Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Tastes Like Candy: Wine Tasting Notes

Taste for Yourself: Join The Paso Robles Wine Club
All over Paso Robles Wine Country, adults are hosting Halloween wine tasting parties where they pair Halloween candy with local Paso Robles wine. It may sound a bit unusual—maybe even slightly scary—but sweet treats can be a perfect match for wines and, of course, if you like the concept, there’s a path to explore in learning about the many fabulous dessert wines available.

Many people new to wine find themselves a bit puzzled when they hear wine descriptors that sound more like the wine taster is describing the candy shelf at the local market place. Wine is a many nuanced agricultural product and in the hands of a skilled winemaker, a sort of alchemy takes place, creating the perfect marriage of flavors.

Here are 5 common wine descriptors that describe the sweeter, candy-like tastes of wines:

Green Apple: Wines that have a fruity, green, sour, tart, or leafy profile can taste similar to green Jolly Ranchers and green apple bubble gum; think of how your mouth puckers when you bite into a green Granny Smith apple and you’ll understand what this flavor means to your palate.

Watermelon: If you hear a taster exclaim that the wine has a candy or confectionery taste, or words like melony or sugary-sweet, chances are you’ll notice underlying tastes that are very much like those you’d find in watermelon Jolly Ranchers, Airheads—even melon flavored gums, like Bubblicious.

Lemon: Fresh, juicy, and citric? Think Lemonheads, candied lemon peel, and sour lemon drops.

Chocolate: One of the most popular profiles is chocolate, which can range from the milky and fatty, almost buttery, to the dark and bitter, with notes of burnt coffee and even botanicals. In these wines you’ll find notes of semi-sweet chocolate chips, malted milk balls and chocolate covered marshmallows.

Maple: You probably shouldn’t drink wine for breakfast, but you might find a very similar profile to your favorite breakfast items. In wines with notes of maple, you’ll taste brown sugar, butter, bread, honey, and even anise or warm spices. Here you’ll notice how well the descriptors of pancake syrup, maple candies, and Bit O’ Honey work in describing the wines.

While it may be fun to raid the trick or treat bags and mindlessly chomp down on a handful of sweet confectioneries while relaxing with a glass of wine, you don’t need the candy to find the sweetness in your glass. Join The Paso Robles Wine Club and enjoy regular shipments of Paso Robles wines and you can thoughtfully taste through them and find the candy flavors on your own.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Palate: Why Wine Tastes So Good

Celebrate Your Palate: Join The Paso Robles Wine Club 

Paso Robles Wine Country 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 wine. 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 Paso Robles Wine Country where you can enjoy a day of introducing your taste buds to all sorts of new things to love. Better yet, join The Paso Robles Wine Club and you'll enjoy regular wine shipments delivered to your door--the perfect way to celebrate your palate and sample the best wines that Paso Robles has to offer.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Ultimate Harvest Party with Your PRWC Shipment

Enjoying Wines from The Paso Robles Wine Club

In Paso Robles Wine Country, we look forward to Harvest all year long—and so do the many people who travel to our area just so they can go wine tasting at over 200 wineries along California’s Central Coast. One of the benefits of our temperate—and envious climate—is that there is a bounty of local foods that pair perfectly with wines from Paso Robles, so come Harvest, when we open a bottle of our favorite local wine, it seems to pair especially well with our local foods.

While pairing wine with food is a practiced skill, in general, it’s all about bringing out the nuanced flavors of a dish by pairing it with a complimentary wine. In honor of our recent Paso Robles Wine Club fall shipment, we’d like to share a few recipes for our favorite dishes that will pair well with the wines in the shipment. So grab your aprons—and your wine openers—and get set to enjoy a wine and food experience in the comfort of your own home.

Classic Spanish Paella

The Diablo Paso Winery Grancha—or, Grenache, originates from the vineyards in northern Spain and made its way to California in the 1860s. This is a rich, elegant wine with violet and orange coloring and cherry tones. What better dish to pair with this wine than the classic Spanish Paella?  This recipe from Martha Stewart is easy to prepare and incredibly delicious.

Perfectly Roasted Duck Breast

Next up, a favorite—Robert Hall Winery Grenache. This wine is rife with plum, strawberries and smoke and begs to slurped up with a succulent roasted duck. Try this recipe developed by Lisa Pretty.

Join the Paso Robles Wine Club and we’ll deliver the best wines of California’s Central Coast and Paso Robles Wine County direct to your door. You’ll enjoy a selection of premium wines delivered right to your door, which means you’ll never have to search far and wide to find the perfect bottle of wine to pair with your favorite seasonal meals.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ever Wonder About Wine Legs?

Enjoy Looking at Wine Legs with a Paso Robles Wine Club Membership

Whether you’re enjoying a wine tasting tour on California’s Central Coast or relaxing on your sofa on a Sunday afternoon, if you’ve ever wondered about wine legs—those beautiful streaks that form on the sides of your wine glass after you give it a swirl—you’re not alone. In fact, wine legs are often a conversational topic among both novice and well-schooled wine lovers and while some wine drinkers may wax poetic about their meaning, there’s more science than mystery when it comes to deciphering their meaning.

Not surprisingly, wine legs—or, as the French call them, wine tears, have a long history dating back several centuries and like any mysterious occurrence, it didn’t take long for the scientists to arrive on the scene in order to come up with a rational explanation.

Wine legs are the result of a complex process that occurs between alcohol content, evaporation, and the surface tension between the alcohol and the water content in a wine. This effect was first noted by James Thomson in 1855 and later, the phenomenon was furthered studied by both the Italian scientist, Carlos Marangoni and J. Willard Gibbs for whose research the effect was named—The Marangoni-Gibbs Effect. And, while the wine romantics among us may want to believe that the weight and thickness of the legs can tell us the quality of a wine, there’s no supporting evidence to substantiate that claim.

So if wine legs can’t tell us about the quality of wine, why bothering swirling? Swirling wine allows oxygen into the wine and helps to open the flavor profiles and nuances, which makes for a better wine tasting experience. And those legs?  Molecules, droplets, and gravity aside, wine legs are an important part of enjoying wine, too, if for no other reason than their beauty.

Savoring a glass of wine is an artful mix of the science of winemaking and an experience of the senses. So pour yourself a glass, give it a good swirl, and enjoy those legs.