Wines Perfect For Valentine’s Day

Valentine's Day Wines Ventura County CA

Choose the right wine for your Valentine’s Day festivities!

As you set out to celebrate Valentine’s Day, be sure to pick the perfect bottle of wine. Whether you’re looking for something more traditional or something a little more adventurous, be sure to check out these wine recommendations to make your Valentine’s Day a night to remember.

Romantic and Rich.

Try an Amarone. This Italian red wine is a luxurious bottle of wine. Made from grapes from the Corvina and Rondinella regions, the grapes are dried out before the wine making process. It’s deep, rich flavors make this dry wine perfect for a romantic Valentine’s Day celebration.

Classic and Traditional.

Try a Bordeaux. This French wine made from a blend of grapes. These blends include Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Malbec. All in all you can’t go wrong with a Bordeaux. It’s a classic red that is sure to make for a great Valentine’s Day.

Eco-Conscious.

Try green reds. Wines that have a smaller carbon footprint are becoming more popular.  Look for organic wines to satisfy both you romantic and moral sentiments.

Adventurous and Flavorful.

Mix up your wine game with a Spanish wine. Spanish wines made from Albariño, Tempranillo and Verdejo grapes have a robust flavor. These red wines are far from ordinary and are sure to be a great addition to your Valentine’s Day celebration.

Sweet and Simple.

If you’re looking for fun, light wine to celebrate with, then a Lambrusco is the way to go. It gives you the deep red color, with a light bubbly flavor. Just make sure to serve it chilled.

To find the wine best deserving of your Valentine’s Day, be sure to check out your local wineries in Ventura County, California. They offer the best tastings in the area. Contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Red Wine Stains Are No Problem With These Stain Removal Tips

Stain Removal Tips Ventura County CA

Fear red wine stains no more!

Accidents happen, but don’t let a red wine spill get you down. Enjoy your red wines without fear of stains. Check out these red wine stain tips to keep your fabrics stain-free!

Hot Water

Cotton may be the easiest fabric to clean. In the event that you spill red wine on a cotton fabric, all you need to do is rinse it in hot water. It should get the stain right out, but make sure to do it while the stain is still fresh.

Oxi Cleaning

It seems as if older wine stains will never come out. Fear not! Try using Oxi products. Start by preparing the area with hot water. Pretreat the area, and then use an Oxi product mixed with a bit of water on the stain. Let it sit for two to ten hours, and it should come right out.

Salt

In the event of a fresh spill go ahead and dowse the stain in salt. The absorbent quality allows it to pick up the stains from the fabric. After the salt absorbs most of the spillage, go ahead and wipe down the area with some warm water.

Soda Water & Baking Soda

Spilled wine on your favorite white sweater? No problem. A bit of soda water and baking soda paste should do the trick. If it’s a fresh spill, blot the stain with a paper towel. Then submerge the stain in soda water. Let it sit of a minute or two. Then go ahead and blot again. Now, take a baking soda past and cover the stain. Wait a little while and rinse the stain. Your sweater should be good as new.

Enjoy red (and white) wines at your local wineries in Ventura County, California! Offering the best tastings in the area, contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Tips for Excellent Tasting Room Etiquette

Tasting Room Etiquette Ventura County CADon’t look lost the next time you head into a tasting room. Use these etiquette tips!

Visiting a tasting room can be a very enjoy able experience – provided you know what to do once you’re there. At Ventura County Winery Association, our goal is to guide you to the best local tasting rooms and offer you a guide on what to do once you’re there. That’s why we’ve put together these tips on tasting room etiquette.

  • When you arrive at the tasting room, head straight for the tasting bar. There should be a host there to greet you and get you started.
  • Most tasting rooms offer a tasting of white and red wines. If you only prefer whites or reds, ask your tasting room host about your options. Lots of wineries will pour a red-only or white-only tasting for you. If there are wines on the list that you don’t want to taste, you don’t have to! Just let your host know you’d prefer to skip them.
  • Many tasting rooms have a printed sheet of tasting notes. If you’re trying to learn more about wine, ask for this sheet so you can see if you taste those flavors and aromas in each glass.
  • Don’t feel pressured to finish all the wine in each pour. There should be a dump bucket available to pour out what you don’t want.
  • It’s generally impolite to ask for a second taste unless you intend to purchase that wine. If you are interested in buying a bottle, ask to “revisit” that specific wine for another taste.
  • If crackers or another neutral-tasting food is available, use it to cleanse your palate, not to fill up!

