By Jessica Yadegaran
Monday, April 12th, 2010 at 2:57 pm in Corkheads.
I discovered wine, or rather it found me, on the Central Coast. I was in my mid 20s and living a rather simple but happy life in San Luis Obispo. I had my best friend and partner in wine, my newspaper writing job, and dozens of burgeoning appellations around me.
For whatever reason, we felt a kinship to the wines of Paso Robles. They were big and fruity and even though they’re not necessarily the style of wines that grace my table these days, they still represent that fun, adventurous and innovative part of my winetasting journey. Paso Robles is a very important region in terms of American Rhone blends. And even after 180 bonded wineries, the people in the vineyards and those behind the tasting room bars still have an ease and unpretentiousness that seals my love for this region.
If you haven’t made it down to Paso in a while you’re in luck. The vintners are coming to us on April 22. The Consumer Grand Tasting runs from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Quadrus Conference Center in Menlo Park. There will be appetizers and more than 150 wines to taste. For tickets, visit the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance. Some of my longstanding favorites from the region: J. Lohr, Justin, Wild Horse.
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit about Paso Robles is that 58 percent of the grapes grown there are sold to wineries outside of the area. They are found in dozens of Napa Valley wines, which raises interesting questions about value and ageability, all of which will surely come up when Sunset Magazine wine editor Sara Schneider gives a talk on Paso wines from 1 to 2 p.m. that same day in the same location.