothing beats a backyard party, so let your summer lifestyle show and take your guests to somewhere new in the wine world.

Ray and Loretta Falkner have followed their marketing instincts for unusual yet stylish wines for 15 years, having founded Falkner Winery in Temecula in 2000. They did well with Mediterranean-style wine like Syrah, Viognier, Sangiovese and Super Tuscan style wines.

And then they got inventive with marketing and created the ultimate party wines, first with a Luscious Lips bottle in a white or red varietal. There is even a Luscious Lips bright Rosato pink wine. The sensual strawberry and cranberry flavors pair beautifully with summer parties.

Then there is the gold medal winning Risque Riesling with a semi-dry taste of pear, cinnamon and spice.  Package it all up and you have the Seductive Series of four wines.  Each bottle is not more than $19.95, with a discount for the four-wine series.  Even bigger discounts are featured in the Crush Club. See falknerwinery.com.

Over at Milagro Farm Vineyards & Winery outside of Ramona, an influx of investors, a new winemaker known as the “Mexican Mondavi,” and an ambitious inside and out renovation, have made this winery a popular summertime favorite. Their party recommendation is a “Milagro Spitzer,” with their Aleatico Port and other ingredients like Lavendar Cola Syrup. Check out Milagrofarmvineyards.com.

The Pedroncelli 2014 Rosé of Zinfandel. Photo courtesy Pedroncelli

The Pedroncelli 2014 Rosé of Zinfandel. Photo courtesy Pedroncelli

The French drink more Rosé than any other country, about 16 bottles per year, that courtesy of Wine Spectator.  This pink wine makes for a sweet fruity flavor to keep the party going.

Thanks to wineries like Pedroncelli of Sonoma, California Rosé is abundant and getting recognized.  Pedroncelli makes a Dry Rosé of Zinfandel with a mixed berry and cream soda flavor that makes you coming back for more.

They pick and produce in virtually the same year with the current vintage at 2014; ($12). Pedroncelli.com.

“Life is full of flavor” and that really applies to summer party wines.  I want you to try a couple of fun wines from Argentina:  Decopas Sauvignon Blanc from Bodega Trivento with youthful refreshing flavors, and Trivento Reserve Torrontes, both from Mendoza ($11). See triventousa.com.

Let’s turn to Chile for a fun Chardonnay with a great story for partygoers, the Casillero del Diablo.

The “cellar of the devil” comes from Chile’s premier winery, Concho Y Toro.  This is light yellow in color with aromas of pineapple, citrus and vanilla ($12). This one, like most others we have suggested, is topped with twist caps, so convenient for party people.  No corkscrews, no problem! Casillerodeldiablo.com.

 

Wine Bytes

Harry’s Bar & American Grill on La Jolla Village Drive across from UTC in La Jolla has a five-ourse dinner paired with five fine Italian wines featuring a Masi Amarone 2010, July 22 at 6:30 p.m.  Cost is $85. Call (858) 373-1252.

Il Fornaio in Coronado presents “Balcone Siciliano” July 23 with a reception at 6 p.m., dinner at 6:30 p.m.  This is fine Sicilian food with wines from Planeta in Sicily, moderated by wine expert Marco Barat.  Feature wine with this five-course meal is the Planeta Etna Rosso 2013. $60. RSVP at (619) 437-4911.

North County Wine Company in San Marcos has a fifth year wine celebration, July 24 and July 25, from 4 to 10 p.m.  Details at northcountywinecompany.com.

Wine & Wishes, a premier wine and food tasting event that benefits Make a Wish kids in San Diego and Imperial County, will be presented July 26 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Omni La Costa Resort & Spa.  Napa Valley wines and other quality names, along with delectable food from top restaurants, will be offered.  The event will include silent and live auctions, luxury raffle and live entertainment.  Complimentary valet.  Tickets are $200. Visit bidpal.net/wineandwishessd, or call (619) 279-5211.

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