Hot Weekend Eats + Sips: Great Wines from Rioja & Fab Brunch at Paul Martin, Irvine Spectrum!

I am *always” looking for interesting places to eat. Keep tabs on this blog to catch the latest scoop on the under the radar places that you need to test drive.
Easter weekend is never a time to expect deals on brunch. Ditto that story for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day or Memorial Day. Clarity is important when it comes to brunch and cocktails (not necessarily in that order)

However any other weekend through June 1, 2014, you might want to hustle yourselves to Paul Martin’s American Grill in Irvine Spectrum. Yes it’s a bit of a drive but it’s beautiful weather there (and tons of great shopping too!). It’s on the road back to LA from San Diego or the road back to San Diego from LA. It’s a slight detour when returning from the desert. In fact if you got before June 1 (to the desert and to Paul Martin’s on the return trip), you will miss the heat that makes summer a bit of a hellish time in Palm Springs and also you will get the deals and bargains that the OC peeps never tell you about!


Start you weekend off with brunch at Paul Martin’s American Grill: Now through June 1, the restaurant is offering brunch for two for $22 exclusively to friends of Irvine Spectrum Center!*

The prix fixe brunch includes:
fresh baked millet drop biscuits and creamy honey butter,

a fresh fruit bowl,

your choice of entrée,

and a beverage.

Enjoy dishes such as the Applewood Smoked Bacon Omelet or the delectable French Toast with vanilla bean-infused cream along with their signature cocktail, the Lemosa, made in house with Ventura County Limoncello.
To view all brunch items, please visit

Brunch is offered every Saturday and Sunday from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Make your reservations online here or call the restaurant at (949) 453-1144.

*To redeem, bring in a print-out of this email to the restaurant at time of dining. Offer valid at Irvine location only and expires on June 1, 2014. Excludes Easter weekend (April 19 – 20, 2014) and Mother’s Day weekend (May 10 – 11, 2014).
Paul Martin Grill + Reservations
31 Fortune Drive
Irvine, CA 92618
located by Fortune Valet
(949) 453-1144

+ Driving Directions


Looking for some great sips for regular weekends as well as HOLIDAY weekends like Easter and Mother’s Day?
Here are some great wines to try from the southern hilly region known for the RIOJA wines.

Rosé, rosado, rosato or “blush” – this very pink wine isn’t overly sweet but it is ready for a spotlight for your spring and summer celebrations! This spring is the perfect time of year to indulge in Rioja Rosados really show their best flavors and help you celebrate the various spring events! Courtesy of the late Easter and Passover, Mother’s Day celebrations to outdoor entertaining, picnics and barbeques, rosado wines are a refreshing accompaniment to any warm weather occasion.

Recognized worldwide as a top red wine region, Rioja continues to surprise taste buds with its impressive rosados. Vibrant in color and refreshing in taste, Rioja Rosados deliver unsurpassed quality for the best prices on the market.

Here is two different Rioja Rose or Rosado wines:

Conde de Valdemar Rose 2012



VINEYARDS: Made from estate-grown grapes. VARIETIES: 85% Garnacha and 15% Tempranillo

HARVEST DATE: 4th week in September.

BOTTLED: January 2013

Brand Details:
ALCOHOL: 13.5% Vol.

ACIDITY: 6.0 g/l (tartaric)


Colour: Spectacular, clear, bright raspberry-pink colour.

Aroma: Packed with fruit, purple-heart sweets and hints of fresh-cut flowers.

Palate: Fresh, fruity and balsamic mouth-feel with a firm, syrupy-smooth finish.

Food pairing: Recommended to pair with paella and other savoury rice dishes. It is also a good match for shellfish and fish in sauce.

Serving temperature: 6/8 ºC

Sounds yummy right? Not too sweet, great mouth feel and light — not overly heavy for the diverse meals of spring and summer! The wine has amazing mouth feel and taste develops so that you sense all the different layers of the wine.

Cortijo III Garnacha Rosado 2013.


Cortijo Rosado is a beautiful example of how great dry rosé from Rioja can be. Rioja is Spain’s most prestigious region and for wine drinkers who want to learn more about this magical, storybook wine region, and enjoy an uncommonly good rosé- there’s no better introduction than Cortijo Rosado. Cortijo means ‘cottage’ or ‘shack,’ a reference to the fact that shacks, often times, make better wine than most high-flown Chateaux in Rioja.

The Philosophy of Cortijo is very simple yet very effective: to make better wine, you need to harvest better grapes. Cortijo improves the quality of its wines by doing a better job in the vineyards. Rather than building a chateau or a beautiful tasting room, Cortijo pays to take care of the only meaningful ingredient, the grapes.

Beginning with the 2009 vintage, Cortijo is made with estate-owned grapes. The goal with Cortijo is to show a pure, youthful expression of Rioja Alta.
Cortijo is a sort of “non-profit organization”. It is very difficult to find such a pure expression of Rioja at this price point.

A rosé made in the Saignee method (as opposed to the Provence style method)resulting in a dry, yet rich vibrant Rose. 100% estate-bottled wine from Rioja Alta. The wine exhibits both body and bright acidity. It is a humble wine with great complexity at an unbelievable price.


