Taste of Wine: Thornton Winery Announces Champagne Jazz Series

World renowned Jazz impressionist Keiko Matsui headlines at the 2017 Thornton Champagne Jazz concert, Saturday June 17.

World renowned Jazz impressionist Keiko Matsui headlines at the 2017 Thornton Champagne Jazz concert, Saturday June 17.

The long-awaited 29th year of Champagne Jazz concerts has been unveiled at Thornton Winery in Temecula, with at least 16 of the greatest jazz headliners on the planet, from June 10 to Oct. 14.

Thornton Winery is ideally suited for the special atmosphere for jazz enthusiasts, with an intimate outdoor venue. Gourmet cuisine is offered for both the table patrons and the concert chair customers, all arranged around a super-huge Mediterranean fountain. Views are expansive across the way to other wineries of the Temecula hillside.

The most desired way to experience the Thornton style is with the Gourmet Supper Package, prepared by the award-winning Café Champagne, with table seating under the covered patio and reserved.

A large selection of wines, sparkling, white and red, is available at special winery pricing with dinner. My recommendation for best reds are: 2014 Nebbiolo, 2014 Petite Sirah and the 2013 Tempranillo.

Our thanks go out to John and Steve Thornton for assembling unforgettable musical shows.

Headliners on stage will include: Chris Isaak on July 15, Dave Koz on Sept. 9 and 10, Peter White on Oct. 1 and Chris Botti on Oct. 14. For season tickets and group sales, call (951) 699-0099.

The general admission for each concert is $85. The Gourmet Supper package is $160. each.  For the full concert schedule, visit thorntonwine.com.

Rombauer Zinfandel the Wine of the Month

The 2014 Rombauer Zinfandel ($29.99) is a masterful, boundary-pushing Zin with its dark, purple-ruby hue. Concentrated flavors of cranberry, licorice and spice are enhanced by the generous 15.90 percent alcohol content.

The 2014 Rombauer Zinfandel ($29.99) is a masterful, boundary-pushing Zin with its dark, purple-ruby hue. Concentrated flavors of cranberry, licorice and spice are enhanced by the generous 15.90 percent alcohol content.

Taste of Wine got an exclusive interview and tasting from Rombauer Marketing Director Brandye Alexander at Bentley’s in Encinitas. She opened the latest Chardonnay, the most popular varietal produced, a tasty Merlot, then the elegant Zinfandel, which blew me away. The Napa Valley St. Helena-based Rombauer Vineyards, got its start on the Silverado Trail in 1980 founded by Koerner and Joan Rombauer.

 

 

State-of-the-art equipment and an appreciation for the best wine achievable have vaulted Rombauer into one of the finest of wines. Koerner Rombauer’s great-aunt Irma authored the legendary cookbook “The Joy of Cooking,” which now includes pairings with Rombauer wines.

A special presentation of a Rombauer wine dinner is being produced by The Barrel Room in the Plaza in Rancho Bernardo, Wednesday June 28 at 6 p.m. the previous night’s event was sold out almost immediately so I would strongly suggest you get your RSVP in right away. Dan Redman from Rombauer will moderate the evening, a five-course custom menu that pairs with five Rombauer greats includes: Chardonnay, Diamond Select Cabernet and that lovely Zinfandel. Cost is $80 each. Visit tbrsd.com for details and tickets.

Wine Bytes

A reminder that San Diego Urban Wineries has their Sip The City Finale Grape-fest Saturday June 10 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Maple Street Plaza in Escondido. It’s a celebration of the members, with wine and food tasting and live music. Details and $25 tickets at com.

  • Il Fornaio, with restaurants in Coronado and Del Mar, is serving their Festa Carnivale Basilicata cuisine June 5 through June 25. Traditional southern Italian cuisine includes Risotto con Frutti de Mare. Make your reservations early for the Taste of Basilicata. In Del Mar call (858) 755-8876.
  • The chic and beautiful Hotel Del Coronado is beginning its 2017 Winemaker Dinner Series at the Del, Thursday June 15 at 6:30 p.m., starting with the Robert Craig Winery, with its sought-after mountain Cabernets, Zinfandel and Chardonnay. Adam Glatt with the winery will moderate. The special seasonal menu at 1500 Ocean Restaurant will have a reception at 6 p.m., with dinner at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $150 per person. Visit com or call (619) 522-8490.

Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading commentators on the web.  View his columns at http://tasteofwinetv.com.  And reach him at mangiompc@aol.com.

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