Tuesday, December 6, 2016

The Gift of Wine

Holidays, weddings, anniversaries, and birthdays are all special events that require a thoughtful and unique gift—exactly the sort that membership in the Paso Robles Wine Club can provide. 

Most gifts are quick to excite and easy to forget, but with regular shipments of award winning wines from the Paso Robles AVA, your gift will be remembered and savored long after the special event has passed.

You can 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.
  • 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.

Membership in the Paso Robles Wine Club comes with many other benefits, including:
  • 15% discount on current releases
  • 20% discount on all case reorders
  • 20% off all Wine Wrangler Tours
Don’t wait any longer to sign up for the Paso Robles Wine Club that selects and ships wines from over 300 wineries in the Paso Robles AVA. Your shipments are guaranteed to arrive in excellent condition and will never include bulk, closeout, or private label wines.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Wine Corks Explained

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Wine Corks
Perceptive wine drinkers all along California’s Central Coast have noticed that their favorite wines often come with two distinctly different wine tops—the classic cork stopper and the fairly new arrival, the screw top. Members of The Paso Robles Wine Club often receive shipments of wine with both types of bottle toppers and quite often, the question arises if one is better than the other. So to better answer the question, today’s post will look at both and provide a little history along the way.

Interestingly enough, the screw top, as it’s commonly referred, was invented in the 1950s by the French. However, traditionalists by nature, the screw top never gained popularity amongst the French winemakers and instead, was commonly used in the United States as the bottle closure of choice on some of the lowest priced wines in the market—think Boones’ Farm and Mad Dog 20/20.

In 1970, a company called Australian Consolidated Industries acquired the manufacture rights, renaming the screw top closure, Stevlin. Of course, back then, the Australian winemaking industry was a sleeping giant and winemaking was the sort of agricultural hobby that happened in conjunction with farming, and then, amongst family and friends.

Then in 2005, a group of winemakers in Australia’s Clare Valley decided to put the screw top to the test and collectively bottled 250,000 bottles with the screw top. The following year, with great anticipation, they decided to check the wine to see how it was aging; they found the wine was aging so well that they couldn’t discern a difference between the screw top and the cork. Thus, the Australian’s led the way in bringing public acceptance to screw cap wines.

Well, that is, just about everywhere, but among luxury winemakers—and drinkers—who still have reservations about the screw top. The cork, of course, has deep roots in winemaking and for many people, the ritual of using a wine opener to pull a cork is part of savoring the experience.
The introduction of the cork came by way of the Benedictine monks, or more specifically, Dom Perignon, who was looking to replace the commonly used wooden stoppers with something that wouldn’t regularly pop out of the bottle. Cork was widely available and plentiful. Made from the bark of Cork Oaks, native to Mediterranean regions, corks quickly replaced the wooden stoppers and were embraced by wine makers.

While the debate still rages on whether screw tops or corks are better, aside from personal preference, here are some guidelines: white wines and those red wines that are meant to be drank very young, are perfectly suited to the screw top. However, for big wines that are better with a little age, the cork allows for a little oxygen, perfect for softening tannins.

To sample a variety of unique and boutique wines produced in Paso Robles Wine Country, join The Paso Robles Wine Club and you’ll receive regular shipments of wine—some with screw tops, and others with corks—and all, perfectly suited for enjoying with family and friends.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

All About Reds

Learn More About Red Wines

When it comes to wine tasting, whether you’re tooling around the Paso Robles Wine Region on a wine tasting tour with The Wine Wrangler or curled up on your sofa with your latest wine shipment from the Paso Robles Wine Club, knowing about the different varietals will give you a better appreciation of wine.

Read on to learn more about the top 5 red varietals and their flavor profiles:

Mourvedre: This Native from Spain is a winner with most wine drinkers who fall in love with its earthiness and flavors of chocolate, coffee and mint.

Zinfandel: A staple in Paso Robles, this varietal thrives in a climate that has hot days and cool nights. Flavors range from intense blackberry and black pepper to anise.

Petite Sirah: This varietal also goes by the name durif and originates from France. When ripened, the small, intensely colored berries are herbaceous with flavors of blueberry and licorice. This varietal is particularly suited to a dry climate and hot weather, making it a favorite in the Paso Robles Wine Region.

Syrah: In 2004, this varietal was the 7th most grown grape in the world. This hardy varietal is prized for its flavors of chocolate and spice, anise, leather and jam.

Grenache: This varietal arrived in California in the 1860s and has been a favorite ever since. A vigorous grower, it’s particularly suited to a hot dry environment. Flavors include intense fruit, menthol and black pepper.

Expanding your knowledge about the different varietals and their flavor profiles can enhance the wine tasting experience. The next time you’re out tasting wine—whether on your own or with The Wine Wrangler, look for these varietals and the common flavors they add to wine.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Winning Wines at The California Mid State Fair

How Winning Wines are Selected at The Mid State Fair
If you’ve been to the California Mid State Fair, you’ve most likely seen the Central Coast Wine Competition. The competition is open to local wineries and both the “Gold Medal” and “Best of…” wines are on display for the public to see. The winning wines are then shown at 4 other county fairs: the Monterey County Fair, the San Benito County Fair, the Santa Barbara County Fair, and the Ventura County Fair. The additional exposure helps market the award winning wines, promotes the tasting rooms, and gives wine lovers the chance to hear the story behind the winners.

Historically, one of the reasons people attended the county fair was to discover new products--and wine was no exception. California’s wine history dates back to the 1800s—well before media outlets were in place to introduce wine to people. Back then, the fair was just about the only place a winemaker could share the fruits of his labor.

After Prohibition, county fairs were instrumental in helping the wine industry regain its footing and they still play an important role. Today, the county fair helps promote local wineries, showcase local wines produced in a region, and helps guide the consumer in choosing wines.

