November 2001

Welcome Note
Luna's Wine & Cheese Workshop
Milliken Creek Grand Opening
Events For November
This Month's Recipe
Dining Recommendation
Tasting Room Recommendation
Newsletter Contest Info

From all of us at FreeRun - Thank you for using our sites!

Spotlight: California Wine Club

California Wine ClubAn Adventure to Treasure,
A Gift to Remember…
The California Wine Club

At The California Wine Club, every month is an adventure. Their 8-page newsletter, Uncorked™, gives you the sights and sounds of a fascinating Wine Country tour. Then, with a sip of their outstanding, award-winning wines, you are enchanted, delighted and transported to the California Wine Country.

Since 1990 The California Wine Club has explored the Wine Country for exceptional wines, longer than any other California club. They select their wines the right way - with a personal winery visit by the owners to taste the best of what is in the cellar. They've chosen their wines with care, so you can give them with confidence.

For more information, call The California Wine Club at 1-800-777-4443 or visit their website at

Welcome Note

Welcome to the Lifestyle Newsletter! This November we bring you highlights of fun Wine Country activities such as wine and cheese pairing workshops and the launch of a fabulous new Napa Valley inn. We also have in store for you a full calendar of events, a tasty fall recipe and recommendations to the best restaurants and tasting rooms the Wine Country has to offer. has had an exciting month! We have recently made some changes and are very proud to announce our latest addition, We have also given our home site, a new look. Now, you are able to find what you are looking for with even greater ease. now serves as your one-stop-shop for all there is to do in the Santa Cruz, CA area. This new addition to the family covers a very large geographic region including wineries from as far north as Half Moon Bay to as far south as Watsonville. provides a fabulous opportunity for many of the wineries in the Santa Cruz Mountains to gain exposure and share with the world their wonderful wines!

As always, we invite you to explore all that the Wine Country has to offer, as the possibilities are endless! The Wine Country embraces new travelers, and for those on a returning journey, we're positive the Wine Country will entice you all over again!

The Wine Country is our home, our workplace and our inspiration…Enjoy!!

The Lifestyle Newsletter is brought to you by the division of FreeRun Technologies, Inc.

Luna's Wine & Cheese Workshop

 Luna Vineyards

When searching for a fun, quick Saturday afternoon getaway look no further than the inviting tables at Luna Vineyards in Napa, CA. Members of the editorial staff had a wonderful opportunity to entertain guests, become enlightened to the magic of pairing wine with cheese, and enjoy a beautiful array of Luna wines, by participating in a Luna Vineyards Wine and Cheese Pairing Workshop with Joyce McCollum.


On the last Saturday of each month leading into January 2002, Luna is conducting a series of wine and cheese pairing workshops. The workshops are directed by Luna's own, Joyce McCollum of hospitality. Ms. McCollum has been in the cheese making industry for over 13 years and has recently decided during her time at Luna to share her knowledge with others about the union of a wisely paired cheese and wine.

"Enjoy your palate" is a philosophy of Ms. McCollum's as she conducts her workshop. Ms. McCollum believes that enjoying your wine and finding a complimentary cheese is as simple as what tastes good to you. She coaches the workshop participants, as they taste around their plates with the corresponding wine. For her recent workshop, Ms. McCollum paired tasty treats such as the Luna Vineyards 1999 Sangiovese with a Vella Dry Jack Reserve on Polenta with Roasted Red Pepper. Another favorite of the group's was a Mendelson 1999 Pinot Gris Dessert Wine with St. Agur on a Cranberry Pistachio Biscotti with a slice of pear.

The workshop provides the guest with a brief history, a delicious treat and a new love for wine and cheese. The workshops are $20 per person and last an hour. Ms. McCollum limits the workshop size to about twelve members to preserve a sense of intimacy and comfort.

Milliken Creek Grand Opening

Milliken Creek Inn - Grand Opening Bash is a Smash!

Milliken Creek

On October 17, 2001 Milliken Creek Inn opened its doors for a five-hour celebration of the Inn's grand opening. The evening drew over three hundred people to the property along famed Silverado Trail in the Napa Valley. Guests were treated to live jazz, hors d'oeuvres, and wine tasting from local wineries as they toured through seven of the ten newly transformed rooms and the Inn's lavishly landscaped gardens. Wineries present included Luna Vineyards, Darioush, Sawyer Cellars, Del Dotto Winery, and Truchard Vineyards, with additional wine donated by Robert Mondavi.

