Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bubbles: A Definitive Guide


As we come to the end of another year in Paso Robles Wine Country, we take a moment to reflect on a year of good times and fun wine tastings, and raise our glass to a year well spent. With a New Year fresh on the horizon, there’s no better way to move forward than to grab a bottle of bubble and make a toast to 2015. If you find yourself trying to decide on which sparkling wine to pour to for your festivities, read on for a definitive explanation of bubbles.

Bubbles are all categorized as sparkling wines, but not all bubbles are called Champagne. Here’s a quick primer and a few recommendations so you can find the perfect pour to toast in the New Year:

Champagne: Many people use this term interchangeably for any sparkling wine, but Champagne is a region in France. Champagnes can run the gamut in taste from sweet to very dry and in price from affordable to break the bank.

Proseco: This Italian sparkler usually has a fruit forward style and is dry to very dry.

Cava: In Spanish, cava means cave or cellar, a nod to how this Spanish sparkling got its name. Like Champagne, Cava can go from bone dry to sweet.


No celebration is complete without that telltale pop of the cork and spray of foam that only comes from a bottle of bubbles. There are a handful of wineries on the Central Coast that produce sparkling wines, including Laetitia Vineyards and Cellars, Cass Winery, Chronic Cellars and Domaine Le Mieux. Pick one up today for your New Year’s Eve celebration, or take a wine tasting tour with The Wine Wrangler and taste them in person.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A Toast to the Holiday Feast


Many Paso Robles Wine Club members set aside their wine shipments to enjoy during the holidays when they can share them with their family and friends, while others like to spend a day wine tasting in Paso Robles Wine Country and selecting a few new favorites for the holiday table. Whether you’re in the first group, or the second, no doubt you’re looking for the perfect wine suggestions so you can pair the right wine with your holiday meal.

Here are a few suggestions for the traditional meals that might be gracing your table this season:

The Holiday Ham: Whether glazed or topped with pineapple slices and brown sugar, choose a Zinfandel or Pinot Noir—or go white with a Roussane or Marsanne blend.

Prime Rib: Ultra succulent and savory, a fatty beef roast with rosemary and herbs needs a wine that can stand up to its flavors. Choose a Cabernet or Bordeaux blend.

Roast Goose: The rich, dark meat of roasted goose needs a wine that can complement its flavors without getting lost in the mix. Choose a Syrah for this feast.

Pork Crown Roast: Tucked beneath a glaze of apricots and served with cornbread dressing, a Grenache blend is the perfect choice.

Roast Duck: Fatty, wild and complex—for some, duck is an acquired taste, but when paired with a Rhone blend, you’ll have everyone asking for seconds.


Finding the perfect wine for your holiday feast takes only a little planning. Use the guide above, or choose one of the recent selections from the Paso Robles Wine Club. Finally, remember that choosing the perfect wine for your holiday celebration is more than just choosing the right wine to pair with the main course. Remember to select a local Sauvignon or Chardonnay to pair with your cheese course.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Palate: In Good Taste


The Paso Robles Wine Region is home to over 200 wineries and an untold number of artisan food producers who make everything from olive oil and salami to French bread and goat cheese. Visitors to Paso Robles enjoy both the scenic and gustatory pleasures while riding around the back roads, visiting wineries and tasting winez. Over the course of a few days or a long weekend, the average person can encounter all sorts of new tastes—some pleasing and some, not so much. So, why is it that what pleases one person’s palate is a total fail for another’s?

The mystery of the palate has long been pondered, but the science behind taste leaves little to the imagination. The palate is located on the roof of the mouth where it separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity, but that separation doesn’t mean that smell doesn’t affect one’s sense of taste.

On the contrary, taste is a complicated matter that includes not only the tastes buds (those raised bumps on the tongue’s surface) but a processing of temperature, texture, and even psychology—or past experiences.

The average adult has 10,000 taste buds located in an intricate network of taste receptors. When food—or drink—comes into contact with these receptors, they process the information and send a message to the brain. The brain then sorts out the information and decides whether the taste is pleasant or unpleasant.

Pleasing tastes vary widely from one individual to another and a person’s taste buds can even be influence by genetics. As a person ages, they have fewer taste buds, which explains why tastes change as we age.