100% Garnacha. Organically grown (non-certified) vines planted from 1969 – 1995. Tended in clay and limestone soil at 568 m (1,865ft) elevation

From a food pairing perspective, these wines are perfect. Just the right amount of acidity and body to match foods that fall in the middle of the food and wine pairing spectrum. So think olives, tapenades, salads, charcuterie, pate, prosciutto, cheeses, cold seafood platters, chinese bbq pork, indian food, etc.

At harvest, Garnacha grapes are picked and brought to the winery to be de-stemmed and crushed. The stems are discarded, and the skins and juice are pumped into a tank. In a few hours, the grape skins begin to separate from the juice. Once the cap has formed, the pink-colored juice is pumped or “bled off” into a tank to ferment. The wine is aged in stainless steel to retain its fresh, expressive aromas and flavors.

PRODUCTION: 5,000 cases

The vineyards are located in the towns of Hormilla, within the Rioja Alta (Zone 3), Briones and Arenzana, the latter two sited at approximately 568 meters (1,865 ft.) elevation. The soils in Briones are thin red clay and sandy limestone with small particles of thin clay. In Arenzana the soils are clay and limestone with alluvial sediment.

Climate, the area’s average temperature from April-October is 61.5º F with 18.3 inches of yearly rainfall. The moderately warm days and cool nights of this Continental Atlantic climate forces the grapes to ripen slowly, resulting in wines that show brighter aromas and more fruit flavors.

Light pink in color, it offers up an alluring nose of rose petal, cherry, and strawberry. Dry, round, and spicy on the palate. Cortijo Rosado is a terrific rose as well as an undeniable bargain.

ALCOHOL CONTENT: 13.5% UPC CODE: 810411010259

This is a luxe wine to drink, light but extremely flavorful on the tongue. Fruity yet not too sweet, perfect for almost anything you eat from tapas or small plate dishes to full on meals from bbq or oven. Even vegetarian meals would benefit from this being on your wine menu.

Each of these wines are affordable. Check with your local wine merchant and/or Bev Mo store!

Stevie Wilson,

Please note that ANY text or photos links on deals & steals are affiliate links. I get you a great price and I get a tiny commission on it. FTC requires my disclosure of that.
I will soon be moving ALL of these links to a marketplace on my site– which will be chock full of great places to shop with a great discount, bargains and steals. That way you won’t be disrupted with a slew of images here.
(How little is little? I have yet to get more than 1 payout on an affiliate link each year. I give these brands prime exposure so you know about great places and great brands to buy. I get virtually zero back from that exposure)

Buy $48 of Serge Normant products and receive a free travel sized Meta Silk Shampoo ($9 value) at! Offer ends 4.28.2014 or while supplies last

Get a free La Roche-Posay lip cream when you spend $30 on select La Roche-Posay products (a $17.99 value) at Offer ends 3.30.2014. (text 3814)
Get a free La Roche-Posay lip cream when you spend $30 on select La Roche-Posay products (a $17.99 value) at Offer ends 3.30.2014.

Buy $30 in The New Black and receive a free full size nail polish trio from The New Black in Crunchy($14 Value!) at! Offer ends 4.30.2014 or while supplies last.

Save up to 50% on Nature’s Way vitamins & supplements - Free shipping on orders over $35

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

If you are going to feature content from including podcasts or videos including the accompanying text, please respect copyright provisions. We require a notation of content origination (meaning credit tag), a linkback to the specific page & please email the link to before the piece goes live., LA-Story Recessionista, Celebrity Stylescope, Celebrity Style Slam Trademark/Copyright: KBP Inc./TNBT Inc 2007-14

Author: Stevie Wilson

Digital and social media pioneer and visionary meets disruptive innovator with a passion for topics and conversations that reveal insight into the So. California lifestyle. appeals to a global audience (from Asia to Africa; Middle East to Europe, No. America to Latin America) in variety of topics and sectors: style (beauty and fashion), health & fitness, entertainment (movies, TV, books, music and more) ; food, beverages & spirits; IT Security + tech , travel, special events (red carpet to green carpet) I am known for interviews ( podcasts , textual and video conversations) with notables, celebrities and companies about interesting products & brands; profiles about places that reflect the So. CA vision and special events (Oscars, Golden Globes, Emmys & other events that illustrate celebrity , athletes and home-town "stars" lifestyle and initiatives.) that illuminate the insider's perspective of So. California's lifestyle . Learn what's hot in Los Angeles, NYC, MIami and stops closer to home that make this blog a must-read because the voice, attitude, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for consumers to earn what makes a brand, initiative or product unique - whether, food, fashion or finance (or any other topic "on the table") With 15+ Years online launching websites, online magazines, forums, products & brands, my voice, authenticity and ability to grasp the essence of most sectors, brands & products make it easy for me to share what the online audience and consumers alike want to learn- how to shop, live and reflect the lifestyle they wish to emulate. Need to leverage digital and social media space? Reach out to me!

Share This Post On