The Paso Robles Wine Club has a similar goal. As a member, you’ll enjoy tasting through a variety of award winning wines from the Paso Robles AVA, but we go the extra mile by selecting wines from boutique producers who are still too small to show up at the Mid State Fair. In fact, membership in our wine club means that you’ll taste local wines that most locals won’t even get to taste. And, if you discover one that you really love, we’ll go the extra mile and ship more your way. Join our wine club today, and start tasting the best the region has to offer.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Choosing the Right White Wine

Let The Paso Robles Wine Club Help You Find the Right Wine
Many of our Paso Robles Wine Club Members first learn about us when they take a wine tour with our sister company, The Wine Wrangler. Based in Paso Robles, The WineWrangler offers both social and private tours throughout the beautiful Paso Robles AVA. It’s no wonder that so many people fall in love with California’s Central Coast—rolling hills dotted with vineyards and oak, pastoral backroads, and ocean vistas. We think our area is one of the best places to venture off the main road and find an idyllic picnic spot.

If you’re on a wine tour with The Wine Wrangler, your expert guide will lead you to the perfect spot and if you choose, provide you with a gourmet deli style lunch, but if your picnic basket is at the ready and you’re venturing off on your own, you might be looking for a few suggestions of the best white wines to take along.

Summer weather on California’s Central Coast can be a little warm, so choosing a white wine to accompany your picnic fare, might be best.

Here are a few recommendations:

Chardonnay: Full-bodied and velvety, Chardonnay ranges from nuanced oak, butter and caramel, with notes of melon, coconut and vanilla. Pairing well with cheese and fruit, it’s also good served alongside dense bread and cured meats.

Sauvignon Blanc: Herbaceous and grassy with notes of green apple, white peach, and apricot, 
Sauvignon pairs well with fresh cheeses—feta and chevre—pasta salad, and antipasto.

Moscato: Sweet and musky with the flavors of roses, peaches, orange and honeysuckle, Moscato is excellent when served with fresh cheeses, fruit and desserts.

Beautiful scenery and world class wines make Paso Robles Wine Country the perfect place to enjoy a picnic. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wines to Drink with Your Burgers

Enjoy Your Burger with The Paso Robles Wine Club
Paso Robles Wine Country is the perfect place for wine and food lovers and for members of The Paso Robles Wine Club a new wine shipment usually means it’s time to invite friends and family over for a wine and food pairing. Once summer arrives, though, it’s all about taking the fun outdoors, firing up the grill, popping a cork, kicking off your shoes and kicking back and enjoying the season.
One of the most popular items to throw on the grill on a summer’s day is a burger and on the California’s Central Coast we have just the wine to pair with your favorite. So whether you prefer a meaty Hearst Ranch beef burger, a hearty lamb burger, a juicy turkey burger, a succulent salmon burger, or a delicious veggie burger, read on for the best wines to pair with your burger.

Classic Cheeseburger: Not many people can resist this all American classic and when made with Hearst Ranch Beef, sharp cheddar cheese, and a brioche bun, all resistance goes by the wayside. Pair this delectable combination with classic Paso Robles Zinfandel.

Lamb Burger: We can’t decide what the best thing is about a grilled lamb burger—the succulent, moist meat or the grassy, herbaceous flavor, but one thing we do know—this burger rocks when paired with a glass of Grenache.

Turkey Burger: Even well past Thanksgiving, it’s pretty easy to find locally raised turkey to make this California classic. Top with thick slices of heirloom tomatoes, red onion, and avocado and pile onto a grilled bun. Pour a glass of fruity Pinot Noir and put your feet up.

Salmon Burger: A summertime favorite, salmon burgers pair well with many things growing in your garden—corn, tomatoes, tarragon—and a range of wines. Our favorite, though, is a glass of chilled rosé and if you can swing it, a place to sit where you can dig your toes into the sand and watch the sun set over the Pacific Ocean.

Veggie Burger: Far too often, when it comes to pairing food and wine, the vegetarian options get left out, but veggie burgers pair well with wine, too. Choosing the right wine will depend on what kind of veggie burger you’re putting on the grill—grain or bean-based, Portobello mushroom—and whether or not you’re putting cheese on it, but two of our favorite wines to pair are Riesling or rosé.

Summer’s here and there’s no better time to celebrate the burger—or enjoy a glass or wine—so fire up the grill, open up your wine shipment from The Paso Robles Wine Club and enjoy!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Pretty in Pink: Summer Rosé

Enjoy Rosé with The Paso Robles Wine Club
For wine lovers up and down California’s Central Coast, there’s nothing that says summer quite like a glass of rosé--that light, refreshing, and easy sipping blush wine that seems to be ever so popular this year. But for many people who visit Paso Robles Wine Country for a weekend of wine tasting, they are often confused about where rosé comes from and how it’s made.

Rosé is made in the same manner as any wine and gets its coloring from the grape skins. Depending on how much color the wine maker decides to impart to the wine is the determining factor in how much of the must will be used in the final product. In general, rosé can range in coloring from the palest of pinks to an almost orange color.

Rosé is incredibly popular during the warm summer months as it pairs well with the lighter foods of summer. Additionally, it’s easy to drink and refreshing.

Here are a few favorites:

Mourvèdre Rosé: This rosé is beautifully coral in coloring with nuances of violet and rose, cherries, and even smoke. This is a great wine to pair with grilled lamb burgers on brioche for an elegant and tasty summer BBQ.

Pinot Noir Rosé: With its beautiful coloring and fruit flavorings—think raspberries and strawberries—this light rosé is perfect served with steamed crabs or a side of fresh Pacific Salmon grilled to perfection.

Grenache Rosé: Here’s a rosé with good body, nuances of cherries, apricots, and raspberry, hints of orange and even earthy, mineral qualities. It’s refreshing and goes fabulously with a plate of sliced meats and cheeses and a French bread. Bring this beauty along on your next picnic.

