C’est la Vie – A Moulin Rouge themed evening of amazing food and wine

Europa Village, Moulin Rouge Themed Food & Wine Dinner from Crushed Grape Chronicles on Vimeo.

We had relaxed at the Inn at Europa Village with white sangria on the balcony overlooking the Winery and Vineyards, then had a nap and now were dressed (to the nines) and heading down the to Musical Wine Pairing Dinner at Europa Village.  All afternoon the scent of smoked pork wafted up to our room from the smoker outside that Chef Dean was using.

We strolled into the courtyard with some other guests, commenting on the red windmill lit up and tacked to the end of the winery.  There was some confusion as to why it was there.  This dinner was Moulin Rouge themed!

Europa Village has 3 labels for their wines Vienza is their Italian varieties and blends, Bolero for the Spanish and C’est la Vie for their French wines. Tonight was to be a celebration of their French Style wines with hors d’oeuvres, dinner as well as a musical performance with singers and Can Can girls!

We headed into the tasting room and checked in.  The first pour of the night was their 2011 Viognier.  We grabbed a glass and headed back out to the courtyard to enjoy the beautiful early evening.  We had a seat at one of the café tables outside the tasting room and enjoyed the view of the gardens and the Inn.  You could see the fire pit going on the patio up at the Inn.  The Passé course came by to pair with the Viognier.  It was a Tarte Flambée with Crème Fraiche, Onion & Lardons.  A perfect bite to start the evening.  People gathered, many here were “Societe” Members (members of the wine club) and knew each other.  We met a few people and were introduced to a few more, and then we were all directed to “The Cave” for dinner.

This is a simulated Italian Wine Cave built next to the tasting room where they hold events.  Tables were set for 8 and the Cave was dim and candlelit.  We found a table and met some more new people.  Dinner began with a word or two from the presenters followed by Chef Dean Thomas coming to explain each of the courses we would be enjoying.  The sommelier then spoke about the wines and we finished things off with a song, “Come What May” from Baz Lurman’s film “Moulin Rouge” along with the Debut course of Mushroom Bisque with a Chevre Gourgere and chive oil, paired with the C’est La Vie 2011 Chardonnay.  Michael hates mushrooms, so I snuck a look at him out of the corner of my eye as he tested the soup.  I felt sure that he would take a taste and then politely put it to the side.  Nope, after one taste, he went back for a second and third and finished the cup.  Chef Dean you have converted him!

The third course was our “Prima” and finally I got to taste that smoked pork!  This was smoked pork tenderloin & roast belly, duck confit “Kronenbourg” choucroute, De Puy lentils and legumes paired with the C’est La Vie En Vie.  This is a Rhone Style blend of Grenache, Syrah Counoise, Cinsault and Mourvedre.  En Vie means “In Life”.  This dish was delicious and aromatic and rich.

The next course was the Fromage Amuse.  A little cheese course (we are dong the French thing here!) to round up the savory flavors of dinner

The Finale Course our dessert was a Grand Marnier Soufflé Glace (frozen) with Raspberry Coulis & Citrus Supremes paired with the Vienza Grenache Rose.  We stepped away from France with this wine and this Rose was definitely on the sweet side.  It made a unique pairing with the Glace.

Throughout the evening we had been entertained by Can Can girls and vocals some from the movie and others from other Moulin Rouge and French inspired movies and musicals.

We strolled out very full into the moonlight through the gardens and then back to our Inn on the hill.  The fire pit on the patio was enticing, but we were sated and sleepy so we collapsed into the comfortable bed and waited to be awoken by the sounds of hot air balloons.

The Amazing and Relaxing Inn at Europa Village

Europa Inn Temecula

On our last trip to Temecula Wine Country, we spoiled ourselves a little and spent one night at The INN at Europa Village.  I highly recommend doing this.  We were in town to taste and go to a wine dinner at Europa Village and figured it would be a convenient time to treat ourselves to a stay at the Inn.  It was an amazing experience.

Europa Inn Temecula

Europa Inn Temecula

The Inn was built in the 80’s by Dick and Betty Ryan and at that time was called Loma Vista Bed and Breakfast.  The Inn offered 10 guest rooms, a 10 person Jacuzzi tub and full gourmet breakfast.  In 2006 Karl and Connie Sweigart bought the Inn and decorated each of the room with a wine theme.  Now owned by the Rancon Group who owns Europa Village it has been beautifully redecorated and is now run by Innkeepers Chef Dean and Nicole.

