The world’s foremost Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti is at Thornton Winery in Temecula July 31 at 6 p.m. Photo by Frank Mangio
Community Taste of Wine

Taste of Wine: When jazz & wine meet, it’s at Thornton’s Champagne Jazz

For the love of jazz and wine!  Over the last 20 something years in Temecula, John, Sally and Steve Thornton have provided lovers of jazz with the perfect venue for the top lineup of jazz stars to revel, cheer and taste their favorite wines.

This is the first year without the effervescent Sally, as she passed away, a sad event for all Champagne Jazz fans.  True to their mission, John and Steve have just presented a truly legendary lineup of great jazz for 2016.

Their acclaimed reputation for nothing but the best in jazz builds on their past as one of the finest in outdoor venues, intimate and acoustically perfect, on a Mediterranean-style terrace.

The seating is around a grand fountain.  Dinner tables are available under a shaded area.

The season kicks off with Jeffrey Osborne and special guest Nick Colionne May 28 at 7 p.m.

Other stars of jazz in the series are: Peter White, Paul Taylor, Euge Groove, Boney James, Herb Alpert, David Benoit, Al Jarreau, Dave Koz, David Sanborn, Geroge Benson, Kenny G, Jonathan Butler, Pat Metheny, Brian Culbertson and Richard Elliot.  You can pick up the dates and times for all these greats at

I saved my favorite for last.

As a performer, he is in a class by himself.  He is Chris Botti, a uniquely expressive trumpeter with great musical imagination, a string of No. 1 jazz LP’s and on the road touring for some 300 days a year.

Botti makes certain he and the audience share a mutual experience at his concerts, and you can experience this magic at his Thornton concert July 31 at 6 p.m.

Contact the Thornton Winery box office at (951) 699-0099.


Celebrity chef from Chandler’s Restaurant, Teri McIllwain will be showcasing her farm-to-table talent at the Encinitas Foodie Fest. Courtesy photo
Celebrity chef from Chandler’s Restaurant, Teri McIllwain will be showcasing her farm-to-table talent at the Encinitas Foodie Fest. Courtesy photo

Encinitas Foodie Fest has it all: Executive chefs, food, wine, spirits & music

The second annual Encinitas Foodie Fest blends the best of North San Diego County food, art and music. Fifteen chefs show us how to prepare farm-to-table cuisine on two stages at the Lumberyard Shopping Center, downtown Encinitas.  More than 30 restaurants will serve up gourmet tastes.  The “Barefoot Bar” has a dozen craft beer, wine and spirit vendors, including wines by Carruth Cellars, Lorimar Winery, Meritage Wine Market and Del Mar Tasting Room.

There will be live music from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the “Vinos, Bites and Brews” stage, with Perfect Strangers, XANDRA, Ben Powell and Jimmy Patton with Enrique Platas.

Visit for details and tickets. Tickets are also available at the Encinitas 101 Main Street Association office at 818 S. Coast Highway 101.


Wine Bytes

The many styles of Pinot Noir are spotlighted at Sbicca Restaurant in Del Mar May 21 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. with a wine and food experience. It’s a mid-day, multi-course meal in the wine room, with six Pinot Noirs, from Oregon to Burgundy France. Cost is $70. Get the full story at (858) 442-2749.

Vittorio’s in Carmel Valley presents a wine dinner with the French vintner, Gerard Bertrand, May 26 at 6 p.m. These are wines from the South of France, matched up with such excellent cuisine as Roasted Lamb Chops with Grilled Asparagus; $49.50. RSVP by calling (858) 538-5884.

The 13th Annual Encinitas Rotary Wine & Food Festival is June 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.  This will be at a new and bigger location, the Encinitas Ranch Golf Course on Quail Gardens Drive.  All proceeds will be divided among several worthy charities.  Taste beverages from over 25 wineries and breweries.  Sample some of the best offerings from 25 restaurants, music from top local musicians and participate in a large silent auction and raffle drawing. Admission is $90 pre-event, $100 at the door.  See


Frank Mangio is a renowned wine connoisseur certified by Wine Spectator.  He is one of the leading wine commentators on the web.  View his columns at and reach him at  Follow him on Facebook.