If you haven’t ventured into rosé, there’s no better time than summer to give them a try. They’re perfect with summer food, easy to drink, and the little hint of pink is sure to put a smile on your face. As a member of the Paso Robles Wine Club, you’ll receive regular shipments of wines form Paso Robles Wine Country giving you the perfect way to try wines from our area—even a few rosés.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wine and Food Pairing: Creamy Pasta and Viognier

Enjoy Food and Wine Pairing with The Paso Robles Wine Club
California’s Central Coast is one of the fastest growing wine regions in the state, primarily due to the Mediterranean climate typical of Paso Robles Wine Country. At The Paso Robles Wine Club, we chose wines to share with our wine club members from both bigger well-known wineries and those smaller boutique wineries. One of the benefits of joining The Paso Robles Wine Club is that the regular wine shipments include harder to find wines from the Paso Robles AVA, making it possible to enjoy great wines from the area with friends and family. Better yet, the opportunity pair these wines with foods for an incredible experience.

One of the wine varietals that does well on California’s Central Coast is Viognier (which is pronounced “vee-own-ya). Originating in the South of France, viogniers can either be light and lean or creamy with nuances of vanilla, nutmeg, honeysuckle, tangerine, and floral notes. Since this varietal does especially well in warm sunny regions, it’s perfectly suited to the weather in the Paso Robles Wine Country. The grapes do best in regions with cool nights, another win for the Central Coast.

A favorite of ours—Ranchero Cellars Viognier—the genius of winemaker Amy Butler. The Ranchero Cellars Viognier is herbal and floral with notes of green Jasmine tea, peach, apricot, and apple. This is the perfect wine to serve with a creamy pasta primavera. Here’s a recipe to get you started:

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Santa Maria Style BBQ and Central Coast Wines

Enjoy Santa Maria-Style BBQ with The Paso Robles Wine Club
On California’s Central Coast the weather is almost nice enough to enjoy BBQ season all year long and for members of The PasoRobles Wine Club, of the most enjoyable food and wine pairings is to pair Santa Maria style BBQ tri tip with a hearty red wine from Paso Robles Wine Country. While it might seem coincidental that so many of the wines produced on California’s Central Coast pair well with this local favorite, we like to remind our wine club members that wine is an agricultural product and since it’s part of the terroir of the region, it tends to go well with what we eat, too.

Santa Maria-style BBQ is deeply rooted in the history of California’s Central Coast throughout the Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and Santa Barbara—and it’s popular throughout California and beyond. Santa Maria BBQ is tri-tip seasoned with a blend of black pepper, garlic, and salt and then grilled over red oak, or coast live oak. Traditionally, Santa Maria BBQ is cooked on a large iron grill with a crank handle that allows the pit master to raise and lower the meat until it’s cooked to perfection, but on the Central Coast, most people cook their Santa Maria BBQ right in their own backyard on a kettle grill.

You can pick up all the ingredients for this favorite at your neighborhood grocery store, including the seasoning mix and red oak. Here are a few of our favorite wines to sip on while cooking and eating Santa Maria-style BBQ:

Pinot Noir: This can be a perfect match for Santa Maria-style BBQ, especially if you find one with plenty of terroir—nuances of mushroom, meat, leather, and even barnyard—but, of course, a good balance of fruit, especially cherry, and a bit of floral.

Cabernet: Thought the Central Coast isn’t known for its Cabernets, we produce plenty of good ones here and are particularly full-bodied with dark fruit and black pepper.

Syrah: Intense in flavor, with overtones of black pepper and dark fruits—think black currant and blackberry—this hearty wine was born for BBQ.

Join The Paso Robles Wine Club today and you’ll receive regular shipments of wines from the Paso Robles Wine Region that are hand-selected and delivered to your door. You’ll enjoy pairing the wines with your favorite foods and sharing your discoveries with both friends and family. Want to make your own Santa Maria-style BBQ? Here’s a recipe: Santa Maria-style BBQ from Bobby Flay, Food Network star. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Wine and Food Pairings: Rendarrio Vineyards

Wine and Food Pairings with The Paso Robles Wine Club
The Paso Robles Wine Club is different than other wine clubs. Our focus is on showcasing wines from the Paso Robles Wine Region and we like to help promote small, boutique wineries from Paso Robles Wine County that might not otherwise get the recognition that can help them succeed. It’s win-win situation for everyone; the small producers get a shout out and our wine club members get to drink great wine.

Coming up in our next wine club shipment—wines by Rendarrio Vineyards. Here’s a little more information about Rendarrio Vineyards and food pairings that will enhance your experience.
Rendarrio Vineyards is owned by winemaker Ryan Render, a graduate of Cal Poly University. In 1999, Render had a life changing experience when he visited Chateauneuf du Pape in the Rhone region of southeastern France and vowed that one day he would make Rhone-style wines using grapes from the Paso Robles Wine Region. Flash forward a few years to 2003 and Render’s dream was in the process of becoming a reality. Today, Rendarrio Vineyards produces several small production Rhone-style wines that pair perfectly with food.

Here are two favorites and recipes to enjoy with a glass—or two:

2013 Town Crier Chardonnay: Aromas of apple, honeycomb, Meyer lemon, and creme brûlée lead off this wine. Balanced acidity, mid palate volume, and an elongated finish help this wine to be enjoyed by all.
Pair with:

Halibut with Charred Tomatoes

4 (6-ounce) halibut fillets, skinned
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 cups cherry, pear, or grape tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
Oregano leaves (optional)


1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle fish with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Add fish; cook 1 minute. Add wine; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 7 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
2. Heat a small skillet over high heat. Combine tomatoes and oil. Add to pan; cook 3 minutes or until lightly charred and beginning to soften.
3. Place 1 fillet in each of 4 shallow bowls; spoon cooking liquid evenly over fillets. Divide tomatoes among servings. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and dill. Garnish with oregano, if desired.

