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.