Kirbie's Cravings

CRUSH- Temecula

A few weeks ago, FH and I were invited by McCue Marketing Communications to attend the second annual CRUSH event in Temecula featuring the food and wine of Temecula.

FH and I used to visit Temecula frequently for wine tasting and thought this would be a fun opportunity to revisit some of our favorite wineries.

The event took place at Monte de Oro Winery.  The first item on the agenda was a roundtable featuring some of the winery owners. They discussed wine making, concerns, goals, etc. The event took place in the barrel room which was pretty cool to see. We were also able to sample several wines, including some reserved wines not available for purchase. I really enjoyed one red wine in particular, but unfortunately, it was one of the ones not for sale.

Then we went back upstairs to the show/tasting room section and sipped  some champagne and sampled appetizers while we waited for the main showcase to start. The event featured almost all the wineries in Temecula as well as many restaurants and caterers in the area.

One interesting little tidbit about the tasting room was that the majority of the floor was see-through. Here is the picture from where I am standing, looking down into the barrel room where we had just been. I had noticed this during the roundtable but didn’t think to take a picture. It’s okay to be looking down. The problem is for when people are inside the barrel room and looking up…While at the event, I got to catch up with my favorite San Diego dining critic Candice Woo. She and another woman dubbed this floor section “the danger zone” because women wearing skirts and dresses would walk across and stand in this see-through section without realizing the view they are giving people below.

I couldn’t wait to go outside for this gorgeous view. I also really loved the water fountain.

With each winery featuring two wines to sample that night, I made sure to get some food in my stomach before heading to the wine booths.

First up, Vail Ranch Steakhouse.

The panna cotta was one of my favorite bites of the night and we actually went back for seconds of it.

The Restaurant at Ponte

The Restaurant at Leoness

This was a scallop wrapped in bacon.

The Gambling Cowboy

The Creekside Grill

The Lazy Dog Cafe

This tuna tartare was also one of our favorite bites. The tuna was fresh, the avocado sauce was delicious.

Meritage at Callaway

Chicken dumpling. I really liked this too. The outside skin was crispy, the filling was juicy. The tart raspberry vinaigrette sauce was a nice accompaniment.

Pinnacle at Falkner


Hmm, I forgot to take a picture of the name of the place serving up these tacos.

I also didn’t catch the name of the place serving up grilled vegetables and fruit. I loved the grilled figs though.

Temecula Catering offered these watermelon bites accompanied with this vinaigrette sauce that you are supposed to squeeze into the watermelon. Pretty neat.

After getting some food into our stomachs, we moved onto the wines. It was overwhelming with so many wineries there. We obviously couldn’t sample all of them, so we had to be selective. By this time it was getting dark too so it was hard to take pictures of the wines. Plus each sample looked the same in the pictures. Our favorite wine of the night was a syrah by Leonesse Cellars. The owner was very sweet too and offered to take us on a private tour next time we are there.

The Second Glass App was created for this event for us to rate the wines after we taste them so we wouldn’t have to remember them all. All the wines being tasted and the wineries were listed and we could just press the buttons for thumbs up, thumbs down, etc after we tasted the wines.

On the floor, all the drains were filled with these wine corks which FH thought was really cool and requested I take a picture.

Towards the end of the night, I found myself at Crows Pass Farm and I wish I had found them earlier. They featured so many organic fresh fruits and vegetables that were really delicious. I got to sample a few things I had never tried before like purple okra, purple bell peppers.

Here are a few of our plates:

Some of my favorite items included the chocolate covered figs and the carrots. FH loved the kale chips. We went by this station a few times before concluding our night. Everything just tasted so refreshing.

We had a great time. It was a lot of tasty bites and some great wine. We’ll have to visit again soon to visit some of the wineries we really enjoyed tastings from. This is the second time this event has been held. If you are interested in attending, definitely keep your eyes open for the event next year (or attend a similar upcoming event, see below). The cost for tickets were $65. Thanks again to McCue Marketing Communications for providing us with complimentary passes to attend the event.

For those who can’t wait until next year or are planning a trip to Temecula soon, here is a similar upcoming event that may be of interest:

Temecula Harvest Celebration
?      Two-day weekend passport tasting event, November 5 & 6 from 10:00a – 4:30p

?      Passports include wine tasting and small food plates at 34 wineries

?      Tickets are $99; $79 Sunday-only; for more information and to purchase tickets, please visit



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2 comments on “CRUSH- Temecula”

  1. Thanks for the coverage! I thought of going but ended up didn’t, due to the admission being too high for my designated driver.

    • Oh you should have asked them if you could bring a guest. They invited me and I asked if I could bring FH as well and they allowed me to bring him.

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