YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Out & About / Ventura County | tidbits

Wining and Dining

Napa Valley vintner to be featured at the next W.I.N.O. dinner.


Napa Valley's Louis M. Martini Winery--reputed to be the first U.S. vintner to bottle Merlot back in the early '70s--will be highlighted at the next W.I.N.O. event March 19. The winemaker dinner will be hosted at the Radisson Hotel in Oxnard. Here is a look at the menu and accompanying wines:

Tortilla pinwheels, prosciutto melon and assorted canapes; with Fresco Rosso.

Mixed garden greens with Bay shrimp and raspberry vinaigrette; with Folle Blanche and Chardonnay (1998).

Mushroom ravioli with a marinara sauce; with Sangiovese (1997).

Gorgonzola-stuffed roast sirloin with cabernet sauce, with assorted baby vegetables and garlic mashed potatoes; with Chiles Merlot (1997) and Cabernet (1998).

Tiramisu; with Sweet Caroline.

Carl Thurston, a Martini representative, will lead a discussion about the wines.

The local chapter of the nonprofit W.I.N.O.--Wine Investigation for Novices and Oenophiles--holds about 10 winemaker dinners a year.

Members are mostly Ventura County residents, and the public is welcome to attend.


The Ventura County chapter of W.I.N.O. will host another installment of its winemaker dinner series at 5:30 p.m. March 19 at the Radisson Hotel, 600 Esplanade Drive, Oxnard. Members, $39; nonmembers and guests, $42. Send checks payable to W.I.N.O. before March 15 to 1358 Saddleback Trail, Camarillo, CA 93012. No refunds after that date unless space can be filled from a waiting list. For more information, call 484-4196.


More wine: Cellarmasters, a homemaking wine club, will hold its next meeting March 18 at the Westlake Hyatt.

The club has about 300 members, mostly from Ventura and Los Angeles counties, who gather monthly to sample each other's wares and discuss the many nuances of winemaking.

The meetings are more than a chance to banter about acid levels and oak overtones, though.

"This is more of a cultural event," said club member Denise Gula of Thousand Oaks. "People aren't just sitting around and drinking."

The upcoming meeting will include the pleasantries of a classical guitarist, plus hors d'oeuvres and a display of paintings by watercolorist Marina Cartright. Before all that begins at 5 p.m., club members and guests are invited to take a home winery tour.

Two different home winemakers in Thousand Oaks will open their doors for others to peruse their operations. The meeting and the tour are both open to the public.


Cellarmasters, a home winemaking club, will meet at 5 p.m. March 18 at the Hyatt Westlake Plaza, 880 S. Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village. The meeting is open to the public. Reservations are required. Cost: $30. Earlier in the day, visitors are welcome to join in a two-stop home winery tour in Thousand Oaks. For more information about either event, call 492-0675.


Online contest: Meatloaf--a slice of Americana right up there with apple pie and baseball. Yet despite its prominence as a comfort food, the modest meatloaf garners about as much respect as a leaden block of holiday fruitcake.

Fabulous Foods, a World Wide Web site community, is out to prove there are legions of meatloaf lovers across the land with all sorts of tasty preparation ideas. Are you a 'loafer? You might consider getting in on the Web site's "Meatloaf Madness" recipe contest.

Would-be contestants are invited to submit entries in one of two categories: traditional or creative meatloaf. Recipes can only be submitted online and the deadline to enter is March 31.

The winners won't be shuffling off on an exotic vacation getaway.

Instead, you can be the proud owner of a deluxe 54-piece cake decorating kit and an authentic retired Ty Valentino Beanie Baby, which is apparently one of the harder-to-find Beanies. There are other prizes to be awarded as well and you can check out all the details online.


The deadline to enter Fabulous Foods' "Meatloaf Madness" recipe contest is March 31. All entries must be submitted online. For more details, visit

Rodney Bosch writes about the restaurant scene in Ventura County and outlying points. He can be reached by calling 653-7572, faxing 653-7576 or e-mailing

Los Angeles Times Articles