Girls’ Night Out
By Linda Kissam & Ginger Giordano
We sort of hate to think about reliving the 70s – all those parental rules, cheap wine, flowers in our hair and orange jump suits kind of weigh heavy on our collective minds. But when we heard the word fondue and amazing wine list in the same sentence describing a classy place near us, we knew we had to check it out.
Have to admit it; the Melting Pot in Temecula gets two big thumbs up from The Wine Chixs. We attended a Girls Night Out event on a Thursday night. Our first indication that this was “the” place to be was the evening was sold out. Who sells out on a Thursday night for Pete’s sake? We like the fact that the ambiance was serene and upscale. We like that all the decades were represented; well dressed ladies in every age group from 21 and above, socializing in a leisurely European fashion, casually sipping wine and Passiontini’s while artfully dipping and swishing in their fondue pots. We love the big comfy booths, intimate décor, and woohoo… friendly well trained wait staff. Our waitperson Katie Booker was a gem. She was well acquainted with the fondue courses, the martini choices, customer favorites…but most importantly the wine and chocolate selections. We felt we had died and gone to (the good) 70s heaven.
Girls Night Out, held the second and fourth Thursdays of each month features three courses: a cheese fondue course, a salad course and a chocolate fondue course – all for $22.00. Selected martinis and wines are just $5.00. The generous and varied fondue pots are prepared and stay heated at the center of your private table. There is more than enough to eat, and this wine and food experience is unhurried and meant to be savored. There are also carefully selected vendors to temp you with some girly treasures. Sit and sip, stroll and shop, swish and dip – nirvana is achieved. Don’t rush this time, be one with it. Yup, 70s heaven.
Perhaps the one feature we were most impressed with was the wine cellar. According to co-owner Velma Bandy, it’s a point of pride to offer not only the Melting Pot core wine selections, but also wines that her husband Bart has hand selected through his travels around the world. We’re talking some serious good wines here folks that generally won’t be found in local wine shops.
Velma shared with us that it took three years to bring the Melting Pot to Temecula. The story is amazing and if you see Velma or Bart, ask them to give you their take on the journey. Perseverance and a solid vision kept them focused on the finish line. We have to say, we’re VERY glad they hung in there.
Wine: 2006 Châteauneuf-du-Pape. $72.00 “Deliciously ripe, with plump-textured plum, fig and red currant fruit flavors. Backed up by bright minerality and shades of vanilla and cocoa, it’s one of the most popular CDP’s ever sold. For anyone interested in experiencing Rhone Valley wines at their most elegant and finely tuned best, the 2006 vintage is a must do.
Shopping Must: The garlic and wine seasoning salt. $5.00
Must Do: Ask for a personal tour and story of the more than 150 bottle wine cellar.
The Melting Pot is located at 39738 Winchester Road in Temecula. For more information and reservations visit www.meltingpot.com or call (951) 693-2222. Reservations are recommended.
There are 14 Melting Pot locations across California, all individually owned and operated. Check the Melting Pot website for specials and a location near you. www.meltingpot.com