Frank Mangio

How do you say ‘WOW’ in French?

How do you say ‘WOW’ in French?

I had just seen the film “Midnight in Paris” when my assignment schedule had me at the door of Pamplemousse Grille in Del Mar. If you caught the movie, it has the main character experience surreal flashbacks to the era of the golden ‘20s in Paris, France where the food and wine were magnets for […]

A blend of fine wine and fine living in the heart of Temecula

A blend of fine wine and fine living in the heart of Temecula

The intimate world of cultivating fine wine and fine resort living recently crossed paths for me in the rich, country life of Temecula. It’s a great life when you can experience a memorable occasion on a given day, but when two such experiences present themselves; the stars are in true alignment.In a personal“hands-on” experience into […]

Milagro Farm worth the backcountry trip up the hill

Milagro Farm worth the backcountry trip up the hill

San Diego County is a late-bloomer in the booming California wine industry. Maybe it’s because in my home area, we have been so busy building homes and commercial properties, that we forgot our roots — growing and producing wine like the first missionaries in the 16th century.When the Franciscan fathers were sent north and settled […]

Temecula Valley vineyard earns best of show distinction

Temecula Valley vineyard earns best of show distinction

After 12 years of growing grapes and making wine in the Temecula Valley, Ray and Loretta Falkner have hit pay dirt — the Best of Show Wine winner at this year’s Winemaker Challenge International Competition in San Diego.The top award was for the Falkner 2008 Syrah-Rock Creek Vineyard wine ( $34.95.), available at the winery.

Paso wine country comes to sunny Southern California

Paso wine country comes to sunny Southern California

Some 40 wineries in Paso Robles will pick up and move down to sunny Southern California and pop the corks on more than 150 wines aboard the super yacht Majestic, docked in Newport Beach. The date for this “road show” is Feb. 29 from 6 to 8 p.m. for the public and 2 to 5 […]

Living and loving all things Italian at Vigilucci’s

Living and loving all things Italian at Vigilucci’s

The bucolic settings and décor of the seven Vigilucci’s Italian Restaurants in San Diego County have been a source of old world charm and character, studied, copied and shadowed by competitors since Robby Vigilucci opened his first restaurant in Encinitas in 1994. His dinners are all occasions and not just occasional.I recently joined GM Vittorio […]

Get to know Mt. Veeder, headquarters for the HESS Collection

Get to know Mt. Veeder, headquarters for the HESS Collection

High over the Napa Valley, on the slopes of Mt. Veeder, just 15 minutes from Highway 29, lies HESS Collection Vineyard and Winery, some 2,100 feet from the valley floor. Founded by Swiss winery owner Donald Hess in 1989, the winery has distinguished itself as a producer of fine premium wines like Cabernet Sauvignon and […]

Understanding wine labels is like learning another language

Understanding wine labels is like learning another language

Federal regulators are eyeing the maze of wine label information on bottles of wine. I have before me five bottles of wine: a French, Italian, Australian and two California wines, one in Monterey and one in Temecula Valley. They couldn’t be more different in their presentations of information presumably to help buyers in making their […]

Twisted Vine makes a fine comfort hangout for ‘grapeheads’

Twisted Vine makes a fine comfort hangout for ‘grapeheads’

The latest creation to attract the burgeoning population of “grapeheads” who love chef-inspired cuisine paired with wines from all over the world, is bistro-wine bar Twisted Vine off the 56 Freeway at Camino Del Sur in San Diego. Twisted Vine at once offers nutritious global-inspired menu items by Executive Chef Mia Sailing, the fifth-generation Italian wine […]

Follow the De Portola Trail to find some vine pleasures

Follow the De Portola Trail to find some vine pleasures

There is a growing family of wineries in the Temecula Valley along De Portola Road. All put down roots less than 10 years ago and all are committed to small production, high-quality wines with a southern European character. The De Portola Trail runs south and generally parallel to the larger and busier Rancho California Road. […]