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Temecula Valley's Top 5 Holiday Wines

Wednesday, October 11, 2017 9:00 AM by Annette Brown

As the holiday season approaches, wine lovers will be searching for wines that complement holiday dinners and can please a wide array of palates. Whether it’s a small gathering or a large soiree, Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country offers something for every wine personality. From sparkling, white, red, or dessert wines, wine lovers are sure to find a wine that will work well for their holiday entertaining and gift-giving.

Bubbly: Thornton Brut Reserve NV

Made using the “Méthode Champenoise,” this Temecula Valley sparkling wine is blended from individual vineyard lots of Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, and Pinot Noir. This special Cuvee, assembled and finished in 2010 shows delicate apple and toasted yeast aromas in the nose, brought out by fine bubbles in the glass.

Food Pairing: Roasted Butternut Squash & Apple Soup with Toasted Pumpkin Seeds



White: 2015 Cougar Falanghina

Cougar Vineyard & Winery’s 2015 Falanghina boasts a 90 point score and was a Wine Enthusiast Editor’s Choice. Juicy apple and pears show on the nose, along with white flowers,  and a pleasant minerality. The palate offers mouth-watering acidity, with notes of key lime, apricot and slate.

Food Pairing: Garlic Shrimp Skewers



Light Red: 2012 Fazeli Phel Phel

This unique blend of 95% Cinsaut and 5% Shiraz is the perfect white wine drinker’s red. Light and lively, it offers up cherry fruit and subtle hints black pepper, cigar, and spice. A bright and food-friendly   wine with soft but ample tannins.

Food Pairing: Roasted Duck with Balsamic Glazed Cherries



Hearty Red: Lorenzi Estate 2013 Syrah

This single vineyard Temecula Valley Syrah, fermented and aged in 100% French oak, is bursting with dried blackberry, leather, tar and purple flowers on the nose. The palate offers savory herbs,followed by layers of boysenberry, caramel and black pepper. 93 points & Editor’s Choice,Wine Enthusiast.

Food Pairing: Herb-Crusted Prime Rib with a Syrah/Garlic Compound Butter



Dessert: 2013 Leoness Cinsaut Port-style Dessert Wine

From the Tucalota Vineyardand aged in 100% French oak barrels, this vintage Port-style wine is fortified to just over 18% alcohol, withfermentation stopping at about 11% residual sugar. Beautiful dark ruby color, with raspberry fruit and hints of caramel and chocolate. Soft tannins and a rich lingering finish.

Food Pairing:  Flourless Chocolate Cake with Fresh Raspberries



Though Temecula Valley wines can be ordered through the wineries’ online stores and shipped to most states, what better excuse to visit the destination and try the wines onsite. Temecula Valley is conveniently located in the center of Southern California, just an hour drive from San Diego, Palm Springs and Orange County and 90 minutes from Los Angeles. Many winery restaurants offer special holiday dining menus that pair wonderfully with their holiday wines. Resort, hotel, bed and breakfast inns and vacation rentals offer special packages and pricing for Sunday through Thursday stays.


To plan your holiday stay go to


With natural gifts of climate and geography, Temecula Valley is widely recognized for its scenic vineyards, award-winning wines, and friendly wineries as Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country. The destination includes the Temecula Valley AVA (American Viticulture Area) as well as Old Town Temecula and Pechanga Resort & Casino.

Visit Temecula Valley is online at; “Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country” on Facebook, @VisitTemecula on Instagram and @Visit_Temecula on Twitter. The Temecula Valley Visitors Center is located in Old Town Temecula on Mercedes Street adjacent to the Old Town Parking Garage. For visitor assistance, call 888-363-2852 or 951-491-6085.



Author: Annette Brown

If you see, hear or read about Temecula Valley, chances are it originated from Annette. When not pitching stories, she’s is often traveling around Temecula Valley showing media the amazing people and places that make the destination an unforgettable experience. Nearly 30 years, Annette has been working in public relations and marketing. Annette joined the Visit Temecula team in 2011 and is the Director of Public Relations.