Temecula wine country is well known as the place to be for any festive occasion and Thanksgiving is no exception. Award-winning chefs are gearing up to serve gourmet fare — paired with wine, of course — to thousands of thankful guests this Thursday.
If the idea of mountains of dishes, dry turkey and Uncle Morty’s political rants leave you feeling more stressed than blessed, consider spending the holiday relaxing and enjoying the bounty that the wineries have to offer.
Hosting a crowd? Check out the featured recipes and serve up a little wine country goodness right at home:
Cafe Champagne at Thornton Winery — Free flowing champagne and mimosas will compliment an abundant buffet, featuring Chef Steve Pickell’s Contemporary Fusion cuisine. With roasted turkey, pit smoked ham and BBQ salmon along with fresh fruit, artisan cheeses, salads and seafood, the buffet is sure to please any palate.
A gourmet dessert station completes the meal — Salted Caramel Butterscotch Bread Pudding will woo even the most die-hard pumpkin pie fans. As in years past, owners John and Sally Thornton will be on site with their son and winery CEO Steve to share the holiday with their extended family of members and guests.
Service runs from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. Reservations are encouraged, but walk-in guests are welcome. Call 951-699-0099.
Enjoy Pickell’s Sweet Potato Casserole recipe HERE.
The Vineyard Rose at South Coast Winery Resort & Spa — Chef Jason Rivas will offer traditional fare with a contemporary flare as a plated holiday meal. The first course of mushroom bisque will be followed by a fall spinach salad.
Guests will choose from roasted turkey, braised beef short ribs or salmon for their entree and dessert will be a crustless pumpkin pie. Service runs 11 a.m. – 9 p.m. and reservations are encouraged by calling 951-491-8077.
Enjoy Rivas’ Pumpkin Pecan Bread recipe HERE.
Creekside Grille at Wilson Creek — Offered with or without champagne, a buffet feast will feature Chef Steve Stawinski’s take on local, seasonal ingredients. Roast turkey with merlot demi glace and slow roasted strip loin with creamy horseradish will be offered alongside a variety of salads, harvest-inspired sides and a chilled seafood bar. The Grille is well known for its gluten-free menu and will feature a wide variety of GF options on the buffet. Assorted pies, tarts, cakes and pasties will satisfy any sweet tooth. Service will be from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. and reservations are required. Call 951-699-9463.
Enjoy Stawinski’s Mascarpone Cheesecake Torte recipe HERE.
Need some endorphins to balance out all the L-tryptophans? Participate in the Cougar Winery 4th Annual Temecula Turkey Trot on Saturday, Nov. 24. Get some fresh air and burn off a little turkey and pumpkin pie — a perfect way to wrap up the Thanksgiving week.
Corie Maue is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.