Monday, December 26, 2011

8 Nights of Hanukkah Candle #7 - Lunch with Hubbie at Kosher So Cal Winery & Restaurant


Seven candles are burning in our menorahs as I finish up this post. Just one more night till we reach the cusp of 8 lights tomorrow at sundown. But, before that last candle lighting ceremony of this holiday season, there's still so much more to celebrate.

Decorative wine cork menorah at Tierra Sur Restaurant at Herzog Wine Cellars in Oxnard, California

Hanukkah day was extraordinary this year as my hubbie and I spent a good part of it in Oxnard, California sans the children, a world away from the hub bub of the city of Los Angeles. The sky was blue and the weather warm as we arrived at one of our favorite places: Herzog Wine Cellars

As wine club members of this kosher winery, we started in the wine tasting cellar and tried some truly sensational wines. We progressed through the flights, trying some reds, whites, and sweeter varietals, finally selecting about $200 worth to enjoy at home together as well as to serve our frequent guests. 

My top choice today: the Herzog Late Harvest White Riesling 2010, a rich and deep golden wine with hints of pineapple, dried apricot, and baked apple. Described in a word: scrumptious. There's also a self-tour of the winery that you can take upstairs that's interesting to see.
Barrels of Kosher Wine Aging at Herzog, Oxnard, California
iPhone photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

With our reserved table for two beckoning, we stepped into Herzog's highly rated Tierra Sur, the exclusive restaurant in Ventura County, California that's overseen by Chef Todd Aarons. We've eaten here before and have tried various elegant dishes all so good I only wish this restaurant wasn't over an hour's drive from where we live. 

The winery grounds are set in small business park that is surrounded almost entirely by farms growing everything from strawberries to lettuce and other fruits and vegetables nearly year-round thanks to California's mild winters.

The main courses -- many incorporating the gorgeous local produce -- we've had before have been adventurous and superb. Even today, when both of us wanted to try something cooked over the outdoor open flame and we ordered succulent hamburgers with avocados and sweet potato fries, we weren't disappointed. At $15 for the burger on top of the extras ($2 for avocado and $3 for fries), these are pricey hamburgers, but definitely beautiful and delicious too.

Local Organic Farmstand Produce, Oxnard, California 
iPhone photo by Janis Brett Elspas,

After a lovely meal together -- which BTW included seeing quite a few random people we knew -- friends, teachers, and their families, we stopped at a roadside farm stand where Tierra Sur gets some of its locally grown produce. Then, hubbie braved the freeway and we headed back to the City. Once home tonight we enjoyed an evening with our teens that was exponentially brighter than last. 

All in all, it was the perfect blend of just us time and quality family togetherness, all rolled into another memorable day and night of Hanukkah.

Two menorahs, 7 lights each magnify the reflection on our marble tabletop
iPhone photo by Janis Brett Elspas, 

New post each night of Hanukkah!

Meanwhile, check out these other 2011 Chanukah posts

Read additional MBE posts from past years for lots of ideas to enhance your holiday: crafts, cooking, baking, activities, and gift ideas. Just enter the word Hanukkah in the search window in right hand column of this blog for lots more content.

What is the most unusual thing you've done to celebrate Chanukah this year or in the past? Please comment and share.

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  1. Wow. I love the wine cork menorah. That is an excellent idea.

  2. Great wine and food tasting article Rachel, keep it up! I miss enjoying good wine with you guys on shabbat meals!

    You may check if you like on my own wine tasting posts o the following link:

    Take care and warm regards to all the gang!