You may think you know what a particular California wine region is all about but if it has been three or four years since you’ve visited, chances are, a lot has changed. I personally feel this way about Paso Robles. The last time I wandered around down there I tasted a lot of Rhone blends and big Cabernets, and while the wines were well made, there were only a few that excited me. But that was a number of years ago, and at subsequent large format tastings in San Francisco, I started coming across some very interesting wines carrying the Paso Robles appellation. Natural wines, wines from unusual grape varieties, and a greater diversity of styles within the Rhone genre.
Every vintage brings a new opportunity, and no wine region stands still. I’m overdue for a closer look-see on Paso for sure. Which brings me to the next best thing to a visit: the Grand Tasting Tour. More than 25 wineries are making the trek up to the Bay Area to bring you their wines so they can be enjoyed without the three hour drive.
What’s more they’re bringing cheese and charcuterie, so you won’t have to go hungry as you find out what’s new and tasty in the world of Paso Robles. It’s an event that’s worth leaving work a little early for on a Thursday night!
2016 Paso Robles Grand Tasting Tour
Thursday, July 28th
6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Oakland’s Scottish Rite Center
1547 Lakeside Dr.Oakland, CA 94612
Tickets are a very reasonable $45 apiece, and can be purchased in advance on the event’s web site. I highly recommend taking public transportation to this tasting, both because it’s convenient to BART (Lake Merritt or 12th Street stations) and so you can swallow a little wine if you want to. But I recommend spitting if you’re there to learn!