2013 “The Rocker “ Cabernet Sauvignon Clare Ranch Paso Robles: The 2013 vintage was again a classic vintage for Paso Robles. The warm days and cool nights provided the ideal growing conditions for this Cabernet. Bright black cherry fruit, gracious mid pallet and elegant silky smooth tannins. 180 cases produced.

Pair with:

BBQ Pork Ribs

(From Chowhound)

For the ribs:
3 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 teaspoons ground mustard
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 full racks baby back pork ribs (about 5 to 6 pounds)

For the barbecue sauce:

1 1/2 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1/4 cup light or dark molasses (not blackstrap)
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons paprika

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Art and Wine Pairings

Art and Wine with The Paso Robles Wine Club
This weekend Paso Robles will attract art lovers in droves as they arrive to take part in the annual Paso Robles Art Festival. But, Paso Robles Wine Country is also home to over 200 wineries--many that feature local artists--so it's the perfect time to combine the pleasures of art with wine tasting. Members of The Paso Robles Wine Club often tour with us at The Wine Wrangler because we offer a range of wine tasting tours and as you visit the tasting rooms, you'll also get a chance to check our some amazing artists and their works.

Many art lovers enjoy visiting the Paso Robles Art Gallery on the downtown square, but until they go wine tasting with us, they don’t realize the wealth of art that is available for viewing at many of the tasting rooms—or that they can take our Hearst Castle tour and check out William Randolph Hearst’s incredible art collection.

Art and wine lovers rejoice! Here are 3 tasting rooms with great art and the wines to drink while you visit:

Sculptera: Before you even set foot in the tasting room, you’ll be welcomed by the art. Ironworker and blacksmith, Robert Bently’s unique vision and exceptional craft is evident in the gates and ironwork (you can see more of his work around the county, including at the Carlton Hotel in Atascadero). However, it just might be renowned sculptor, J. Jagger’s 20,000 pound granite “Puma” that greets you on your arrival that really gets your attention. Other pieces to note are the recently completed works in stainless steel and glass by resident sculptor, Dale Evers
To Drink: Grenache with notes of wild cherry, boysenberry, melon, and guava.

Castoro CellarsWell-known for their commitment to showcasing local artists and artwork, a stop by Castoro Cellars on any given month will feature a solo exhibit. This weekend, check out the exhibit Under the Sun featuring artists Marisa Todd, Dr. Jill Thayer, and Roger Lee. 
To Drink: Petite Sirah--The Darkness--an inky black wine with notes of coffee, blackberry, leather, and bay.

Vina RoblesLooking to create your own masterpiece? Then a join in the fun at Vina Robles where they regularly offer painting classes—expertly paired with wine and food—in their Hospitality Center.
To Drink: The Rhone-style Roseum, with notes of strawberry, cranberry, rhubarb, and honey.

There’s no shortage of art in the Paso Robles Wine Country, and for the art lover in all of us, being able to enjoy tasting the local wines while taking in some local art is a real winner. As a member of The Paso Robles Wine Club, you'll receive regular shipments of Paso Robles wines shipped right to your door, but to enjoy the Paso Robles Wine Country art scene, you'll need to hit the road. The WineWrangler can help you plan a personalized wine tasting tour that will give you a chance to savor both the beauty of the vine and the canvas.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

3 Benefits of Attending a Wine Festival

Taste More Wines with The Paso Robles Wine Club
This weekend many Paso Robles Wine Club Members will enjoy tasting wine as the 34th annual Paso Robles Wine Festival kicks off in downtown Paso Robles, showcasing many of the nearly 200 wineries that call Paso Robles Wine Country home. In recent years, California’s Central Coast has gained recognition, especially after Wine Enthusiast named Paso Robles the wine region of the year in 2013.

As in years past, wine lovers from all over the California—even the world—will attend the Paso Robles Wine Festival. While wine tasting is the main draw, there are many things to learn at a wine festival that can help you develop a better palate, while learning about the many wines produced in Paso Robles.

Here are 3 benefits of attending a wine festival:

You’ll Taste More Wines: Most people attend a wine festival for the purpose of tasting more wines, and it’s a good way to go about learning about the wines produced in an area without having to travel from one winery to another. However, tasting more wines can stress your palate and very quickly, you can go numb, unable to pick out the nuances of a wine. If you monitor yourself, sip water between tastings, and spit more than you swallow, you’ll stay focused and learn more.

You’ll Meet Winemakers: Going wine tasting usually means going to a tasting room and learning about the wines from the tasting room staff and while most tasting room attendants are well-trained and knowledgeable about their wines, there’s nothing quite like learning about wines from the person who makes them. At a wine festival, you’ll meet the winemakers, learn about the process, the vineyards, the soil, and the intent. All of this, of course, will make you a better taster.

You’ll Enjoy the Camaraderie: Wine tasting and drinking wine is a social event. We often forget, but we shouldn’t, that wine is an agricultural product, produced and refined through a process that includes managing the land, caring for the grapes, harvesting the fruit, and the winemaker’s education and expertise in coaxing the grapes to produce the best wine possible. Sharing wine with people who you know well and those you’ve just met is to share the process. It’s also a great way to talk with others and to learn from their palates and expertise, as well.

