Wednesday, September 21, 2011


It's getting to look a lot like HARVEST TIME IN PASO!

Just a quick trip for us this time up to Paso and back!

Starting out by pouring at Epoch Estate Winery with Stephanie and Christina, is just too much fun and sets the mood for the rest of our time in Paso.  Having the opportunity to pour wine, talk wine, drink wine, make new friends and then share a wonderful evening with them over wine and dinner, is priceless. Especially being able to sample one of Epoch's soon to be released new wines, Sensibility...ABSOLUTELY YUMMY!  A sensible blend dominated by 75% Grenache!  Be certain to order it upon release, it's sure not to last too long.  Nick and Dawn, Tom and Jillian and Rebecca and Ethan are three of the most delightful couples that my wife and I had the pleasure to drink and dine with this past weekend.

and...what can I say about Daniel Daou and Daou Vineyards?  Certainly not enough.  Gracious and affable host Daniel spent a good part of the morning touring us around his facility.  I am amazed at what I constantly learn about what goes into making a truly premium wine.  The picking, the equipment, the process, the barrels...and most of all....the true passion!  And Daniel's soon to be finished Tasting Room!  "WOW" doesn't even start to do justice in describing it.  You can already feel the warmth and intimacy that all will experience while sipping and looking out over what must be the most incredible view in the entire region.  That...coupled with the brilliant wines Daou makes (my current favorites being Celestus, a true celestial experience, and the unfortunately, unavailable except in my cellar Syrah)---are certain to put a smile on everyone's face.  We are still basking in the afterglow.  Be certain to plan to visit Daou's Tasting room sometime soon after their Grand Opening in late October.

And a special "Thank you" to Robert at L'Aventure for tasting us through their wonderful 2009 line-up.  While Optimus continues to be (IMO) the flagship----the 2009 Estate Cuvee is just....well...."indescribably delicious."  This blend of Syrah, Cabernet and Petite Verdot gives off an array of fireworks in your mouth, coupled with a silky, seductive blend of changing flavors and a finish that just does not want to quit.  Try it if you can.....I don't want to spoil the surprise by giving too much away.

As to food:  A trip to Paso just wouldn't be complete without a trip to Il Cortile.  Santos never fails to delight our senses with his creativity....yummmmm.   A gourmet treat in Cayucos is Cass House.  My, oh My!  A 4-course tasting menu (which actually was a 6 course menu) spread over about 3 hours of conversation and good wine, was worth every penny.  And if you want to be truly evil....take a trip next door to the Brown Butter Cookie House.....but watch your waistline---it's easy to get carried away sampling the delicious sea salt cookies (and then buying) their many delectible hand crafted varieties.

A last wine note:  Our new friends Ethan and Rebecca brought to dinner at Cass House a 2006 Vinoterra - Kisi (Kakheti).  This is a Georgian (the country, not the state of) white....which is as different, unusual, interesting and tantalizing as anything I have ever tasted.  Golden (like the sun) in color, with hints of dry hay, apricot, and nuts...the flavors kept changing as the wine opened up....truly a new winederful eperience.

Although this was just a quick trip....we are already looking forward to our next.....during Paderewski Fest in November.

Please...feel free to send me a comment, forward my blog to a friend, post it on your FB page...and drink good wine!

So...until next time, I leave you with this thought,

I am beauty and love;

I am friendship, the comforter;

I am that which forgives and forgets.

The Spirit of Wine.
W.E. Henley, British writer (1849-1903)

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