Goosecross Cellars - This year send an engraved bottle

December 2003

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Wine Country Gift Ideas
Unique, thoughtful and fun!
Temecula Wine Country
The Newest Region!
Wine Country Featured Destination
Louis M. Martini Winery
Wine Country Recipe
Winning recipes from our readers!
Wine Country Featured Event
Learning About Wines at Falkner Winery Drawing!
Win A Gourmet Getaway for Two!

From all of us at FreeRun - Thank you for using our sites!
MontereyMendocinoNapaValleySanta Barbara
Santa CruzSonomaWineCountrySan Luis Obispo
Gold CountryTemeculaVirginia
Visit the Redesigned:


Shady Oaks Country Inn
"The Best of Both Worlds"

Shady Oaks Country Inn - The Best of Both Worlds This is the best of both worlds; Shady Oaks Country Inn, located on a quiet country lane just two miles from historic downtown St. Helena. We are knowledgeable and happy to act as your personal concierge for dinners, winery tours; anything you may want or need.

We are famous for our full gourmet champagne breakfasts and the Roman pillared patio where breakfast and "premium wines and cheeses are served each evening with warm hospitality!"

Each guestroom at the Shady Oaks Country Inn boasts its own private bath, antiques and fine linens. Three have fireplaces and two have their own private entrances. The owners are also winemakers and will be delighted to let you taste their wines and sample right out of the barrel.

It is our sincere wish that your stay with us be romantic and memorable. Off-season mid week rates available.

Shady Oaks Country Inn, 99 Zinfandel Lane, St. Helena, 707-963-1190,


Quality Inn-Petaluma
"Happy Holidays…With a Room at the Inn!"

Quality Inn-Petaluma - Happy Holidays…With a Room at the Inn! With the holiday season upon us, now is the time to find those perfect gifts for the special people in your life. The Quality Inn-Petaluma invites you to come stay with us as you shop for that unique item at wine country antique shops, art galleries and outlet malls…or that fabulous bottle of wine among all the new Fall Releases at the local tasting rooms…or the perfect Christmas tree at one of the local farms.

At our charming inn, convenient to loads of great shopping, you will find spacious, well-appointed guest rooms and suites with in-room coffee makers and small refrigerators, modem-friendly phones, and free local calls. Other guest amenities include a deluxe complimentary continental breakfast daily in our sunny lobby, free wireless internet connectivity, on-site guest coin laundry, fitness room, outdoor heated pool and spa, dry heat sauna.

Stay comfortable, stay convenient and stay connected at the Quality Inn-Petaluma.

Reserve on-line or call 707-664-1155. Three-diamond AAA rated, Choice Hotels Gold Award Winner. Pet-friendly. Gift Certificates are available.


The Yountville Inn
"Winter in the Wine Country October 30 - March 31, 2004"

The Yountville Inn - Winter in the Wine Country October 30 - March 31, 2004Visit the Napa Valley during a "time less traveled" this Winter Season. Enjoy great room rates starting at $175 at the Yountville Inn! During this time of year guests will be able to visit the local tasting rooms, secure restaurant reservations and move about the valley in a leisurely fashion.

Nestled into the lush landscape of Hopper Creek, the Yountville Inn provides visitors with a warm and welcoming experience indicative of wine country hospitality. The fieldstone exteriors with slate entryways, wood beamed vaulted ceilings and luxurious furnishings please the most seasoned traveler.

Guestrooms are appointed with king or queen beds, fieldstone fireplace, robes, refrigerator, honor bar, coffee maker, patio, balcony or high vaulted ceiling. A complimentary California breakfast is served each morning, and the large heated pool and spa are open until midnight. In-room massage is available, as well as nearby golf, bocce ball and spa services.

Visit for information and special promotions.


Wine Country Gift Ideas

Unique, thoughtful and fun!

AmbrosiaWith the holiday season in full swing, you may find yourself wondering what to give loved ones this year. As our gift to you, we have done all the research! From fabulous wine to exceptional gift baskets to learning the secrets of wine country cooking, we think you will love these suggestions.

