Capture the Magic of Temecula Wine Country over Dinner as the Sun Sets behind Rolling Hills!
By Rose Bud
A trip to Temecula Wine Country should always include a stop at Robert Renzoni Vineyards & Winery. The Tuscan villa has taken the wine country experience to the next level by extending Mama Rosa’s Trattoria hours and introducing a tantalizing NEW dinner menu!
Dinner is available between the hours of 6:00 – 9:00 pm in the main patio space where panoramic views are sure to make you feel like one with nature. Soft music by Frank Sinatra sets the mood and adds a classy touch to the countryside.
The dinner menu includes a featured wine list with head winemaker’s suggested pairings. We selected a bottle of Big Fred’s Red to enjoy with our dinner. This fine wine is a blend of 50% Zinfandel and 50% Sangiovese. Aromas of ripe blueberry and black cherry hit the nose. There is also hints of caramel on the palate, with notes of dark fruit and cherry on a soft finish. It’s aged 18 months in 100% American Oak.
Our dinner begins with an appropriate appetizer—the Chacuterie—which is different from the lunch version. This board features a variety of imported meats and cheeses. Sweet, salty and texture complexity is rendered through honeycomb, nuts, fruits and bread.
My party and I shared this board and were delighted it offered something for everyone. Dinner includes freshly baked ciabatta bread with dips: marinara, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The bread is such a crowd pleaser—hot out the oven and phenomenal.
The Linguini & Clam Sauce was my favorite dish. Fresh linguini is served with a generous amount of clams in a butter wine sauce. The dish is finished with locally grown basil, red pepper flakes, micro-greens and served with freshly baked bread. I took great pleasure in sucking the clams out of their beautiful shell feeling no shame as I embarrassed foodism.
My second favorite dish is another seafood pasta dish, however, with strong notes of lemon and garlic. Angel Lemon Shrimp has large succulent shrimp that are sautéed in a white wine garlic sauce and served with angel hair pasta and freshly baked bread.
What’s an Italian kitchen without gnocchi? Gnocchi here, is listed separably in its own menu and made by a guest chef who shares his family recipe. The Jalapeño Cream Gnocchi is perfectly chewy and complimented by a light creamy sauce. This dish is not spicy and the jalapeño does not overpower the delicate cream.
The Chicken Piccata is a light dish of protein and vegetables. Chicken is sautéed in a white wine, lemon caper sauce and served with seasonal roasted vegetables. If I was monitoring my figure, this Italian classic would probably the one I would choose.
If all you need in life is a big meatball—this dish has you covered. The Rigatoni & Bolognese has the traditional flavors of the proverbial spaghetti. Aldente rigatoni pasta is prepared in a homemade, meaty bolognese sauce and a large juicy meatball atop. The dish is finished with parmesan shavings and locally grown basil.
Live your best life with good company and a juicy bottle of wine like La Rosa. This bottle is a rosé of Sangiovese with a light strawberry, citrus flavors, tropical fruits and pink grapefruit on the finish. It is perfect for dessert or as a whole snack. I’m inclined towards dry wines and although I would not classify this one as such, it remains as one of my favorite rosés… no relation.
The tasting room is not open during dinner hours, but if you make it in before five o’clock, treat yourself to tastings or order fine Italian wine by the bottle or glass. As you sip back and relax , a sample of Mama Rosa’s Marinara Sauce is offered complimentary with mini bread-sticks. While you are here, you may want to stalk your pantry with a few of their items.
A dinner like this is best concluded with cake. Our final course delighted our palates with two different flavor profiles. Would you pick a tart Limoncello Cake ($9) or a javaful Tiramisu ($8)? Both are moist, spongy and topped with fresh berries. Dessert hours are from 8 – 9 pm.
Get a glimpse of the blazing sky adorned of oranges, pinks and purples hues. Any direction you turn, the sunset view from this winery is absolutely magical and not to be missed. Dinner reservations are highly recommended.
Robert Renzoni Vineyards is located at 37350 De Portola Road in Temecula. The telephone number is 951.302.8348.
Portraits by Karina Duke Photography
Photos by @TastefulEscape