It's often said (by me and others) that there's never been a better time to be a wine lover. This is true for any number of different reasons, but one that I very much appreciate centers on the initiative that different wine regions around the world are taking to educate and expose their wines to consumers.
For someone looking to either learn a lot about a wine region, or merely discover great new wines from a region they already know, the explosion of regional wine tasting events has been an incredible boon. I sound a bit like a broken record on this topic here at Vinography, but there's just nothing like going to one of these events as a means of educating your palate. You can learn more about a wine region or a grape variety in three hours at one of these tastings than you can in a year of buying an occasional bottle and bringing it home, or a weekend of driving around wine country.
California's Central Coast is one of the state's most diverse (not to mention largest) wine regions, and it offers a dizzying bounty of wines to the intrepid wine explorer. Because of its size, however, it can be a bear to explore on your own. Enter the "Savor the Central Coast" wine extravaganza. This four-day wine and food festival culminates in a grand tasting featuring scores of wineries from Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, and Ventura counties. From the rich red wines of Paso Robles to the steely cool-climate wines of the Santa Maria Valley, there's going to be a lot of great stuff to taste.
In particular, make sure to check out wineries like Palmina, L'Aventure, and Tablas Creek, which are some of my favorites.
The food sounds like it's going to be pretty great at this event too, with dozens of restaurants offering plates and bites.
Finally, there's a ton of seminars, lectures, tours, and other associated activities that I don't have the energy to list here, so go check out the event web site for more details.
2011 Savor the Central Coast Tasting
Saturday and Sunday, October 1 & 2
10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Santa Margarita Ranch
900 Yerba Buena Ave
Atascadero, CA 93422 (map)
Tickets to the event start at $85 for a single day ticket ($150 for two days) and some additional events are $20 supplements. Tickets should be purchased in advance online. Use the discount code: SAVORVINOGRAPHY to get a 20% discount.
The event is offering a free shuttle service from Pismo Beach and Shell Beach, Atascadero, Paso Robles, and San Luis Obispo, so you can avoid parking hassles as well as not worry about your blood alcohol content.
As always, however, you'll get the most out of such tastings if you spit out most of the wine. Tasting is always best done on a full stomach, with lots of water, and after having gotten a good night's sleep. I also recommend wearing darker clothes that may not show an occasionally splash of red wine that can so easily happen at such events.
A wine book like no other. Photographs, essays, and wine recommendations. Learn more.
The Changing Love of Pinot Noir? Vinography Images: Patchwork California Wine Country Macabre The Latitudes and Longitudes of Pinot Noir Vinography Unboxed: Week of March 15th, 2015 Vinography Images: The Rockpile Do You Need to Worry About Arsenic in Your Wine? At What Price, To Kalon? Rhone Rangers Tasting: March 28, Richmond, CA Vinography Images: Happy Tree
Wine Will Never Smell the Same Again: Luca Turin and the Science of Scent Forlorn Hope: The Remarkable Wines of Matthew Rorick Debating Robert Parker At His Invitation Passopisciaro Winery, Etna, Sicily: Current Releases Should We Care What Winemakers Say? The Sweet Taste of Freedom: Austria's Ruster Ausbruch Wines 2009 Burgundy Vintage According to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Charles Banks: The New Man Behind Mayacamas Wine from the Caldera: The Incredible Viticulture of Santorini Why Community Tasting Notes Sites Will Fail Chateau Rayas and the 2012 Vintage of Chateauneuf-du-Pape A Life Indomitable: The Wines of Casal Santa Maria, Portugal Bay Area Bordeaux: Tasting Santa Cruz Mountain Cabernets Forgotten Jewels: Reviving Chile's Old Vine Carignane The First-Timer's Guide to Les Trois Glorieuses of Hospices de Beaune