Europa inn Patio Drink

Europa inn Patio Drink

Chef Dean has an extensive culinary resume and has taught at several culinary institutes.  When we drove up to the Inn, which is situated, on a hill overlooking Europa Village and it’s vineyards, we were greeted by the aromas of a smoker that was cooking up dinner for the evening’s event at Europa Village.  I am very glad we were attending or I would not have been able to keep myself from going downstairs and begging for a bite!  It smelled fantastic.  We entered the Inn and Nicole greeted us and took us on a brief tour of the Inn and then to our room.  We were staying in the Viognier room, which has a balcony and unobstructed views of winery and vineyards.  She started to ask if we would like a white sangria to enjoy on the balcony, when Chef Dean walked in with two for us!  We took their advice to just relax and unwind and sat on the balcony to enjoy the view the sangria and the smell of dinner cooking.

The idea here is peace and serenity. There is a TV in the Main sitting room that is typically turned to a music station.  The rooms themselves are TV free.  The rooms, still named after wine grape varieties range from the Cabernet Sauvignon which is spacious with a private entrance a brick fireplace, Jacuzzi tub for 2 and French doors that open up onto the patio to the Sangiovese which is cozy with a window view of the front courtyard.  Treat yourself to a room with a view here and you can wake up to the sounds of hot air balloons landing behind nearby Callaway.  The rooms are beautiful and serene with beautiful artwork and clean lines all with a European feel.  You will find comfy robes in the closet, which will come in handy for a trip to the 8-person hot tub on the patio.  They also have a fire pit to gather around and watch sunset with a glass of wine.

Morning Coffee with Balloons

Morning Coffee with Balloons

After an amazing dinner at Europa Village prepared by Chef Dean we had a restful night of sleep and awoke in the morning in time to see several balloons landing nearby.  We got up and headed down for breakfast.  There is a community table in the dinning room as well as places set out on the patio.  We grabbed a cup of tea and coffee and found a table with a view on the patio.  As we sipped our beverages and started to wake up, two more hot air balloons flew into view and landed over the hill.

Europe Inn Fruit Salad Plate

Europe Inn Fruit Salad Plate

Chef Dean arrived with our first course of breakfast, which included a bruleed banana over a citrus custard with melon with bee pollen and strawberries in a mojito sugar glaze.  The citrus came from the citrus orchards right on the property.  The rest of the ingredients are sourced locally.  Chef Dean frequents the local family farms.

Europa Inn Breakfast Crepe

Europa Inn Breakfast Crepe

The main course was a Briton style crepe with mushrooms & Gruyere a sunny side up egg with chive oil, a fresh salad arugula and crisp green apples.  There was also a crème sauce for the crepe with fennel pollen.  I’m sure I’m leaving something out.  It was really delicious.  We stayed loitering not wanting to leave.  The roses were in bloom the morning was beautiful…I really could have stayed forever.

As we left, they said to come back.  We will…  I have this tucked away now as my rejuvenation center.  Thanks Nicole and Chef Dean for an amazing stay.

Europa Village, at Temecula CA

Europa Village corks

Europa Village winery endeavors to take you on a quick trip to Europe to enjoy the wines of France, Italy and Spain.  The gardens here are lovely and they have added a covered patio for large groups. They have a tasting room set up in a French café style plus a room set up like a cave for events.  The wines are under 3 separate labels C’est la Vie Chateau for the French wines including Syrah, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Viognier and Savignon Blanc as well as En Vie which is a Rhone Blend of Grenache, Syrah, Counoise, Cinsault and Mourvedre. Bolero Cellars has the Spanish wines including a Muscat Canelli and Albarino and the Libido which is a blend of Grenache, Mourvedre and Tempranillo.  Lastly Vienza brings you the Italian varieties which include Sangiovese, Pinot Grigio, a Grenache Rose, Barbera, Primitivo and the Tuscan style blend Primazia which is Sangiovese and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Europa Village Patio

Europa Village Patio

Cave Music Event

Cave Music Event

There are no shortage of events here at the winery with Music on Friday nights, dinner plays, art events where you can learn to paint while sipping away, culinary classes with the chef from The Inn at Europa Village and wine pairing dinners.  We stopped in to see “Lady Truth” play the last time we were in Temecula.  Due to the cold weather everything was set up in the cave and they had wine by the glass or bottle plus there was a tent outside with a Panini vendor that you could order from.  When it is warmer I am sure that the patio makes for a stunning venue!

Europa Village Inn

Europa Village Inn

The Inn boasts 10 stunning rooms named after their wines, with most rooms enjoying a view of the winery below as well as a two-course gourmet breakfast each morning.  The Inn’s patio includes a fire pit and an eight person Jacuzzi.  You can wake up in the morning to watch the balloon tours float overhead, or get up a little extra early and take one of the Balloon rides yourself as they depart from the winery each morning.

This is a great place for a romantic getaway. Watch for Video Blog Entry coming Soon!