Bella Victorian Lunch: A Winner at Ventura County’s Valentine n Wine Weekend 2012

Last year my sweetie and I had a great time visiting various wineries in Ventura County on the weekend prior to Valentine’s Day during a “passport” weekend called Valentine n Wine sponsored by the Ventura County Winery Association.

So this year, on that same pre-Valentine’s weekend, when we found ourselves at lunchtime in Camarillo passing by the Bella Victorian Bistro and Tasting Room on Ventura Blvd in Old Town, I remembered how much we  enjoyed our lunch by Chef Gael and our tasting and we decided to stop in. (As a wine blogger, our one flight of 5 one ounce wine pours was complimentary–thanks, Shannon!)

We sat outside on their sunny patio under an umbrella beside the purple petunias. Shannon provided us with excellent service, and our tasty sandwiches, one chicken pesto with chips and one lamb with a side salad, came out quickly. As I wanted photos, she graciously provided us with a wine tasting “tree” with their Santa Rita Hills Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and their Grenache “Romeo” (lead pencil, masculine, rough), followed by a mostly estate grown well-balanced but blue fruit friendly Syrah and a red blend of primarily Napa cabernet sauvignon that was quite interesting with a lots of complexity, juicy cherry and plum yet balanced,  spicy, cigar box, and with a rich mouth feel.

Like the lunch and the location, the wines were all winners. The chicken-pesto pannini paired well with the chardonnay and the darkly colored pinot noir, both rich and flavorful. As much as I liked the cab, today the syrah was my favorite of the five probably because it went so well  the lamb.

If you want to join the fun this Valentine’s Day weekend, Continue reading