Sunday, December 12, 2010

Seasoned Greetings Awash with Wine

Auld Lang Santa Bottles+
No time or money to sip and shop in Napa Valley? No problem. Santa is bringing Napa to just the other side of the "Orange Curtain" County Line with FREE Wine tastings!

Mark your calendars to take your unfinished holiday shopping list to South Coast Plaza. Premier winemakers are bringing luscious  libations to try before you buy at one of my favorite shops, NapaStyle. Here's the schedule, hot off the press from store manager James Franklin

Friday, December 17th: From 4-7

Vellum Wine Craft. With a name like that, Jeff Mathy must be serving smooth vintages

'07& '08 Cabernet Sauvignon.

Saturday, December18th: From 1-4

Darm’s Lane

Tricia Bump Davis will be available to explain the
’07 Cabernet Sauvignon
’09 Chardonnay

Sunday, December 19th From 1-4
(The Italian wine specialist) Mission Wine Company's founder Ciro Cirillo will be showing off these fine wines 
’06 IL Burchino “Super Tuscan”
’09 Casal Moro
’09 Col Reale

Monday, December 20th from 1-4

Prager Port Works
Petite Sirah Port
Aria White Port
Noble Companion Tawny Port

To understand the devotion to enjoying their work, you simply Must click on the Prager Port Works Prager Port Works web site.

The Tawny Port inspired me to get in the kitchen and bake a gingerbread cake. While it was cooking, a vintage cookbook was pulled off the shelf to remind me how to candy citrus peel. Strip the peel from citrus, scraping away the pith. Drop stripped strips into  boiling water for 15 minutes. Rinse, repeat. The bitters are gone,  leaving you with these lithe little bits of intense citrus flavor. A simple sugar syrup got very lucky. A package of opened walnut pieces was in the frig with nothing else to do. About a half hour later, the nuts and bright peels of  one each tangerine, orange and lemon were lifted to a rack to dry into scatterings for atop a dollop of whipped cream on the cake.  Candy fruit once and understand what the grocery store sells is just jerkified junk.

 Tuesday, December 21st From 12-4

B Cellars- Jennifer Hallock will be on hand to represent the foodie focused winemaker with their worthy Napa Blends. These are professional wines not hindered by cloying names. Instead, they are referred to by their style/sweetness number. If you are new to matching food with wine- this is the winery to get to know.


Holiday Hint: Have friends and neighbors you want to give something more than a card to, but out of time and not much money? One of my favorite special gifts is a food ingredient- one with special twist that raises from ordinary to extraordinary. Drop it in a gift bag with a personal recipe paired with it. NapaStyle has a great collection of seasoned salts to play in the kitchen with. 

Don't you just adore the Napastyle catalog description of  the bottles pictured on top.... "Santa Claus artwork on red and green glass, these festive little bottles look great lining a console, mantel or sunny windowsill. Fill them with hand soap as a wonderful gift, a single poinsettia or leave them corked as standalone décor." Having put a new ornament on the Christmas tree for every member of the family for 34 years- this is one terrific change of pace. Out of stock online- they are IN STOCK in COSTA MESA. If you hurry!

Brussels in Bloom Story

Judy Duvall sent the "Brussels in Bloom" pic. One thing about old Europe- I'm glad they are more into high maintenance gardening than we are in California. She also sent over a GREAT idea for those of us who would rather not be on the road past midnight local time, when the parties and bars let out on New Years Eve. An anglophile active in Welsh choirs, her group of friends coordinate a celebration with the UK's midnight, which is 4 pm local time.

With 'Snookie'  scheduled to be dropped in a ball at Times Square in New York- being tucked in bed and asleep before that spectacle of bad taste happens sounds like the right thing to do.

Image by Gerry Plunk
 If the sunset is like tonight. What entertainment could possibly top this thrill?

NapaStyle South Coast Plaza

3333 Bear St.

Costa Mesa, CA

(714) 825-0445


  1. BRAVO! Wish I was closer so I could attend the wine tastings. Sounds heavenly. Prager's spider web window is fascinating. Maybe some day I will be able to take a picture of my own! Love touring the Northern California wineries, although we do have some fine wines here in Southern Oregon, Blue Moon and Troon being two of my favorites.

    Thanks for the 'tour' and the pictures. Judy is right, celebrating on European time is the ticket for New Years. Yawn.... And thank you Gerry for a fabulous photo of your sunset!!! I love it!

  2. Blue Moon and Troon sound like they should be visited soon):-

    The sunset last night was beyond gorgeous. May your days be as well.

    Thank you for stopping in.


  3. Sue is right! BRAVO! What a wonderful job you do writing about the wine tastings and the descriptions. Being a lover of all wines white I would love to attend some of these sometime!

    A friend has already given me a gift that is sitting under my tree. I snooped and found a wonderful bottle of something, wine glasses and a matching bowl. No, I didn't peek, just "felt". lol

    Wonderful pictures and think I will celebrate New Years at 4:00 on New Year's Eve too! Hey, you get to open that delicious bottle wine wine earlier in the day then!

    Hugs, Trisha

  4. GOOD morning Trisha. I am laughing because I had not thought of being able to begin the evening indulgences earlier in the day):-
    It also has the advantage that the New Year can start a bit brighter. After all, there are lots of snacks to get ready for infront of the TV on one of the biggest game days of the year.

  5. Glad you enjoyed the photo of the Grand Plas in Belgium. It's spectacular, isn't it! I was there in '87 so I can visualize the enormity of that endeavor.

    Yep, looking forward to our going to the British Social Club in Garden Grove for NY's. Friends from my Welsh Church as well as Souther California Welsh Choir: "Cor Cymraeg de Califfornia" will being coming, too along with some other Welshie friends. There will be the Scots and Irish and of course a huge contingent of the Enlish there as well! As tradition dictates, my Welsh friends/choir members will of course start the pub singing after a few rounds! People are welcome to come. Non member is $5 cover. Come at 3 pm.


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