Southern California’s suburban vegan oasis: Falkner Winery in the Temecula Valley! »
Swept up in a turn of events I didn’t fully anticipate, I have found myself living in Southern California’s Temecula Valley for the last two and half months. Soon I will be relocating to Los Angeles, but Temecula will always hold a special place in my life. For one, my sister, bro-in-law and niece live here; and two, there’s vegan fun to be had! It hasn’t been a breeze, navigating menus around here, as cheese is SPRINKLED ON EVERYTHING, WHY WHY WHY?! The Yardhouse was not as vegan-friendly as I had hoped, though their cocktails are pretty spectacular. PF Changs was a sweet relief in terms of ordering, but I carried around a salt-bloat for days. Suburban vegans, I have never given you the credit you deserve when it comes to eating out (all the phone calls and questions!), so this is me giving you mad props!
Temecula, however, does have a few local spots that cater to vegans. One of those places is Falkner Winery. Falkner Winery not only has a delectable vegan and gluten-free menu at their restaurant, all of their wines are vegan too! This is fantastic news, as Temecula is known for it’s bountiful vineyards and wine-tasting excursions.
My mom is all about the logo glass, more so than the wine itself!
I emailed Falkner Winery to be sure they did not use animal products in the processing of their wine, and was thrilled by their friendly and rapid response. Ray Falkner addressed my inquiry by stating, “we do not use any animal products in either the fining or filtering process. We also never add any animal products along the way in the winemaking process.” Let the tasting begin!
Even though I usually go for white, I loved this peppery Syrah. Of course if you can, you should check out the vineyard. But if you aren’t in the area, you can buy a bottle through the magic of the internet!
Of course I also had a meal at Falkner Winery’s Pinnacle restaurant, because a girl can’t live on wine alone (though she may try!). I had the sweet and sour vegetables (picture below). They were scrumptious! This feast includes shaved Brussels sprouts, kale, and a lemon risotto cake, which I was assured, by our charming waiter, was vegan. Brussels sprouts are sure having their day, aren’t they? [Ed. note: Jenny, you’re so seven years ago.]
Pinnacle Restaurant’s Sweet and Sour vegetable dish.
Should you find yourself in Temecula, as I know a couple of you have, check out Falkner Winery and their Pinnacle restaurant. Not only is the food and wine excellent, but the vineyard is beautiful, with expansive and lovely views!
Why specifically vegan wine? Because as our beloved Barnivore has taught us, even the most innocent-seeming alcohol might have been filtered through animal products, which is unnecessary* and also totally gross. Vegan Vine takes away the risk—you always know your drink is cruelty-free, which is awesome.
My fancy parents and I enjoyed this sauvignon blanc quite a bit. My dad said he got “green apple, limeade, and a hint of citrus in the nose;” “lemon and green apple in the taste;” and he found its “bright, clean finish” that was “not too acidic” “very drinkable.” My ma got “citrus and Gravenstein apple” in the nose, “lemon and slight green apple” in the taste, and she liked the “clean, bright, crisp finish” that was “not too sweet.”
I liked it too.
I did find it a bit too alcoholic, though; I prefer a higher alcohol content in my beer and a lower in my wine, and this one registers 14.5 percent, meaning the third of the bottle I drank was fairly intoxicating.
Vegan Vine has two more varieties, a cabernet sauvignon and a red blend. They sent them to me as well, and once I’ve tasted them, I’ll have opinions on them for you as well. Maybe even this week; wine does make an excellent dinner.
*Sorry, millennia of winemaking tradition, I got a B- in intro to viticulture and enology, that means I have knowledge.
Top 10 links of the week! An edifying ramble through veganism! »
Per usual, I slipped up last week, so this spans a couple weeks. Leave me alone, I have a real job!
National Geographic has a nice infograph about the LEGAL wildlife trade in Asia. It’s ill. I would have posted it but it’s too big to post the whole thing so go check it out.
From One Green Planet, vegan wine pairings! I love my wine and you know this.
Grist wonders, is Idaho a safe haven for CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operation)? Damn, Idaho, that’s whack.
Wildlife officials in upstate New York “are squealing over ‘captive hunts’ upstate that have flooded three counties with out-of-control feral hogs.” Squealing.
This is kind of a big deal but I don’t have time to write a good post on it so maybe it can be our discussion topic: A new economics study confirms Namibian seal-watching is worth 300 percent more than seal hunting. I’ve heard of things like this before, where like safari-type tourist things could be worth more than elephant ivory and whale-watching could bring in more cash money than whale-killing. Have you guys? Seems pretty awesome. There should be an organization that JUST focuses on this. Money makes the world go round!
Our favorite guilt-ridden omni, Sami Grover from Treehugger, says all the meat eaters should eat less meat! It’s totes true.
Vegan Mainstream says our Laura is a vegan mover and shaker! That Laura, she’s so lovable. And foul-mouthed.
Gothamist taste-tested the Dun-Well faux-gras donut and the foie gras donut, and the dudes who made the actual dead-goose-liver pastry were all, The fake one is good, but we won’t be making a vegan version ourselves because vegans have “a FUBU mentality when it comes to vegan delights.” Which, buddy, do you know how much more business you would get if you offered novelty fancy vegan food? So much.
Refinery29, of which my favorite ex-boyfriend is a founding member, has a nice vegan shoe list: 12 Vegan Shoes That Aren’t Fugly. Some of the usual suspects, but several I hadn’t seen! And YOU KNOW I seen a lot of shoes. I like those first loafers, buy them for me.
Look at this spread from Adrienne of Crack the Plates' vegan wine and cheese party! There's cashew brie en croute with fig preserves, jerk seitan skewers, nasu dengaku, kunafa—it looks SO CRAZY GOOD. Why are you all not inviting us to parties like this? Right, because we (I) would eat all of the food, like, immediately. Amazing.