For the wine lover in your life, Ambrosia Wine has thought of everything! Whether it is a Wine Club Membership, an elegant Chardonnay or a personally customized selection, the gift of wine will uniquely express your appreciation. The website is full of options within the price range you desire, and if you require a bit of help, a knowledgeable wine consultant is available. While you are perusing for the perfect gift, brush up on your wine smarts, as Ambrosia offers a wealth of information such as matching food and wine, a wine glossary and more! Go to or call 1-800-435-2225.

Wine Country Gift Baskets

Gift Baskets

Can’t think of what to get your boss, sister-in-law or the aunt who has everything? Wine Country Gift Baskets have already thought of the perfect present! They understand your time is valuable and make it easy for you to look good this holiday season. From Wine Baskets, Theme Baskets and more, they offer a wide range of prices and will ship anywhere in the U.S. During the holiday season Wine Country Gift Baskets is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you in selecting a personalized, gorgeous gift basket. Call them at 1-800-324-2793 or visit their website today.

Gourmet Retreats at CasaLanaCooking Classes
How about a gift certificate for a wine country cooking class of their choice? We recommend a package which includes cooking instruction and luxurious accommodations, like Applewood Inn and Gourmet Retreats at CasaLana.

Housed in the Italian style kitchen and dining rooms of Applewood Inn’s historic Belden House mansion, "La Buona Forchetta " cooking school is a great place to make new friends while sharing outstanding food and exceptional Sonoma County wines. Chef Gabrielle Dery is planning to kick off February with a class for lovers on February 4th. "Can food put you in the mood? - You bet!" Call 1-800-555-8509 or visit their website for details.

Gourmet Retreats at CasaLana is the perfect setting to combine a quick getaway with a fun and informative cooking class. Or choose an in-home cooking class for your loved ones and they will learn the tricks of the trade in the privacy of their own home. With a wide variety of options in classes it makes it easier to fit a class in the recipient’s schedule. Call 1-877-YOU-COOK or visit their website.

Temecula Wine Country

Temecula Wine CountryThe Newest Region!

Located in southwestern Riverside County, Temecula is California's only prominent American Viticultural Area south of Los Angeles. Situated between 1,400 and 1,600 feet above sea level, Temecula Valley's 3,000 acres of vineyards provide ideal conditions for growing premium wine grapes. A dry, moderately warm daytime climate, evenings cooled by breezes from the Pacific Ocean 22 miles to the west, and well-drained decomposed granite soils combine to create wines with fresh, distinctive varietal flavors and superb structure. The remarkable success of these wines has resulted in numerous awards at domestic and international wine competitions and recognition for Temecula as a world-class wine growing region!

Temecula Wine CountryAward-winning wineries flourish in Temecula Valley, offering their delicious, locally made wines at affordable prices. In addition to producing excellent Chardonnay, Merlot and Sauvignon Blanc, Temecula wineries are known for Mediterranean varietals such as Viognier, Syrah and Pinot Gris. Temecula's fine, underrated wines taste especially good when sampled at the winery. The region's tasting rooms and gift shops are open to visitors year-round, and most wineries offer tours and, in some cases, special wine-and-food tastings. Wine lovers can also savor the local nectar at the area's many gourmet delis and upscale restaurants while enjoying panoramic vineyard views.

After a day of wine tasting, spend a relaxing night in one of Temecula's exceptional Bed and Breakfasts. Temecula's accommodations range from intimate inn rooms to luxury suites and cottages with wood burning fireplaces, wet bars, and spa tubs. Whatever your goal — privacy, family fun, or just plain relaxation — Temecula lodging will surpass your expectations.

Temecula Wine CountryTemecula has a long, rich history, and its Native American and small town past have left their mark. In historic Old Town, renowned for its shopping and antique browsing, you can still feel the presence of local legends such as Jedediah Smith and Kit Carson, among the historic figures that once graced Temecula.

Temecula's gentle hills and the striking, snow-capped mountains nearby provide a magnificent backdrop to Temecula's world-class wineries, making a trip to Temecula wine country as beautiful as it is tasty. Start planning your visit to our newest featured Wine Country region today at!


