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.