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How to Stop Hating Valentine’s Day (and Maybe Use it to Your Advantage)

Excuse 4: I can never think of anywhere to go.

This may be a little bit traditional but, because we are in the Temecula Valley, I have two words for you…wine country. Wine country says romance. Wine country says old world charm and beauty. And, most importantly, wine country says I care about you so much I’m willing to go somewhere WITHOUT BEER.

The great thing about wine country is there are a plethora of options to fit any style and budget. You can find romantic dinners, luxury hotels, pampering spas, friendly and inviting tasting rooms and sunny, well manicured grounds perfect for picnicking. Heck, you can even pet an alpaca or two at some of the more rustic locales.

Doffo Winery
36083 Summitville Street, Temecula
Reservations at www.doffowines.com

The whimsical motorcycle-themed Doffo Winery is offering an Italian-inspired four-course Valentine’s Dinner for $75 per person which includes salad, lobster ravioli, filet mignon and a chocolate “desire” tort to end the meal. Entertainment will be provided by A-Trio, featuring wine country favorite, Diego Mondragon. Seating is limited so reservations are required.

Emerald Creek Winery
38642 Highway 79, Warner Springs
Reservations (951) 216-3380 or www.europavillage.com/events

A little off the beaten path but worth the drive, Emerald Creek is the new “jewel” of wine country. Their Valentine’s celebration on Friday, February 13th from 5:30 to 8:30 pm will include an Italian buffet and live music from the Lisa Marie Ellis Trio. Prices are $25 per person ($20 wine club members) and they welcome both singles and couples to this inaugural event!

Europa Village Winery
33475 La Serena Way, Temecula
Reservations (951) 767-1391 or www.emeraldcreekwinery.com

Europa Village is famous for their wine-paired dinners, where professional performers as well as Europa employees entertain guests with themes such as Cinema Paradiso and Murder Mystery. Valentine’s Day promises to be just as exciting with their “Romance Romance” Valentine’s Dinner Theater on February 13th and 14th. While enjoying a five-course wine-paired meal, prepared by Executive Chef Dean Thomas, attendees will be treated to a live performance of the musical romantic comedy, “Romance Romance.”

Tickets on February 13th are $89 per person for a shared table, $115 per person for a table for two. February 14th is $99 per person for a shared table and $125 per person for a table for 2. What could be better than great food, excellent wine and a dinner show, so you don’t have to make small talk? That has romance written all over it.

Falkner Winery
40620 Calle Contento, Temecula
Reservations (951) 676-8231 x1

The Pinnacle Restaurant at Falkner Winery is hosting a Valentine’s Wine Dinner for $89 per person, which includes a choice of Angus Beef Filet Mignon or Lump Crab Stuffed Chilean Sea Bass, and wine pairings with each course, accompanied by live entertainment and ultra-romantic ambiance.

Can’t make it on Valentine’s night? Try Pinnacle’s Valentine’s lunch special for $59 per person, which runs all weekend and includes a choice of center cut sirloin or Panko encrusted ahi tuna. Falkner wines are available for $6 per glass during lunch.

Members of Falkner’s wine club get special discounted prices, so give them a call for more information.

Lorimar Vineyards and Winery
39990 Anza Road, Temecula

Looking for a fun and original dinner and drinks? At Lorimar’s wine country tasting room, you can toast your special someone with a $59 bottle of 2012 Bravia Pinot Noir, two Valentine’s Day-themed glasses, as well as pizza and dessert from “Pairings,” Lorimar’s new food truck.

Want to take the fun home with you? Lorimar lets you buy one bottle of California Sparkling for $21 and you get two Valentine’s Day themed champagne flutes with purchase, while supplies last. You can pick this up during the day and have it waiting on your kitchen your table when you bring your date back to your place!

South Coast Winery Resort and Spa
34843 Rancho California Road, Temecula
Reservations (800) 539-1375

South Coast likes Valentine’s Day so much, they are celebrating all month long! A three-course dinner in their Vineyard Room Restaurant is offered three days a week through February 18th. For $99 PER COUPLE (!), you will enjoy a salad made of fresh ingredients, expertly prepared chicken with lemon and herbs or rib eye steak, flourless chocolate cake and a glass of wine. And you can’t beat that price in wine country!

On actual Valentine’s night, February 14th, Vineyard Rose hosts their 2nd Annual “Wine and Dine Your Valentine” four-course gourmet meal. For $99 per person, choose from grilled porterhouse steak or fennel pollen dusted scallops for your entrée and finish with Valentine’s red velvet cake. (No, I don’t know what fennel pollen is, but it sure sounds fancy.) Price includes one bottle of South Coast wine per couple. Reservations are a must.

Thornton Winery
32575 Rancho California Road, Temecula
Reservations (951) 699-0099

Our friends at Thornton have two different dining experiences at their popular location. First, they are pulling out all the stops with their “Romantic Rendevous,” wine-paired dinner. For $135 per person, guests enjoy an elegant four-course dinner, with entrée selections of prime strip steak or trout, paired with Thornton’s finest wine selections. Thornton promises a romantic table for two at the Champagne Cave or Vineyard View Room, along with live entertainment and a rose for her hair, or for his lapel; whichever you prefer. The “Romantic Rendevous” is sure to sell out so reservations are absolutely required.

At Thornton’s Café Champagne, a three-course menu is being offered with a wide selection of entrees for $75. Wine is not included in this one so make sure you ask your server for suggestions on what best accompanies your meal. Reservations for Café Champagne’s Valentines dinner are strongly suggested.

Wilson Creek Winery
35960 Rancho California Road, Temecula
Reservations (951) 699-9463

On February 13th, for $195 per couple, Wilson Creek’s “Romantic Valentine’s Dinner” includes a sweetheart table for two, a gourmet four-course meal, a bottle of their famous almond champagne, and entertainment by saxophonist Mark Norris, whom I can tell you from personal experience is unbelievably talented. Reservations are required so call as soon as you finish reading this article.

If the meal goes so well that you want to wake up together on Valentine’s morning, try an overnight stay at Wilson Creek Manor which, for $425, includes champagne upon check in, an evening wine and cheese reception, a bottle of wine in your room and continental breakfast. It even includes wine tasting tickets for two so you can make it an entire weekend of love!

Next page: “Valentine’s Day dates are boring.”

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Holly Herndon

Holly Herndon

Holly has been covering arts & entertainment in the Temecula Valley for as long as she has been a part of the community. She loves San Diego sports almost as much as she loves her family.

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