Wine and Ride

Rick's birthday was this past week (Oct. 4), so I thought it would be fun to drive out to Temecula to hang out at the Wilson Creek Winery.

The weather was perfect. We were worried that it would be windy, after checking the forecast before we left. But the sun was out the entire day. It was warm, with the first crisp breaths of autumn coming on.

Before our horseback tour in wine country, we sat down and had lunch at the Creekside Grille, located at the winery. The food was well prepared and the service was fantastic.

The zucchini soup I had was both unique and delicious. (We wish we had the recipe.)

We toasted "to birthdays" with their famous "Almond Champagne," which was quite lovely. :-)

And watched all the different kinds of people that came through that day -- a group of older ladies on tour, giggling among the vines; ladies in posh business suits who looked like typical realtors; and a man wearing a football jersey, which we didn't quite get. 

Then there was us... with our scuffed up cowboy boots and sweaty baseball caps.

After lunch, it was time to make our way to the horses. We were to ride with a company called Wine Country Trails By Horseback.

Rick made a comment, and our guide Brandon gave me their best horse, a Palomino name "Izzy." A mare, she was resistant at first, but showed me her true colors on trail. She was one of the most enjoyable horses I have ever ridden. Izzy had the most comfortable trot.
Rick doesn't like mares, but ended up with one anyway. And she just wanted to go-go-go. Rick and I passed each other on trail, up and down the grape laden hills,  teasing and sticking our tongues out at each other because I had the better horse. 

I so wanted to take Izzy home! (Although I don't think she likes being in pictures...)

Our guides John and Brandon were hunters as well. Rick enjoyed talking to them. 

After the ride, we went back to the winery for some wine tasting. It was my first time, and I enjoyed it immensely.  

Our server May was super fun. When we told her about the blog, she revealed to us that she used to do a lot of hunting back when there weren't so many people in Temecula. 

We tried some whites and then some reds, and discussed which game would be best with what. May shared stories about her hunting days, and cooking for her friends.

We left with a bottle of the '07 Meritage, a red both of us would enjoy, since he likes dry and I like sweet. The Almond Champagne was so good that we brought some home as well.

I think Rick enjoyed his birthday.

I tell him his birthdays are for me too. ;-)

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