The best way to keep young is to tantalize your taste buds with all sorts of new tastes. A Wine Wrangler Adventure Tour can take you wine tasting throughout the Paso Robles Wine Region where you can enjoy a day of introducing your taste buds to all sorts of new things to love.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Found: The Perfect Holiday Gift


As the holiday season gains momentum, it gets increasingly more difficult to find the time to get out and shop for the perfect holiday gift for the wine lover in your life. The Paso Robles Wine Region is home to over 200 wineries, each with its own unique wine crafted by an expert wine maker. Even if you wanted to select the perfect selection of wines from the Paso Robles AVA, you would have to commit to spending days driving from one winery to the next, wine tasting, and picking the ones that you felt would not only reflect the area, but please the palate.

With a membership in the Paso Robles Wine Club, you can give that special person a taste of Paso Robles Wine Country. Wines are selected from a range of boutique and larger wineries and each wine shipment is hand-selected to include premium Paso Robles wines.

Choose one of these shipments for the perfect gift:

Rustler: Looking for the perfect way to taste the best the Paso Robles AVA has to offer—but in a smaller package? The Rustler fits the bill. You’ll receive 3 bottles of premium wine three times a year—and the price will never exceed $120 per shipment.

Wrangler: Thrill your palate with a varied selection of premium wines from the Paso Robles AVA. This package includes 6 bottles of premium wines shipped three times a year at or less than $240 a shipment.

High Plains Drifter: COMING SOON! This will be a completely custom select shipment.


By giving that special person in your life a membership in the Paso Robles Wine Club, you’re not only giving them a shipment of wine, but an opportunity to taste a variety of premium wines from the Paso Robles AVA, named by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, 2013 Wine Region of the year. This year, give the wine lovers in your life a gift of good taste.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Forget Black Friday: The Perfect Gifts for Wine Lovers


Once the holidays arrive, it seems time speeds up. There’s no better example of the quickening pace and hectic rush to get things accomplished than the arrival of ‘Black Friday,’ that all American event when shoppers everywhere hit the stores to find the perfect holiday gift. But, shopping for the wine lover—and picking up the perfect gift—doesn’t involve anything more taxing than making a turkey sandwich and turning on the computer.

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for the wine lovers in your life, why not pick up one—or more of the following:

Give the Gift of Wine: Need the ultimate gift for the wine lover in your life? Give the gift of wine by choosing a membership in the Paso Robles Wine Club. You choose the shipment that fits your budget and the occasion and you can select red or white wine, or a mix. Choose from these packages:

Rustler: Looking for the perfect way to taste the best the Paso Robles AVA has to offer—but in a smaller package? The Rustler fits the bill. You’ll receive 3 bottles of premium wine three times a year—and the price will never exceed $120 per shipment.
Wrangler: Thrill your palate with a varied selection of premium wines from the Paso Robles AVA. This package includes 6 bottles of premium wines shipped three times a year at or less than $240 a shipment.
High Plains Drifter: COMING SOON! This will be a completely custom select shipment.


Give a Wine Tasting Tour: The Wine Wrangler offers an array of wine tasting tours to fit even the most discerning. Here are a few of the most popular:

½ Day Wine Tasting Adventure Tour: On this tour, you’ll visit 3-4 wineries with one of our personable and knowledgeable guides. Many wineries will waive the tasting fees with the purchase of wine. This tour is available Sunday through Friday.
Level 1 Introduction to Great Paso Robles Wines Tour: This tour is the perfect introduction to Paso Robles Wine Country and the perfect opportunity to stock your wine cellar. Available daily, you’ll enjoy visiting 4 wineries over the course of approximately 4 hours. Tasting fees are waived. Our drivers will stop so you can enjoy lunch on your own, or if you’d like, we can provide a picnic lunch for you for an additional fee.
Level 2 Wine Wrangler Adventure Tour: This tour is not only our most popular, but our most social, as well. You’ll tour with other guests and enjoy tasting at 4-6 wineries while learning a little more about our area. The tour usually lasts about 5 hours and includes a picnic lunch.

Give them the Adventure of a Lifetime: For the person who really does have it all—or would like to—there’s nothing better than the perfect getaway adventure to the incredible timeless beauty of Big Sur. How wonderful would this be?

Big Sur Tour: Anyone who has traveled along California’s coast knows how breathtakingly beautiful it is, but the Big Sur coastline is 10 times more beautiful. This tour will have you cruising along the coast and enjoying the scenery as your guide points out landmarks and shares the history of the area. We offer both 1 and 2 day tours that include Hearst Castle, Monterrey, The Steinbeck Museum, and wine tasting in the Santa Lucia Highlands.


This year, don’t get caught up in the hustle and bustle of holiday shopping. Relax and enjoy the holidays by choosing the perfect gift for the wine lover on your list—shop the Paso Robles Wine Club or The Wine Wrangler for a gift they’ll appreciate all year long.