Attending the Paso Robles Wine Festival can be an educational experience and once you’ve learned more about the wines produced in Paso Robles Wine Country, you’ll want to taste more wines. Membership in the Paso Robles Wine Club will allow you to do just that by receiving regular shipments of hand-selected wines from the area. You can enjoy the wines in your own home, with friends and family, and continue learning about wines from California’s Central Coast.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Lesson on Chardonnay

Enjoy Chardonnay with The Paso Robles Wine Club

With nearly 200 wineries on California’s Central Coast, Paso Robles Wine Country is a great place for both visitors and locals to learn about wine. A Paso Robles Wine Club Membership, provides the opportunity to taste some of the best wines from our area, while learning about various types and styles of wine. It’s no wonder that Paso Robles is a popular destination for people who are interested in advancing their palates by going wine tasting and it’s true—to learn the most about wine, one needs to taste wine.

One of the most popular grape varietals is Chardonnay, which first originated in the Burgundy region of France, but is now grown worldwide. Chardonnay is a green, thin skinned grape that does best in a limestone or chalk soil and depending on the climate, can vary widely in taste. Grown in colder climates, it’s fresh—crisp and lean, while in warmer climates, such as that on California’s Central Coast, the flavors are more tropical and include mango, banana, and melon.

What to serve with Chardonnay:

Chardonnay is a versatile as it is reliable and with warmer weather just around the corner, Chardonnay pairs exceptionally well with the seasonal menu and is affordable at every price point. Pair it as follows:

Chablis: Wine is truly an agricultural product, well-evidenced by Chablis which has a characteristic mineral quality due to the limestone and chalk soils that the Chardonnay vines thrive on and if the origin is French, can have discernable nuances of lemon, making it perfect to pair with oysters. However, Chablis—no matter the origin—it well-paired with raw or lightly grilled seafood and other delicate dishes.

Fruity Chardonnay: Pair Chardonnay with notes of peaches and melons, or tropical fruits, such as ripe bananas, pineapple, and mango with salmon, chicken salads with fruit, even ham and cheese sandwiches.

Oaked Chardonnay: Perfect for the cooler autumn weather and delicious with pumpkin ravioli, grilled veal chops, rich fish, and cheddar cheese. Oaked Chardonnays also go well with late summer vegetables, too, including, corn and red peppers.

Learning about grape varietals is part of developing your wine palate. One of the best ways to learn which wines pair best with various dishes is to taste as many different wines as you can and the best way to do that is by joining The Paso Robles Wine Club. You’ll receive regular shipments of Chardonnay, and other wines from the Paso Robles Wine Region that are hand-selected and delivered to your door. You’ll enjoy pairing the wines with your favorite foods and sharing your discoveries with both friends and family.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Wines for Your Cinco de Mayo Party

Join the Party with The Paso Robles Wine Club
Celebrating Cinco de Mayo on California’s Central Coast and throughout Paso Robles Wine Country is a tradition for both locals and visitors. When it comes to making a toast, most people might instinctively reach for a beer or a margarita, but this year, you might want to celebrate by opening a bottle of wine. Paso Robles Wine Club members are in luck, because in each shipment, they receive wines from the Paso Robles Wine Region that are perfect for pairing with food—even classic Mexican fare.

Paso Robles, California is home to nearly 200 wineries. Named Wine Region of the Year by Wine Spectator Magazine, and located halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, California’s Central Coast is a busy place that draws wine lovers from near and far. Winemaking dates back several centuries and while it might not be well known, the oldest winery in the Americas is located in Parras de la Fuente in the Northern Mexico state of Coahuila. Casa Madero started producing wines in 1597 and to this day, the Mexican people continue to enjoy wine with their meals.

Here are a few Cinco de Mayo favorites and the wines to pair with them:

Enchiladas: Everyone loves this dish of warm corn tortillas stuffed with shredded chicken or beef and topped with a slightly spicy red sauce, covered with cheese and baked until golden and bubbly. The best wine to pair with this Mexican classic is a Tempranillo Rosè.

Fish Tacos: Classic with white fish, these are even more sumptuous done with fresh salmon, charred to perfection over an open flame. Pile into warm corn tortillas with shredded cabbage, cilantro, diced red onion and a spoonful of chunky cherry salsa. Serve with a Central Coast Pinot Noir—the spicy oak and red fruits will pick up the nuances of the charred fish beautifully.

Nachos: The proverbial blank slate of your Cinco de Mayo party. Nachos start with a layer of crunchy corn chips and from there, can go in any direction you’d like. We like to top ours with handfuls of succulent carnitas topped with shredded jack cheese. Pour yourself a glass of Grenache and kick back for an enjoyable meal.

This year, Celebrate Cinco de Mayo by pairing your favorite Mexican—or Tex Mex—dishes with wines from California’s Central Coast and the Paso Robles Wine Country. Membership in the Paso Robles Wine Club is free and you’ll be able to choose from several packages that allow you to control the number of wines shipped. With the Paso Robles Wine Club, you’ll enjoy pairing wines with your favorite foods and celebrating with friends and family—all year long.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

All In a Day’s Work: Linne Calodo

Membership in The Paso Robles Wine Club Pairs Beautifully with Your Favorite Foods

Running the top wine club on California’s Central Coast is definitely a job with benefits, but when it comes to picking unique wines from Paso Robles Wine Country to include in The Paso Robles Wine Club shipments, it means doing a lot of wine tasting. It doesn’t much sound like working, but when we taste wines to include in The Paso Robles Wine Club shipments, we take our work seriously because we want our wine members to enjoy the wines as much as we do. Our initial tastings are done without food, but once our notes are complete, there’s nothing more that we enjoy doing than pairing Paso Robles Wines with food.

This past weekend, we enjoyed a vertical tasting of Linne Calodo’s Nemesis, so we thought we’d share a few notes about the wines, along with dishes to pair them.

Nemesis 2011: Delicious, big, and well-crafted. This wine is the perfect match for Lamb Gyros on pitas with garlicky yogurt (87% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 3% Grenache).