The invitees watching the sun set across the river from the panoramic windows saw just one more reason why the luxury property is receiving such rave reviews. And, when not enjoying the view, guests conversed while warming their hands by the fireplaces or dipping their fingers into the bubbling spa tubs. The owners, David Shapiro and Lisa Holt could be seen throughout the evening warmly greeting the many guests. "It's wonderful how the local community has shown up in such force and responded so well. We hope the inn adds a level of style and sophistication to the area. It's been a long haul, but we are very proud of what we have accomplished."


Milliken Creek, which has little or no resemblance to the property that preceded it, The Country Garden Inn, rests on three acres along the Napa River just moments from Copia: The American Center for Food, Wine, and The Arts and is less than an hour from San Francisco. Although invitations brought the guests in for the opening, the inn's chic décor and cool elegance is why Napa welcomes it with open arms. The result of all the hard work dedicated to the three million dollar transformation showed it's worth as the opening was a tremendous success.

For more information about the Inn, please visit their site at or call 888-622-5775. Prices range from $225 to $450 per night.

Events For November


November 7 - 18 -- Mendocino Wine & Mushroom Festival
Twelve-day county-wide extravaganza. Includes a Mushroom Symposium, Winemaker Dinners, Wine and Beer Passport Prizes, Guided Mushroom Identification Tours, Exhibits, Cooking Classes, Special Lodging Rates and more! At locations throughout Mendocino County. Call for additional information.
Fee: Varies Time: Varies Phone Number: 707-462-7417

November 18 -- Dave Carter & Tracy Grammer in Concert at the Little River Inn
The Little River Inn Music Series presents world-class acoustic music in the intimate setting of Abalone Hall. Tickets are available at Little River Inn, or at Red Rooster Records in Mendocino or the Music Merchant in Fort Bragg. Special Show Rates for lodging at Little River Inn.
Fee: Call Time: 7:30 PM Phone Number: 707-937-5942 or 888-466-5683


November 9 - 11 -- The Great Wine Escape Weekend
Presented by the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association. This 3-day affair features over 25 wineries at 15 locations, with tours occurring either by narrated bus tour or self-guided tour. Other events throughout the weekend include: Great Wine Escape Golf Tournament; The Monterey Wine Auction & Gala; Winemaker Dinners by world-renowned chefs; The Great Wine Symposium; an evening Jazz Concert; and The Great Wine Escape Finale with over 30 wineries pouring their world-class wines. Call for brochure and tickets.
Fee: Prices range from $30 - $175 per person Time: Call for schedule of events Phone Number: 831-375-9400

November 13 -- Ridge Vineyards Tasting at Rancho Cellars
Ridge Vineyards has long been one of the top-tier wine producers in California. This is a rare treat to have the opportunity to taste the entire stable of Ridge wines along with such an educational tour de force. Reservations required. At Rancho Cellars, 26340 Carmel Rancho Road, Carmel.
Fee: $20.00 Time: 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Phone Number: 831-625-5646

Napa Valley:

November 3 - 4 -- Harvest Celebration
Silverado Trail Winery Association's Annual Harvest Celebration. Come see us and enjoy the Harvest Celebration along the Silverado Trail. Participating Wineries include Andretti, S. Anderson, Casa Nuestra, Goosecross, Luna, Miner Family, Monticello, Regusci, RustRidge, Silverado, SilverRose, Stag's Leap, Summers, William Hill and Zahtila Vineyards. Call for additional information.
Fee: $40.00 in Advance; $50.00 Day of the Event Time: 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM Phone Number: 707-963-5783

November 23 -- Napa Valley Ice Art Championship
World-class ice carvers transform up to a 1/2 ton of ice into glistening works of art. This year's event is the warm-up competition for the 2001 Ice Art Championship that is scheduled to be a qualifying event for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. Downtown Yountville.
Fee: No Admission Fee Time: 2:00 PM - 5:00 PM Phone Number: 707-944-0904

Santa Barbara:

