Food and wine pairings allow people to diversify their palates in one day, a feat previously attainable only by cramming five frozen dinners and a variety pack of juice boxes into a blender. Savor expanding horizons with this Groupon.
$55 for a Wine-Tasting and Food-Pairing Class for Two ($180 Value)
Oak Mountain Winery's trained staff and sommelier guide participants through samplings of six wines during Wine Tasting 101 and Regions of the World classes. Each session begins by instructing participants how to taste and smell for certain characteristics—sometimes tricking palates with different variations of the same wine. Pupils sample three wines paired with gourmet cheeses, such as manchego and asiago rosemary, before reaching a finale of 2005 port paired with dark chocolate and toffee. At the end, tasters sample eight flavored avocado oils and balsamic vinegars sopped up with bread. Classes take place on weekdays at noon and 10 a.m. on Saturdays, and participants also receive 15% off bottles of wine purchased during their visit.
Oak Mountain Winery
Steve Andrews, a builder of off-road racecars, and wife Valerie Andrews, a painting contractor, never thought of winemaking as more than a hobby. Yet when one of their house blends boomed in popularity, they happily accommodated demand by planting varietals on 40 acres of high Temecula Valley hillsides. The husband-and-wife team now ferments a diversity of grapes—such as petit verdot, malbec, and cabernet sauvignon.
Staff conducts tastings and classes in the main room, a Quonset hut construction with Tuscan accents, or on a sprawling glass-enclosed pavilion overlooking Temecula Valley's rolling green hills, where musicians also wrangle free-range harmonies on Sunday afternoons. Tastings often incorporate rare, seasonal cheeses, artisan chocolates, and various flavored balsamic vinegars such as fig, apple, and dark cherry. The winery also produces avocado oils infused with roasted garlic, chili, and blood orange, chosen for their health value and mild flavor, much like exercise books.
Oak Mountain Winery is a dog-friendly vineyard (with the exception of the cave tasting cafe, where food is available Thursday–Monday), with proceeds from some canine-centric wines—such as 2009 Pete's Sake red—going to Cause for Paws, which helps dog owners pay for canine diabetes treatment.
36522 Via Verde
Temecula, California 92592