We hope these tips help you at your next tasting room visit. Now it’s time to put them to good use! If you would like to know which local wineries in Ventura County, California offer the best tastings, contact Ventura County Winery Association today!

Figueroa Mountain in Westlake Village is Finally Open!

Figueroa Mountain Westlake Village CA OpenFigueroa Mountain Brewing Co. opens their much-anticipated Westlake Village Taproom. Here’s what to expect.

If you’re like us, you’ve been patiently (or not-so-patiently) anticipating the opening of Figueroa Mountain’s latest taproom installment. The award-winning brewery had already set up shop in locations between Arroyo Grande and Santa Barbara, and we’ve all been on pins and needles waiting for them to open up a more southern spot. They finally have! The Westlake Village Taproom – Figueroa Mountain’s latest location – opened up last month, much to everyone’s delight!

At the taproom, you can grab a draft pint of a number of their award-winning beer including Lizard’s Mouth Imperial IPA, Danish Red Lager, Hoppy Poppy IPA, and Davy Brown Ale. If you’re not a particular fan of beer, though, there are still plenty of options for you! Enjoy a beer cocktail like a Hopped-mosa (Hoppy Poppy IPA, orange and lemon juices, agave, and orange bitters) or the Lounging Lizard (Lizard’s Mouth Imperial IPA, agave, pineapple and lime juices, mango puree, and orange and peach bitters).

Want to satisfy your sweet tooth? Try a beer float, like their Stagecoach Stout with vanilla bean ice cream or their Wrangler Wheat with sweet cream ice cream.

Don’t worry you’ll be doing all this drinking on an empty stomach. They have a full menu including wings, nachos, tacos, salads, burgers, and more! Head to the Shoppes at Westlake Village (30770 Russell Ranch Road) to hit this new local hotspot. We’ll see you there!

Figueroa Mountain can scratch that itch for a great brew in Ventura County, but if you’re looking for vino, turn to us. Ventura County Winery Association is here to be your guide to the best local wineries throughout Ventura County, California. You don’t have to go far to find that perfect bottle; contact us today!

The Best Wines for a Healthy New Year

Healthy Wines Ventura County CADid you resolve to be as healthy as possible in the New Year? Here are the best wines for you!

The majority of Americans make some kind of resolutions for the New Year, and the majority of those resolutions involve health in some way. If you have a health-related New Year’s resolution, you’re probably cutting out some of your favorite things like time on the coach or potato chips. That doesn’t mean you have to give up everything good, though! If you’ve resolved to have a healthy New Year, these wines can help you towards your goal.

  • If you’re trying to lose weight, skip the red, which can pack as much as 175 calories per glass! Instead, try a Riesling or sparkling wine. These lighter, dryer varietals can have as little as 90 calories in a 5-ounce pour. Drink up!
  • If you’re trying to help your heart, you want wines loaded with antioxidants. One antioxidant, resveratrol, is found in grape skins and can lower your bad cholesterol, help with blot clotting, reduce inflammation, and even cut your cancer risk! Reds have the highest concentration of this powerful antioxidant, so they’re the best choice for your cardiovascular health.
  • If you’re trying to eat less processed food, be careful that you choose a wine labeled as “organic.” Although biodynamic and sustainable wines might seem like a fit for your resolution, only bottles with organic labels have government regulation. When you buy organic wine, you can rest easy knowing its made from organic grapes and doesn’t have any added sulfites or synthetic additives. Cheers to that!

If you’re looking for the right bottle to help you be your healthiest self in 2016, contact Ventura County Winery Association. We know all the local wineries in Ventura County, California and can guide you towards the ones that have the best varietals to help you meet your health goals while still pleasing your palate!

Wow Your Friends with Knowledge of These New Year’s Eve Traditions Around the World

New Year's Eve Traditions Around the WorldAs we gear up for New Year’s Eve here in America, let’s take a fun look at NYE traditions around the world.