November 10 -- Mysteries in the Masterpieces
Mysteries in the Masterpieces is an exciting evening of searching for clues, hosted by the SBMA Women's Board. As you enter the party you'll be given a sheet of clues. The treasure hunt will last only one hour. Wonderful prizes along with cocktails and a light supper will be served. At the Santa Barbara Museum of Art. Call for reservations.
Fee: $125.00 Time: 6:30 PM Phone Number: 805-963-4364

November 30 -- Downtown Holiday Parade
Start the winter holiday season off with a festive bang at the 49th Annual Downtown Holiday Parade. The parade route is on State Street, from Sola to De La Guerra Plaza. Contact the Downtown Organization with any inquiries.
Fee: No Admission Fee Time: 6:30 PM Phone Number: 805-962-2098 x22

Santa Cruz:

November 14 -- Winemaker Wednesdays
Each Wednesday Shadowbrook Restaurant will spotlight a different Santa Cruz Mountain appellation winery offering its unique wines throughout the week with special pricing on Wednesdays! This weeks' wine selection is from Zayante Vineyards. At Shadowbrook Restaurant, 1750 Wharf Road, Capitola-by-the-Sea.
Fee: No Admission Fee Time: Each Wednesday Phone Number: 831-475-1511

November 2 - 18 -- Grease!
A high spirited musical involving the romance between a good girl and a greaser. With zesty, zippy production numbers, this show explodes with panache and pizzazz. One of Broadway's longest running shows with 3,388 performances. At the American Musical Theatre of San Jose Center for the Performing Arts, 255 Almaden Boulevard, San Jose.
Fee: $40.00 - $65.00 Time: Varies According to Performance Time Phone Number: 408-277-3900

Sonoma County:

November 2 - 10 -- The Masque of the Red Death & The Medium at Cinnabar Theater
In Menotti's The Medium a charlatan mystic, uses her daughter Monica and mute foundling Toby to dupe bereaved parents out of their money, until suspicion and fear push Madame Flora into ever-deepening madness towards a final murderous act. 8 PM Performance dates are 11/2, 11/3, 11/9, 11/10. 3333 Petaluma Blvd, North, Petaluma.
Fee: $22.00, $20.00, $12.00 Time: 8:00 PM & 11/04 at 3:00 PM Phone Number: 707-763-8920

November 10 -- A Holiday Affair at Villa Fiore
Our 15th annual extravaganza of food and wine pairing and holiday gift shopping in the beautiful underground cellar of Villa Fiore. Further information may be obtained at Ferrari-Carano . 8761 Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg.
Fee: $15 per person Time: 11:00 AM - 4:00 AM Phone Number: 707-433-6700

This Month's Recipe

Battle of the Appellations

This month decided to highlight our November recipe a little differently. We invited over two dozen wineries to participate in a contest, "Battle of the Appellations," and help us select the perfect wine compliment to our latest recipe. Our invitation included this month's recipe and requested that each winery send a sample of their best wine suggestion. The distinguished palates of's editorial staff then tasted the recipe with each submission and chose a winner.

Savannah Channelle

This month's perfect pairing is from Savannah-Chanelle Vineyards in Saratoga, CA and are located in the Santa Cruz Mountains wine region. Savannah-Chanelle was very gracious and provided with a 2000 Pinot Noir--Santa Lucia Highlands, which complemented this month's recipe, Mushroom Royale perfectly. Thank you, Savannah-Chanelle!   -

Keep your eye out for next month's winner!

Mushroom Royale

Each mushroom cap holds a spicy golden stuffing.

  • 1 lb. medium mushrooms (about 3 dozen)
  • 3 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1-1/2 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon butter for baking dish

Heat oven to 350 degrees, wash and trim mushrooms. Remove stems, finely chop the stems. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in skillet. Cook and stir mushroom stems, green pepper and onion in butter about 5 min. Remove from heat and add remaining ingredients.

Melt last tablespoon of butter in shallow baking dish; fill caps with stuffing, place filled side up and bake for l5 minutes. Then set oven control at broil. Broil for 2 minutes with mushrooms 3-4 inches from heat. (Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired.)

Try it for yourself and let us know what you think.