 Nemesis 2010: Bacon fat, cocoa, and boysenberries will lure you deeper and deeper into the glass—and you’ll put up zero resistance. Enjoy this beauty with BBQ pork, outdoors, with plenty of napkins (77% Syrah, 18% Mourvèdre, 5% Grenache).

Nemesis 2009: Seductive, alluring, and ever so delicious with nuances of ripe black fruit, graham crackers, and a hint of cigar—all perfect for a fatty rack of lamb roasted to perfection (87% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 3% Grenache).

Nemesis 2007: Your palate will dance when it meets this wine. Blueberry cheesecake on the nose, followed by notes of boysenberry, cola, and roasted meat—all perfectly well paired with either a Hearst Ranch burger grilled to perfection, or pizza with grilled onions, cheese, and aged sausage  (80% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 5% Grenache).

Join the Paso Robles Wine Club today and enjoy unique wines from Paso Robles Wine Country. Membership opens the doors to tasting wines that reflect the region of California’s Central Coast, giving you the opportunity to enjoy world class wines in your own home and to pair them with the foods you love.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Your Guide to Wine Pairing: Artichokes and Asparagus

Pair Wines Like a Pro with The Paso Robles Wine Club
Up and down California’s Central Coast and all through Paso Robles Wine Country, spring has sprung. A quick trip to any of the Farmers Markets from San Luis Obispo, Templeton, and Paso Robles reveals an incredible bounty of farm fresh seasonal vegetables. Two local favorites on the Central Coast—and throughout California—are artichokes and asparagus, but while these vegetables are a delicious reminder of the season, both are notoriously difficult to pair with wine, but with a few tips, you’ll soon be enjoying your Paso Robles Wine Club selections along with your favorite spring vegetables.

Few foods are more difficult to pair with wine than artichokes or asparagus. Artichokes contain a chemical acid called ‘cynarin’ which makes them taste sweeter—especially when paired with wine and asparagus has abundant sulfur compounds (most vegetables do, just not in such high quantities) which can create havoc on the palate, giving off a metallic and vegetal taste that is only magnified by most wines.

So, what to do…here are a few tricks that can help:

Change the flavor profile: Sometimes the best way to overcome a challenge is to change the obstacle. Pairing wines with artichokes or asparagus is difficult because they taste so green, or vegetal, but by grilling, charring, or caramelizing them instead of going with the more traditional steamed or raw preparations, you increase the number of wines that will pair well with them.

Add salt and fat: Never bad culinary advice on its own, adding fat and salt to artichokes and asparagus tones down the overtly vegetal profile and makes them vastly more pair able, not to mention infinitely tastier. So, go ahead and add a Hollandaise sauce to that asparagus or stuff that artichoke with breadcrumbs, cheese, and prosciutto and then open a creamy Chardonnay and enjoy!

Pair Like with Like: A fairly no-fail technique is to pair like flavors with like flavors. For example, pairing a crisp white wine with high acid foods, green wines with green wines, and sweet wines with sweet wines.

Enjoy the bounty of the season, along with the very bestwines of Paso Robles. Our wine club is the perfect accompaniment to any trip to the Farmers Market. The Paso Robles Wine Club is free to join and will allow you to enjoy unique and boutique Paso Robles and Central Coast wines delivered right to your door. 

Now that’s something to celebrate this season.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

A Perfect Wine Pairing

The Paso Robles Wine Club Pairs Well With Cheese
When it comes to the perfect pairing, wine and cheese couldn’t be better suited to each other. Many of our Paso Robles Wine Club members report savoring their wine shipments along with cheese and can’t stop talking about the experience.  Like cheese, wine is an agricultural product and picks up similar nuances of a region, so sipping wine while sampling cheese enhances both. If you’re looking for a new way to enjoy your wine shipment, pairing the wines with cheese might be the perfect solution.

A few pairing ideas:

Pair fresh cheeses with Sauvignon: Soft, creamy fresh cheeses like Feta, Chevre and Burrata taste of fresh milk and are usually tangy. Often, these cheeses are nuanced with grassy, herbaceous undertones. Sauvignon is crisp and fruity and often herbaceous—a perfect compliment.
Chardonnay is a good match for soft ripened cheeses:  Also known as bloomy rind cheeses, these beauties have a oozy texture and mushroomy, tart and tangy profile. Among them: Brie, Camembert, and Robiola. Chardonnay is a great match and enhances any underlying herbal notes in the cheese.
Semi Hard Cheeses are enhanced by Chardonnay: With their low moisture content and crumbly texture, these cheeses are characterized by their sharp, tangy profile—one that’s made more pleasurable paired with a buttery, earthy Chardonnay; the underlying notes of caramel and fruit bring out the best in semi-hard cheeses.

After choosing the cheeses, add in a simple mix of accompaniments—fresh figs, grapes and apples, a selection of water crackers and sliced baguette, and a few handfuls of walnuts or almonds. Selecting the wines is easy when you join the Paso Robles Wine Club. We’ll send regular shipments to you and once you discover wines you like, you can reorder—and they’ll arrive in time for your next wine and cheese pairing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Wine Decanting 101

Learn Wine Decanting with The Paso Robles Wine Club
Pop into any restaurant along California’s Central Coast and throughout Paso Robles Wine Country and you’ll likely see a waiter pouring a bottle of Paso Robles wine into a wine decanter. For anyone not familiar with wine decanting, the process can seem mystical and foreign, but decanting a wine has a clear purpose and anyone can—and should—learn about wine decanting. In fact, many of the wines our PasoRobles Wine Club members receive can benefit from decanting.

One of the most important reasons for decanting a wine it to keep the sediment out of the glass. This helps to ensure a clearer wine and makes for a more enjoyable drinking experience. Sediment is not an issue with younger wines, but older wines often contain more sediment. In decanting an older wine, the bottle should be set upright for 24 hours to allow the sediment to settle in the bottom of the bottle. Then the wine is carefully and slowly poured into a decanter.