Can you believe it’s almost time to ring in the New Year? The holiday season always makes the last portion of the year fly by, so 2016 might have snuck up on you. Don’t worry! There’s still time to get ready to celebrate! As you prepare for the new year, we thought you might enjoy learning about these New Year’s Eve traditions around the world.

The UK.

In the United Kingdom, giant crowds come together along the main river in London – the Thames – to watch Big Ben strike midnight and catch the fireworks. Traditionally, people in the UK celebrate a “first footing.” This tradition is carried out by having a handsome man with dark hair be the first person to enter a household after midnight. He’s supposed to carry a loaf of bread, salt, coal, and whiskey. How practical!

China.

China follows the Lunar Calendar, so they celebrate their New Year – or Yuan Tan – sometime between the middle of January and the middle of February. Their celebrations are major; festivities often continue for over two weeks! Drums are beat to drive away evil, and people give gifts of money packaged in red envelopes to share good luck.

France.

In France, the start of the new year is known as le jour des trennes or le jour de l’an. The festivities celebrating the dawning of a new year are known as reveillion and they center around feasting (complete with champagne, of course!), which is thought to bring prosperity into the coming year.

Happy New Year from Ventura County Winery Association! If you’re looking for that perfect bottle to pop tonight, contact us for great suggestions from local wineries right here in Ventura County, California. We can help you make your cheers to 2016 memorable!

Wine Pairings for Winter Cuisine!

Winter Meal Pairings Ventura County CABreak out the bold wines and hearty meals this winter!

Winter is finally (almost) upon us! While you may be thinking that California isn’t known for subzero temperatures, snow, and ice, the weather is starting to cool off to chill our Californian skin.

While the weather turns to a brisk 60 degrees, it’s time to bring out the Crock Pot and wintery wines!

Looking to pair your pork? Read on for perfect wine and winter dish pairings!

Pinot Noir & Squab
The ash and cassis aromas of the wine echo the smoked current and the flavorful and forefront berry in the wine tames the gamey flavor from the squab. In non-technical terms, it compliments it well!

Bold Red Blends & Lamb
Lamb brings out the earthy tastes of any Merlot/Cabernet blend. The rich wine and the rich meat are a complete match (just make sure you don’t overindulge!)

Petite Sirah & Beef
Braised beef is hearty and is ideal in a stew or casserole! Either add a glass of Petite Sirah to the table and add a glass or two to the pot! It makes for an excellent braising liquid!

Cabernet Sauvignon & Pork
This wine has supple tannins which cut through the fat of the juicy meats without overpowering the delicate flavors! Once you try it, you’ll wonder how you ever ate pork without Cab Sav.

Syrah & Turkey Chili
We all know that the Thanksgiving turkey lingers around to make plenty of turkey sandwiches and turkey chili! This time, add a glass of Syrah to your meal to enhance the fragrance of violets and forest floor.

Now you know what to wine to choose to complete a meal, visit Ventura County Winery Association for your winter wines! We love wine pairings, so we can help you to find the perfect bottle! Beat the winter blues by visiting our local wineries or schedule a wine tour to taste all that California wines have to offer!

Champagne Punch Brings Sparkle to All Holiday Parties!

Holiday Party Ventura County CAGlam up your Christmas festivities by serving a fun and dazzling drink!

With winter comes festivities, parties, and celebrations! If you’re still looking for a spiked drink to add some glitz, glamour, and garland to your holiday party, look no further! Champagne is the crème de la crème of all celebratory drinks, so take a couple of bottles and mix it up in a festive and fun punch!

Ingredients

  • Three 3-inch cinnamon sticks, broken into pieces
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Crushed ice
  • Orange and lemon wheels
  • 12 ounces Belle de Brillet
  • 12 ounces of Cognac
  • 9 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • 6 ounces triple sec
  • 12 ounces chilled Champagne

Method

  1. In a saucepan, cover the broken cinnamon sticks with 1 cup of water, bring to a boil. Simmer over moderately low heat until reduced by half. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Let cool. Strain through fine sieve into bowl. Refrigerate until chilled.
  2. Mound crushed ice in the middle of large punch bowl. Using a spoon, slide orange and lemon wheels against the inside of the punch bowl, then push the crushed ice back up keep the fruit in place.
  3. In a cocktail shaker, combine one-fourth each of the cinnamon syrup, Cognac, Belle de Brillet, lemon juice, and triple sec. Shake well! Add one-fourth of the Champagne and shake once, then add to the punch bowl. Repeat the shaking 3 more times with the remaining ingredients. Serve punch in glass of crushed ice and garnish with cinnamon sticks and orange and lemon wheels.