If you have a favorite "Wine Country inspired" recipe you would like to share, please send your entries to

Dining Recommendation

When visiting Healdsburg in Sonoma County, Carolyn Lewis our Director or Sales and Marketing and resident restaurant "reviewer" suggests that you try Manzanita. From the moment you enter the restaurant you are ensconced in an inviting and professional environment--you just have that feeling the food will live up to your expectations.

The main dining room has an airy look with an earthly minimalist interior, well spaced tables and non-intrusive music. The menu is quietly creative, and as you sneak a look at what your fellow diners are having along with the delicious aromas floating about, you will find it difficult to decide what to order.

After mulling over the menu Carolyn decided to begin her meal with Manzanita's Oysters on the Half Shell-Shallot and Green Peppercorn Mignonette. Followed by the delicious Pear and Celery Root Salad-Pancetta, Butterleaf Lettuce and Dijon Crème Fraîche. For Carolyn's main course she selected Pan Seared Sea Scallops-Roasted Butternut Squash and Red Onions, Endive and Truffle Oil. The Chef, Bruce Frieseke prepared the dish with a mixture of flavors that not only pleased the palate, but also complimented and completed the Manzanita dining experience.

Carolyn also suggests Manzanita's wine bar. The wine list has a great mixture of wines from various appellations to provide the visitor with several choices. There are also several excellent French and Italian selections-just in case (GASP!) you might want to compare California wines with some other place!

Overall, Manzanita had great ambiance, a delicious menu with an interesting selection and is fairly priced. Manzanita is located at 336 Healdsburg Ave Healdsburg, CA 707-433-8111. Doors are open at 5:30pm Wednesday through Sunday, closed Monday and Tuesday. As their web site is currently under construction, keep your eye out for their link on

Tasting Room Recommendation

Tasting With Tom

This month's Sales Engineering Support Associate Tom Biggs chose two very different Sangiovese to taste.

Rancho Cellars

The purpose of this taste test was to compare an American and Italian Sangiovese and to celebrate their differences. I chose Rancho Cellars - Fine Wine Merchants in Carmel, California as the tasting location as they are known to have the best selection of esoteric and cult wines throughout. On any given day, they have 3,000 different labels to choose from.

The Italian Sangiovese was a Le Corti Chianti Classico, a very small appellation in Chianti region. We also tasted a 1999 Renwood Sangiovese from Amador County Appellation, the western foothills in the Sierra Nevada in Central California.

Right from the start, there were noticeable differences. In the New World tradition, the Renwood Sangiovese puts it's fruitiness forward and a distinct vanilla taste was both pleasant to smell and taste. The Le Corti was very smooth with showing a wonderful bright berry with earth aromas and fresh, delicious flavors. I would not hesitate to pair either Singiovese with a Filet Mingnon, or better yet, a Risotto with pork slices and porcini mushrooms. Going out on a limb, this the Renwood Sangiovese will do well with BBQ'd ribs. At least that is what I am going to pair it with this weekend.

The price range for these two bottles range from $13.00 to $22.00 and both are recommended.

Rancho Cellars is a great place to learn about wines. The casual taster can definitely learn more from a flight tasting beginning at $2.00 per taste depending on the wine. For those wishing to learn more about pairing wine with food, Rancho Cellars has wine tasting classes starting at $20.00 on Tuesdays and Thursdays complete with gourmet food. An example of this will be November 13, 2001, when Rancho Cellars will taste and feature the world famous Ridge Vineyards-A must see!


Newsletter Contest

Because Visiting the Wine Country for FREE Only Happens Once in a Lifetime!!

Win a luxurious trip to the Wine Country! Snuggle under a lush feather comforter with all the accompanying amenities and fragrant vineyards outside your bedroom window…. Journey on the Wine Train while you tease your palate with a delicious and decadent five-course dinner…. Relax with a private and romantic wine tasting at an exclusive tasting room of the Napa Valley…

On January 7, 2002 you could win a two-night stay at the Napa Valley Marriott, tickets for two on the famous Wine Train which includes a five-course dinner, and two tickets for an exclusive wine tasting at the private tasting room of Koves-Newlan Vineyards and Winery.

No purchase necessary. Must be at least 21 years old to enter. Only one entry per person permitted. Winner will be selected January 7, 2002 by random drawing. Winner will be notified by email. Employees of FreeRun Technologies are ineligible. Void where prohibited by law.

Click here to sign up!

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