Featured Sponsor
Tasting On Main

A gift from California!!
This holiday season, why not send your recipients (or why not treat yourself) to two bottles of award-winning, hand-selected wines from California's boutique wineries! Just $32.95/month, includes an 8-page newsletter. Send as many months as you wish. Discounts on gifts of 3, 6, 9 & 12 months. Next day & 2-day service available.

Wine Country Featured Destination

Louis M. Martini Winery—"An unparalleled knowledge in winemaking."

Louis MartiniWine tasting in the Valley during the fall and winter months is quite a treat, as the vineyards are brilliant hues of gold, orange and red. Located in the heart of Napa Valley in charming St. Helena is the tasting room of Louis M. Martini. As we walked into the foyer of the winery we were warmly greeted with a crisp glass of 2002 Folle Blanche. Louis Martini has grown Folle Blanche, traditionally known in France as the Cognac grape, at its Monte Rosso Vineyard in Sonoma Valley for the past 65 years. Prized by California brandy distillers since 1983, winemaker, Michael Martini decided to make it into table wine. A perfect match for seafood.

We continued into the festive tasting room and met Mike Blasquez, Wine Educator and Sommelier, who graciously walked us through the rich history of three generations of Martini Winemakers, while we tasted a plethora of beautiful wines. Perhaps one of the most well-known Cabernet Sauvignons produced in California comes from the Monte Rosso Vineyard. Purchased in 1938, this vineyard has a unique combination of soils, microclimate, elevation and exposure. Try the vertical tasting of the Monte Rosso Cabernet Sauvignon – rich, complex and delicious, you won’t be disappointed! Next, taste and compare their Cabs from different appellations in Sonoma County, Napa Valley and Alexander Valley – known as their Family Legacy Tasting. One of the tasting room's many attentions to details is the inclusion of an educational "place mat" full of information to enhance your tasting experience -- a flavor profile, food pairing and the grape variety. Have we mentioned they also produce fantastic Italian wines such as Barbera and Sangiovese – to name just a couple? Again, the staff at Louis Martini did not miss a beat, as the flight was poured in traditional Italian wine glasses. Fun!

Louis Martini’s dedication to producing fine wines is obvious, but what was really impressive are the strong family values and traditions instilled in the legacy of the Martini Family. Mike told us the story about the Los Ninos Block, a four-acre collection of 65 year-old Cabernet Sauvignon vines on the Monto Rosso vineyard – the oldest of the Cabs on the ranch. In 1979, the Martini family started creating Cabernet from these vines especially for the children born in the vintage year, the wine to be consumed at their 21st birthday. These children of the Martini family – which, by the way, includes the employees’ children – design the label for each series.

From the delicious wines, to the time spent with the knowledgeable, friendly staff we truly enjoyed Louis M. Martini. On a sunny day, enjoy your favorite picnic in their charming garden patio. Open 11 am to 5 pm daily – located at 254 South St. Helena Highway, St. Helena. Visit their website or call 1-800-321-WINE for more information.

Featured Sponsor
Tasting On Main

The Sonoma Valley Olive Festival
December 2003 through February 2004
The Festival kicks off in December with the Blessing of the Olives, Olive Harvest Tasting, Overlook Trail Hike, and Feast of the Olive. Check our website for a full calendar of events, plus lodging and spa specials, tastings, tours, cooking classes, winemaker dinners, and much more. Celebrate the Season of the Olive! / 707-996-1090 /

Wine Country Recipe

Winning recipes from our readers!

Over the past two months the staff has received a number of spectacular Wine Country inspired recipes submitted by our readers! Being in the holiday spirit, we have decided to feature two recipes as winners of our Recipe Contest! Each recipe has a suggested wine pairing. Both recipes are enticing, easy to prepare, and perfect for upcoming holiday parties!

ChardonnayCrab Stuffed Baby Bellas
Submitted by: Debbie Baber, California

Serves 6

6 Baby Bella (portobello) mushrooms
2 TBS. garlic infused olive oil
1 large stem of chopped rosemary
1 tsp. finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp. lemon pepper
1/4 cup sourdough bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesean Cheese
1 medium Dungeness Crab (shelled)

Clean and stem mushrooms. Shell and clean crab. Chop three of the mushroom stems. Over medium heat in skillet add olive oil, rosemary, onion, chopped mushroom stems and lemon pepper. Sauté for about 10-12 minutes. Sprinkle in bread crumbs for the last 2-3 minutes and mix. Let this mixture cool completely.

