At wine tastings, wine should be swirled in its glass and held up to the light before sampling, then sprayed carefully into the face of a designated spit-taker. Observe proper tasting etiquette with today's Groupon: for $99, you get a Grand Cru Experience wine tour from Brewen's Empire Trolley (a $199 value). Wineries and restaurants are scheduled according to guest preference and tour-group size, so call ahead to confirm your reservation.
Once aboard Brewen's Empire Trolley, passengers can sip on wine while touring Temecula Wine Country, then stop at four local wineries to sample varied Dionysian delights over the course of a six-hour guided tour. A midday stop at an area restaurant fuels further revelry with a multi-course gourmet lunch, and a souvenir wine glass from each of the four wineries can be kept at hand forever afterward, held ready to toss liquids at boorish suitors or pigheaded quiz-show hosts. In addition to a number of convenient pickup locations listed on the online reservation form, guests can also arrange to be picked up and dropped off at their own abodes.
Brewen's Empire Trolley
After 20 years of event planning, Amy Brewen decided to take her show on the road—literally. With a map of Inland Empire's best venues, event spaces, and wineries already in her mind, she connected them all together into packaged experiences with the aid of a little creativity and a classic 32-passenger trolley. The antique vehicle, which maintains all its quaint charm from the wooden seats to the brass bells, was put to work running daily tours through Temecula wine country. As the fleet grew, Brewen added more tours to her repertoire. Today, she conducts excursions to local wineries, microbreweries, and eateries; holiday events; and transportation for tourists or wedding guests.