Toast the festivities with this delicious and sophisticated drink! To complete your party, stock up on a couple of bottles of wonderful Californian wine! Contact Ventura County Winery Association for perfect wine pairings and a local winery tour to taste the best flavors of the season!

Best Wines To Give For Christmas

Best Wines To Give For ChristmasA good bottle of wine is always a welcome gift!

Now that stores are piled high with products and the Christmas tunes have found their way onto the radio, it’s time to start thinking about presents! From friends, family, teachers, co-workers, and the postman, the gift of a bottle of wine is always appreciated. During the season of gift-giving, opt for a good wine that all will enjoy!

If you’re not quite the wine connoisseur, use this guide for suggested wines!

  • Barbaresco is an Italian wine which is unique, refined, and undoubtedly classy. Gifting this bottle to a passionate wine connoisseur who appreciates the oldies but goodies, such as a father-in-law, is a great choice.
  • Champagne is an obvious choice for your loved ones. From your best friend to your parents, who doesn’t love a good bottle of bubbly? Try the Pol Roger Champagne, Winston Churchill, the royals: Kate & William’s favorite! Toasting the New Year couldn’t taste better!
  • Organic wine brings a new sensation to all first-timers. Search for Garganega, an Italian white grown without fertilizers and grown in volcanic Veneto soil. The result is a strong balsamic and tangy profile! Any edgy friend, wine-lover, or fun co-worker will love to give this one a try!
  • Bordeaux wine is like no other! French wines come about from centuries-old traditions and are best suited for the refined individuals of your social circle and can appreciate the extra effort you went to of selecting a true, original wine.

Still stuck on choosing the right wine? Visit us at Ventura County Winery Association to learn more about the bottles delivered straight to us from Westlake Village-local wineries. We can find the perfect gift for your loved ones this festive season! If you’re eager to taste all flavors of the holiday, schedule a wine tour! Contact us today!

Oxnard’s Holiday Occasions!

Holiday Events Ventura County CA2015 holiday events to put some festivities into your season!

If you’re looking for some family festive fun, look no further! There’s no need to travel miles to see lights being turned on, holiday events happen right in your backyard.

Mark these fun happenings into your Christmas calendar:

  • 65th Annual Christmas Tree Lighting
    Friday, Dec. 4th, 5:30 p.m. at Plaza Park
    Watch the County’s tallest Christmas tree, 110 feet high, sparkle with hundreds of lights! Join community leaders, Downtown merchants, and friends in this festive tradition. Bring the kids down to meet Santa, enjoy complimentary refreshments, and entertainment all for free!
  • Winter Fantasy Music & Light Show
    Friday, Dec 4th until Jan 3rd, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly at Plaza Park
    The Historic Pagoda becomes a high-tech interactive experience allowing visitors to participate in a spectacular computer-orchestrated show. With over 30,000 flashing lights, holiday music, and decorated trees, it’s a wonder for all!
  • Oxnard Christmas Parade
    Saturday, Dec. 5th, 10 a.m. to noon in Downtown
    The Annual Oxnard Christmas Parade themed “Celebrating an All-Star Christmas” is a beloved event for the whole family! The parade will feature marching bands, equestrian units, local school groups, festive floats, and the star of the show, Father Christmas!
  • Holly Trolley Tours
    15th, 16th, 17th at 6, 7, and 8 p.m. departing from Centennial Plaza
    Come aboard a grand double-decker for a 50-minute guided tour of Downtown and the Historic District’s spectacular display of holiday lights and décor. The bus will stop at Heritage Square for hot chocolate and cookies! Purchase tickets here!

From the Ventura County Winery Association, we invite you and your family to enjoy all the season events that Oxnard has to offer! Don’t miss out on a holiday-favorite, a wine tour. Taste the flavors of the season and experience all of Oxnard and the surrounding local wineries. Contact us today!

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