Mix Crab and Parmesean cheese together. Stir in cooled bread crumb mixture. Stuff the Baby Bellas heapingly! Put in an ungreased baking dish. Cover with foil and bake at 350 for 35 minutes. Serve & Enjoy!

Suggested Wine Pairing: EOS Estate Winery Chardonnay

Pork Tenderloin in Cranberry-Zin Reduction
Submitted by: John Yee, California

Serves 4

16 oz Pork tenderloin
4 cloves garlic, salt and pepper
2 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups of zin
Sugar—to taste (start with 1 tsp and add more depending on ripeness of cranberries)
2 TBS. fresh tarragon - chopped
3 medium whole onions

Chop garlic and season pork tenderloin with garlic, salt and pepper. Refrigerate overnight.

In a large sauté pan, brown at high heat 3/4" thick sliced tenderloin. Add cranberries, zin, sugar (stir in 1st tsp ) and tarragon and let cranberries and pork cook together at low heat for about 20 minutes until cranberries are slightly firm. Salt and pepper to taste.

Separate pork from cranberry / zin mixture and reduce mixture, adding more sugar if necessary.

Place mixture is separate bowl. Clean pan.

Slice onions to 1/2 inch thickness and caramelize onions in the pan using high heat and a high heat oil (such as canola).

On small plates place three arugula leaves at 120 degree angles to one another, a sliced, carmel colored onion on top of that, a pork tenderloin, and a drizzle of the cranberry-zin mixture. Serve & Enjoy!

Suggested Wine Pairing: Martin Family Vineyards Crazy Horse Zinfandel

Congratulations to our winners, and special thanks to all of our readers who submitted such tasty recipes!

Happy Holidays and bon appétit from all of us at!


Featured Sponsor
Discover Winter in the Wine Country

Discover Winter in the Wine Country
Up to 50% off on lodging, free wine tasting, dining deals, spa specials, shopping discounts & more from Nov 1st thru March 31, 2004. Discounts only available with a Wine Country Gift Pack. $25 Gift packs include 2 logo wine glasses, ID card and more. Must show ID card to accesses discounts. Valid Nov 1, 2003 thru March 31, 2004. For listing of participants or to order, call 800-799-6456, 707-942-6333 or visit

Wine Country Featured Events

Things to Do in the Wine Country:

November 8 - January 24— Learning About Wines at Falkner Winery
Falkner Winery has two separate classes available, both running through the holiday months. The Introduction class is held on the 2nd Saturday of each month, and will focus on how to correctly taste wine using all your senses; how to identify flavors and articulate them; and how to rate the quality of wines. The Advanced class is held on the 4th Saturday of each month. This class assumes some basic knowledge contained in the Introduction class. The focus is how to identify flaws in a wine; how to select the best wine for a chosen meal; and how to compare and rate wines of a similar varietal. Both classes are available for a maximum of 25 people per class. Registration will be on a first come basis. Falkner Winery, 40620 Calle Contento, Temecula
Fee: $25 Introduction - $30 Advanced Time: 10 AM Phone Number: 909-676-8231

For a complete calendar of events by region, visit: Gold Country, Mendocino, Monterey,
Napa Valley
, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Santa Cruz, Sonoma County, Temecula, Virginia Info Drawing:
Win A Gourmet Getaway for Two!

Relax and let your worries melt away... Journey by rail while you tease your palate with a delicious and decadent five-course gourmet dinner… Sample world class wines… Learn the secrets of Wine Country chefs …

You could win the Wine Country Gourmet Getaway for Two, including a five-course gourmet dinner on the famous and historic Napa Valley Wine Train, vineyard and winery tour tickets from Robert Mondavi Winery, as well as tickets for a gourmet cooking demonstration at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone!.

***No purchase necessary. Must be at least 21 years old to enter. Only one entry per person permitted. Winner will be selected February 7, 2003 by random drawing. Winner will be notified by email. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law.

Click here to enter this drawing!

Visit the Napa Valley Wine Train at:
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Visit the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone: Info...

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