Another reason that wine is decanted it to incorporate oxygen. If you’ve ever wondered what the phrase, “let it breathe,” meant, this is it. When wine is exposed to the more air, the wine is aerated; this allows for the wine to “open up” or “loosen up.” This can be very beneficial for a young or tight wine, but decanting a wine can also elevate a lower priced wine, making it taste more expensive. How? Simply by adding oxygen, which works magic on allowing the nuances of the fruit to open up.

Wine decanters come in a variety of styles and shapes and some even have etchings, or other details. Since observing the visual details of wine is as much a part of the tasting experience as anything else, in selecting a decanter, one should opt for clear glass, over the more elaborate designs. And, if you’d like to experiment with wine decanting, but you don’t have a decanter, a simple glass pitcher will do—just make sure that it’s clean and free from any odors or soap residue.

Give wine decanting a try and see how aerating wine can add to a more enjoyable wine tasting experience—and with a membership to The Paso Robles Wine Club, you’ll have a steady selection of wines to decant.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Wine Will Put the Spring Back in Your Step

Better Health is Just a Glass Away with The Paso Robles Wine Club
Wine lover or not, just about everyone has heard about the powerful health benefits of wine and on California’s Central Coast and throughout Paso Robles Wine Country, it’s a truth we embrace—with a full glass. So, if you’d like to shake off the winter doldrums and put a spring back into your step, here are a few good reasons to drink more wine:

It will protect your heart: Wine—especially red wine—is full of antioxidants and flavonoids, most notably, Resveratrol, which increases HDL (the good cholesterol), protects the arteries, lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart attack.

It will make your dentist smile: The same antioxidants and flavonoids that protect your heart can protect your smile, too. Recent studies have shown that grape seed extracts create a ‘slick’ surface on the teeth, preventing cavity causing bacteria from sticking.

It will keep you healthier: It could be that a glass of wine helps strengthen your immunity by giving you time to pause and enjoy life—friends, laughter and a little relaxation, but scientifically, wine can help you fight off the common cold because it contains several flavonoids that work specifically against nasal viruses.

For over a decade, The Paso Robles Wine Club has been helping people enjoy their favorite wines—and discover new ones. We hand-select unique wines from the Paso Robles Wine Country, 2013 Wine Region, and ship them direct to you. Join today and make a toast to good health.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

How to Pick the Right Wine for Your Easter Celebration

Choose the Right Wine Every Time with The Paso Robles Wine Club

Easter comes early this year. California’s Central Coast is bursting with beauty, the spring landscape a feast for the eyes. A glance of the calendar—or a walk down any candy aisle—serves as a quick reminder that Easter is just days away. For members of The Paso Robles Wine Club, you might have a bottle or two set aside for the holiday feast—but, if you’re in need of suggestions of the best wines to pair with your Easter Feast, read on…

The Easter menu can vary widely, depending on family tradition and how many guests you’re planning to serve.

Here are 3 of the more popular options and wines to fit each menu:

Baked Ham: A traditional on the Easter menu, ham comes in many variations from the salty smoked country hams to the more mild and definitely sweeter honey baked hams. No matter the glaze—often tropical or peachy—the main flavor profile of ham is salt. The best way to balance the saltiness is by selecting a fruit forward wine. Chose a fruity Paso Robles Zinfandel or a Pinot to bring out the best in your holiday ham.

Leg or Lamb: Lamb, whether a sizeable leg, roasted in a hot oven, or a rack—perfect for two--coated in bread crumbs and carefully roasted to perfection, often has a starring role on the Easter menu—especially on California’s Central Coast where there’s such a high availability of local lamb. With a characteristic gaminess and earthy profile, lamb is best served with a Paso Robles Cabernet or Zinfandel rich with black fruit—blueberries, blackberries, plum—and the sweetness of violets and rose. For the best match, choose a wine with a little gaminess—a perfect match for the wild and herbaceous flavors of lamb.

Easter Brunch: Always a popular springtime option, an Easter Brunch can be formal or casual and can offer everything from the traditional ham to a mix of seafood, from plump shrimp to delicate salmon. Trying to find the right wine to suite every item—and every palate—is nearly impossible, so the best option is to choose a Paso Robles Rosé. Many people mistakenly think that all Rosés taste the same, but since they’re made from a variety of grapes, they vary in both flavor and profile. Try to select one that will nicely match the majority of your brunch items, such a sweet Zinfandel Rosé, a floral Mourvèdre Rosé, a fruity Sangiovese Rosé or a savory Tempranillo Rosé.

A rite of spring and a most enjoyable affair, the Easter Feast is perfect for trying a new wine, something that members of The Paso Robles Wine Club enjoy throughout the year when they receive their regular shipments of Paso Robles boutique and unique wines, which always includes something to share with family and friends for a special occasion.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

3 Tips on Being a Better Wine Buyer

Buying Wine: The Paso Robles Wine Club 
Journey down any grocery store wine aisle along California’s Central Coast and you’re bound to see at least one—if not more—wine buyers wandering aimlessly, clearly unable to choose a single bottle from the seemingly endless choices. Chances are that you may even be this wine buyer; you know what you like, but when it comes to buying wine, you could use a little help. If you’d really prefer to taste wines without the pressure of having to choose, then joining The PasoRobles Wine Club is a good decision; we’ll send you regular shipments of unique, quality wines from the Paso Robles Wine Region and throughout California’s Central Coast. All you’ll need to do is open the wines and enjoy. In the meantime, for more confident buying while wine shopping, read on.

