A Perfect Evening With Peter White and Richard Elliot at Thornton Winery

01thorntonlongshotThis is one of those stories better told with pictures than words, because the story is about wonderful instrumental music.

Specifically, it’s about wonderful instrumental music at the Thornton Winery in Temecula, Calif. Yesterday afternoon/evening, Michelle and I attended the final concert of Thornton’s 28th annual Champagne Jazz Series, which featured sax man Richard Elliot and guitarist extraordinaire Peter White.02rockstarpose

I’ve been attending concerts at Thornton for most of the series’ 28 years, while new bride Michelle is relatively new to them. But she immediately understood how special these concerts in the Thornton courtyard are — especially when combined with one of the winery’s gourmet suppers.

Take a look at the short ribs prepared in the Thornton kitchen, featuring crispy onions, mash potato, chef’s vegetables and a red wine demi. The only thing left on my plate was some of the red wine demi, and that’s only because I thought it would be inappropriate to lick the plate with so many people around.

04dinner03peterwhitehappyThornton’s Sangiovese made a wonderful pairing partner for the short ribs.

The meal began with Thornton’s champagne salad, a spring mix with pecans, tomato, blue cheese and champagne vinaigrette.

And it ended with a coppa mascarpone dessert, with chocolate cream, amaretto and cookie crumbs. I’d show you a picture of that, but you’d probably start licking your phone or computer screen.

The weather could not have been more cooperative — with temperatures in the high 70s — and the sunset was magnificent. Of course, the music was wonderful (my daughter has labeled me a Peter White stalker), and the company was pretty good, too.

All in all, it was a perfect conclusion to the first weekend of the two-weekend first anniversary celebration I have planned for the Mrs.

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