Leonesse pick up night

You already know we like Leonesse wines. You already know we belong to their wine club. You may not know that they are currently sold out of their Port and this makes us sad. I also may or may not have subtly threatened the poor guy pouring samples (who probably never works the counter except for these occasions) if the new port release isn’t as good as the last.

On our one free weekend at home (that was no free but really really busy) we decided to check out this wine pick-up night with free appetizers and jazz music. We drove up to Temecula (I feel like we’ve done this drive too much lately), not really knowing what to expect. Did you know Leonesse has overflow parking? And that there is a cute grassy picnic area by this overflow parking? Now we have somewhere to go other than Wilson Creek for picnic lunches!

Leonesse has finally opened their new restaurant, Block Five. They are open for lunch Thursday through Sunday and open for dinner on Friday. Wine club members get 10% off food (yay!). To showcase the new restaurant, some appetizers were available at the pick-up night.

When you check in, you get a glass (not to keep) with tasting tickets, a food ticket, and a ticket for a full glass of wine. Apparently, you can also combine tastes to get 3 tastes in one glass. I think they were only tasting the wines you get in the wine club shipment – Sauvignon Blanc, Four (a Cab/Zin blend), and a Syrah. We tasted them and I got a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc to enjoy. Then we stood in line for food, which was a plate of 2 calamari, some curry chicken salad and pita bread, and some brie-stuffed figs. I don’t know what time they really started, but we were there just a little after 7 pm and it was already packed! If we wanted to sit, we’d have to join someone at their table.

Of all the tables to sit at, of all the people we could have met that night, we spent the night talking to a couple of engineers who moved to Temecula to start making wine. What are the chances? It was actually a lot of fun and we enjoyed talking with them. I’m looking forward to when they open to the public so we can taste some of their hard work.

The appetizer samples were interesting. I think the brie and figs would be better if they had been served while still warm and the cheese was gooey. The calamari had a nice, light coating and was very tender. Not tender enough to cut with a fork, but soft enough to bite easily. I didn’t like the curry chicken salad – I think it wasn’t flavorful enough. My mom’s recipe is better. But, based on these tastes and a potential 10% discount, I’m looking forward to the next time we can spend an afternoon wine tasting. Now we have a place to go for lunch! We’d also like to go back to Keyways and really get an idea of how their wines are. The last time we were there, we’d had too much wine to really pay attention.

It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, but I’m glad we went. Depending on the format of the next one, I’d consider going back to pick up our wine shipment.

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