Here are 3 tips to being a better wine buyer:

Look at the Labels: Of course the labels tell the story about where the wine is made, the winemaker, the vintage, and the varietals, but the wine labels themselves—the art—can give you many clues about the wine, or at least the way it’s meant to be perceived in both the bottle and on the palate. If you like ‘old world wines’ look for labels with pictures of chateaus, castles, or any images or designs that convey a sense of tradition and history. If you tend to prefer newer styles, look for labels that seem more edgy or artsy. While the label isn’t always reflective of the nuances of wine, wineries choose labels that represent their brands, so taking the label into your decision making process can pay off.

Don’t overspend, but don’t underspend either: In many a blind tasting the expensive wines don’t fare better than those that are average priced and too often, people will choose a wine because they associate a higher price with a better wine. While it’s true that it might be a better wine, it might not be a wine that matches your wine palate. Take the pressure off yourself and your wallet by shopping for wines in the $10-$20 price range, that way, if you get one that’s not to your liking, it’s won’t put a major dent in your wine budget.

Step out of your comfort zone: Choosing wine varietals from wineries you’re not familiar with can be frightening, but it can also be a rewarding experience. With over 200 wineries in Paso Robles Wine Country, there are a lot of wines to taste. Even if you went wine tasting every weekend for a year, it would take almost 52 weeks to taste every wine the area has to offer—and that doesn’t include the Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Barbara Wine Country, or Monterrey Wine Country. Keep an open mind; you never know when you’ll discover your next favorite wine.

Finally, don’t forget that you need not wander the wine aisles aimlessly—ask for help. If you can’t find the person in charge of the wine section right away, strike up a conversation with fellow wine buyers. Who knows, you might be able to help each other out with the perfect pick, or at the very least, enjoy a good wine conversation while you’re waiting for guidance.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

How to Become a Better Wine Taster

Become a Better Wine Taster with The Paso Robles Wine Club
All along California’s Central Coast, form Paso Robles Wine Country to the Santa Ynez Valley and beyond, the rolling landscape is awash in the colors of spring. Plum, pear, and apricot trees are in full blossom, wild daffodils and iris peek from every nook and cranny, and the hillsides are carpeted with patterns of yellow, orange, purple, and red wildflowers. Eye candy, to be sure, but there’s no better time than now to use your senses to become a better wine taster. Paso Robles Wine Club members regularly sip hand-selected wines from Paso Robles Wine Country, but to really taste the nuances in wine, you’ve got to work on developing your sense of smell.

Here are a few tips on how to become a better wine taster:

Drink Less; Sip More: Even the best wine tasters in the business can develop a lazy palate. Drinking more wine doesn’t equate to becoming a better wine taster. In fact, it can dull your palate if you aren’t actively thinking about what’s in your glass. Adding to the challenge, the older we get the fewer taste buds we have and the duller our sense of smell. By sipping wine and consciously thinking about it, you’ll trigger the synapses in your brain, increasing your analytical thinking skills, and noticing the nuances of the wine.

Embrace Your Surroundings: Ever been stumped when tasting wine about how those ‘super tasters’ come up with so many spot on adjectives to describe what’s in their glass? It’s true that some people do have very advanced palates, but it’s also true that the more scents and tastes you consciously process, the more adjectives you’ll have to draw from when tasting wine. So, go ahead—stop and smell the flowers, the grass, the earth; the first hour after a good rain—along with everything else in the world. The more you smell—and think about what you’re smelling, the better your gustatory and olfactory senses.

Listen Up: Wine makes conversation flow and that’s a good thing when you’re looking to have fun. But, if you’re trying to learn more about wine and become a better wine taster, you need to be aware and intellectually involved in not only the information the tasting room hosts provide, but also the ‘tasting notes’ of the other wine tasters around you. You won’t taste every nuance in wine, but when someone points something out to you, you will likely have that ‘Ah, ha!” moment of your own. Engaging with other wine tasters and talking about wine will help you develop a better palate.

Enjoy spring in Paso Robles Wine Country. The Wine Wrangler can take you on a memorable wine tasting tour and along the way, you can enjoy the beautiful landscape and witness the vineyards as they awaken from winter and a membership in The Paso Robles Wine Club will bring the best wines of California’s Central Coast right to your door.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Spring Has Sprung: Paso Robles Vineyards

Enjoy Spring with The Paso Robles Wine Club
This year Spring is coming early and all along California’s Central Coast and throughout Paso Robles Wine Country, the vineyards are starting to come alive. Seemingly overnight, the vineyard managers, crews, and winemakers are back at work (although in reality, they never left). The bare bones of the vines begin to show the green of bud break and soon enough, the canopy will explode and the vines will run wild until the fruit forms. 

Spring is a busy time of year in the vineyard—good news for Paso Robles Wine Club members who are looking forward to tasting new vintages in the coming years.

In spring, the dormant vineyard bursts with life and activity and there is much work to be done. Here are some of the things that are happening in the spring vineyard:

Cultivating Fertility: After the winter rains, the greenery needs to be mown. This mowing helps cultivate a fertile soil by adding rich nutrients.

Building Soil Tilth: For many, this may be a foreign concept, but in the vineyard, building soil tilth is the process of cultivating healthy soil to support root growth as well as making sure there is adequate air filtration so that water can move through the soil and reach the roots. Finally, soil tilth is about establishing and maintaining a healthy soil ecosystem that allows the vines to flourish.

Maintaining the Vineyard: Maintenance goes on all year long, but in the spring, the vineyard crew is on high alert for any pests or diseases which could endanger the vines. They’ll also train the shoots for maximum sun exposure, but in general, they won’t pick up their pruning shears until early May.

Work in the vineyards ensures wine lovers everywhere that they will enjoy many good wines in the months to come. As a member of The Paso Robles Wine Club, you’ll enjoy regular shipments of award-winning boutique wines from Paso Robles Wine Country. Each shipment is hand-selected and delivered to your door to enjoy at your leisure with friends and family, or tuck into your cellar for a special occasion.