Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Keeping Cool: Tips for Protecting Your Wine from Summer Heat

The Paso Robles Wine Club Wine Storage Tips 
Members of The Paso Robles Wine Club and wine lovers across the world, know that the summer heat can damage a good bottle of wine very quickly. For the wine lover, there’s nothing worse than opening a much anticipated bottle of wine only to find that it’s been cooked. Thankfully, with a few insider tips and a little pre-planning, you can protect your investment and keep on sipping all summer long.

Here are 3 ways to protect your wine from the heat:

Don’t Leave Your Wine in a Hot Car: Nothing fares well in a hot car. Even when the outside temperatures are in the 80s, the inside temperature of a car can easily climb well into the triple digits. When it comes to storing wine, even sustained temperatures in the mid 80 degree range can wreak havoc and create accelerated oxidation. If you’re out running errands, make wine the last stop on the journey, or bring along an ice chest in an emergency.

Find the Perfect Room: Exercise care when choosing where to store wine in your home. The best place is in a wine cellar or basement, or the coolest spot in your home. You definitely don’t want to store your wine where it’s hot, including in your kitchen, on top of your refrigerator, near a window, or in an attic or garage.

Sip Smart Outdoors: There’s little better during the summer than enjoying a glass of wine outdoors, while tending the BBQ, lounging poolside, or chatting it up with friends on the patio. Many people don’t realize that the dark glass of the wine bottle draws the hot sun to it, and once the bottle heats up, the wine can cook within minutes. Keep sipping outdoors, but keep the bottle in the shade.

Keep your wine safe from the heat of the summer. With a little pre-planning, you can protect your Paso Robles Wine Club shipments, along with the wines you pick up to add to your collection, from the harmful effects of the rising thermometer.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Fair Judgement: The Wine Competition

Wine Competitions: The California Mid State Fair

Come summer, all across California’s Central Coast, people start getting ready for the highlight of the season—a trip to Paso Robles Wine Country and a chance to attend The California Mid State Fair. Like every other fair across the United States, there are livestock competitions and exhibit halls filled with arts and crafts, but The California Mid State Fair offers a special perk for winemakers and wineries—a chance to win praise and take home a ribbon.

Have you ever wondered what goes into a wine competition and what’s in it for the wineries and winemakers? Well, here’s a quick rundown:

The Law of Attraction:  Way back in the day, the fair was an opportunity for people from all across rural areas to meet up and interact—not only with each other, but to see what was going in the world outside. Fairs were magnets, drawing people from near and far and the perfect place to show one’s wares and talents. In Paso Robles, the fair is still a huge event—the perfect venue for wineries to showcase their wines to the public.

An Expert’s Opinion: At a wine competition, the judges are rigorously trained individuals with expert palates and experience with professional wine tasting. The competition is a carefully controlled tasting and each judge brings his/her expertise to the mix. Winning a ribbon—or even a word of encouragement—can put a winemaker and the wine on the map and instantly boost demand and increase revenue.

Setting a Standard: Entering a wine into The Mid State Fair’s Wine Competition gives the winemaker important feedback. A benchmark is a standard by which something can be measured, so seeing where their wine finishes and comparing it to other wines made in the same style, is a way for winemakers to make a better product and stay competitive in a tough market.

You may not be able to travel to The California Mid State Fair this year, but with a membership in The Paso Robles Wine Club, you can enjoy tasting a variety of exceptional and unique wines from Paso Robles Wine Country all year long.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The Perfect Getaway for Your Palate

Pleasing Your Palate with the Perfect Getaway

Just a few years ago, it seemed as if everyone along California’s Central Coast was taking a staycation—a vacation enjoyed right in our own backyard. And why not? It’s no secret that California’s Central Coast is a beautiful little gem of a location with plenty to enjoy, including the many wineries that make up Paso Robles Wine Country. We live in one of the most popular tourist destinations in the state and as locals, we never grow tired of the many adventures that are ours for taking, but it’s especially cool when we get a shout out from someone who has recently visited our area and enjoyed what life here has to offer.

Recently, we had the chance to visit with Allan Wright, the owner of Taste Vacations and Zephyr Adventures, who runs his own tour company, taking clients on vacations specifically designed to woo their palates, including tasty trips through Spain’s Basque Country, Tuscany, and even Peru! Wowed, he was, upon discovering Paso Robles and taking a tour with Coy Barnes, the proprietor of both The Paso Robles Wine Club and The Wine Wrangler.

Here’s what Mr. Wright had to say about his experience:

Paso Robles is one of the cutest small wine towns in the country. The town of 30,000 is situated between LA and San Francisco, about 30 minutes from the Pacific Ocean, and is considered part of the Central Coast region of California. Paso (as many locals call it) has a cute main plaza, excellent restaurants, and fantastic wineries in the area.

We don’t yet run a tour in the Central Coast region but if you find yourself in the Paso Robles area, I can strongly recommend doing a little wine touring with The Wine Wrangler. Coy Barnes, the owner, is an ex-teacher turned wine educator who is competent, organized, and friendly – just want you want from a tour company.

Coy spoke at the Wine Tourism Conference and I had a chance to sit down to lunch with him. It is always a pleasure meeting attendees at our conference but Coy and I, naturally, had a lot in common. The beauty of taking a day tour with Coy or one of his guides is they select the wineries to visit - with 170 in the region, it helps to have expert advise - and handle all the driving.

So until we at Taste Vacations create a Central Coast trip, look to Coy and The Wine Wrangler for your wine touring in the Paso Robles area!"

It’s always nice to get positive feedback, because our mission is to provide the best for our customers. So, whether you’re looking to enjoy a day of wine tasting with our sister company, The Wine Wrangler, a trip up California’s historic Highway 1, along the Pacific Ocean to the awe-inspiring Heart Castle, a private tour to Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara Wine Country, or, just kicking back and opening up a bottle of unique wine from your Paso Robles Wine Club membership, there’s a plenty to savor right in our own backyard.

Here’s to living in beautiful, Paso Robles Wine Country!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Summer Entertaining: Paso Robles' Style

Summer Entertaining with The Paso Robles Wine Club
Paso Robles Wine Country has a well-deserved reputation for hot summer days, but by evening, temperatures drop and those famous cool breezes arrive, creating the perfect weather for summer entertaining. All summer long, up and down California’s Central Coast, people head to their backyards, fire up their grills, and open up a bottle of wine—it’s what we do best and according to our members in The Paso Robles Wine Club, it’s one of their favorite ways to enjoy wine from the Paso Robles Wine Region.

To get the most out of summer entertaining, try these tips:

Add Some Sparkle: Greet your guests at the garden gate with a glass of sparkling wine. It’s a refreshing and festive way to start the evening.

Keep it Simple: California’s Central Coast is a haven for fresh from the garden summer fare and local cheeses. Wow your guests with a selection of ripe heirloom tomatoes to pair with a fresh goat’s milk or raw cow’s milk cheese. Serve with a glass of chilled rosẻ for pure summer perfection.

Go Wild: Save the BBQ ribs and tri tip for another day. Instead, pick up a side of wild Pacific salmon. Lightly seasoned and grilled, it will pair perfectly with a Pinot Noir—a light, fruity wine that pleases most palates.

Gather Around the Fire Pit: The best summer evenings end with everyone gathered around the fire pit, sharing stories and engaging in deep conversation and making s’mores. Of all the summer foods, s’mores are challenging when it comes finding a wine that complements their myriad flavors, but picking something full of red fruit, particularly, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, and blackberry, or an aged port, will be a good match.

Summer entertaining is a way of life along California’s Central Coast, particularly throughout Paso Robles Wine Country. Those fabulous summer evenings and panoramic views are the perfect match for enjoying a bottle of wine and making a toast. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Wine: A Revolutionary American Beverage

Enjoy the fireworks: Join Paso Robles Wine Club
When most people think about the Fourth of July holiday, their thoughts quickly turn toward hot dogs, cold beer, and fireworks, but wine lovers and members of The Paso Robles Wine Club know better—wine has a long and storied history in American culture, including Paso Robles Wine Country.

Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and perhaps the greatest oenophile of any president, had such a love of wine, that he was deeply committed to producing it in America. Although Jefferson first sampled wine in America during the American Revolution, his true introduction didn’t occur until the years that he served as Ambassador of France, touring his way throughout the classic wine regions of the county.

Upon his return, he had a rumored 20,000 bottles of wine imported from France and undertook the arduous task of planting the Vineyards at Monticello. Jefferson was never successful in establishing Vitis Vinifera—the classic European grape—but, with his two vineyards encompassing approximately 25,000 acres, he remained a staunch advocate of American wine making throughout his life.

Benjamin Franklin, well-known for his pithy sayings and a lifetime of incredible productivity, said the now famous quote: “Wine makes daily living easier, less hurried, with fewer tensions and more tolerance.” As a gourmet, he regularly enjoyed a glass of two of wine with meals—along with many of his compatriots.

The history of wine in California came not with politicians, but with the Franciscan Friars. In 1769, Father Junipero Serra established the first of California's missions in San Diego , planting grapes nearby so that there would be an availability of wine to use during church services. Interestingly, as Father Serra and his fellow friars moved north, to build other missions, they brought with them root stocks from the first vineyard so that they could plant new vineyards.

Eventually, with the building of the Santa Margarita Asistencia Mission, grape growing was introduced to San Luis Obispo County. When Andrew York arrived several years later, he planted and founded York Mountain Vineyard off of the 46 west. By the 1830s, wine was a commercial industry in California and between the years 1860 to 1880 wine making flourished.

Not traditionally associated with the Fourth of July festivities, wine is part of American history and culture and with over 200 wineries in Paso Robles Wine Country, it’s hard to think of a more appropriate beverage to enjoy with the fireworks.