What's great in wine, beer, fine dining,
places to stay, & places to visit
in California State

Thursday, 21 July 2016 14:31

Paso Robles Named Best Wine Country Town

Paso Robles glasses and barrels PicmonkeyCourtesy of Paso Robles Wine Country AllianceTASTE News Service, July 21, 2016 - Sunset Magazine has named named Paso Robles as Anerica's Best Wine Country Town in their 2016 Travel Awards.

The region’s winemakers, restaurateurs and hoteliers are said to be thrilled to be held in the highest regard among some of the West’s most recognized wine producing regions.

Monday, 18 July 2016 15:45

The Santa Barbara County Appellation

SB Co Wine Map PicmonkeySeveral separate wine regions (AVAs) are located within the County

TASTE News Service, July 18, 2096 - As a wine region, Santa Barbara County offers an impressive range of wines in distinctive styles, and from a wealth of various grape varieties.

The region also carries fantastic long-term potential for continued evolution of both style and quality.

Pebble Concours 2015 winner Picmonkey 2015's Best of Show, the 1924 Isotta Fraschini

By Dan Clarke

June 28, 2016 – Even though the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is still nearly two months away, a heads-up may be timely. Car buffs not terribly deeply-pocketed may need time to adjust their budgets.

Saturday, 21 May 2016 13:04

May 20, 2015 Wine Pick of the Week

Treana Red 2013 bottle Picmonkey

 

 

2013 Treana Red

 

Hope Family Wines

Paso Robles

Alcohol: 14.5%

Suggested Retail: $45

Saturday, 14 May 2016 13:57

May 13, 2016 Beer Pick of the Week

Firestone Pale 31 Picmonkey

Pale 31

 

Firestone-Walker Brewery

Paso Robles, California

Style: California Pale Ale

Alcohol: 4.9%

IBUs: 38

Serving Style: 12-ounce cans, 12 and 22-ounce bottles and kegs (our sample from draft)

Availability: Throughout the West and most of the U.S.

Friday, 04 March 2016 12:13

March 4, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Ecluse Ensemble Picmonkey

2013 Ensemble

 

Ḗcluse Wines & Lock Vineyard

Paso Robles

Alcohol 14.9%

Suggested Retail: $44

 

“This week’s ‘Pick’ is the product of Steve and Pam Lock, who’ve been growing fruit for other wineries for most of the last two decades. When the quality of their grapes became obvious when vinified by others, the Locks began to make a small quantity of wine under their own label. They’re red wine specialists and on their Central Coast vineyards they produce grapes native to Bordeaux and France’s Rhône Valley. They also grow Zinfandel, a relatively All-American variety. Their wines are bottled under the Écluse label, which references the French word for their surname, Lock.

Saturday, 27 February 2016 12:31

February 26, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Riverbench Claim Juper Rose Picmonkey

2014 Claim Jumper Rosé

 

Riverbench

Santa Maria Valley

Alcohol: 12.1%

Suggested Retail: $42

 

“This sparkling wine is made in the méthode Champenoise from 100% Pinot Noir grapes that were estate grown in the Santa Maria Valley of Santa Barbara County. The location on California’s Central Coast receives considerable marine influence and is cooler than many realize. As such, it is prime growing country for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Saturday, 13 February 2016 18:07

February 12, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Ecluse 2 Picmonkey

2013 Cabernet Sauvignon

 

Écluse Wines & Lock Vineyard

Paso Robles

Alcohol: 14.9%

Suggested Retail: $40

 

“In spite of its French-sounding name, this week’s wine ‘Pick’ comes from some very good red wine country on California’s Central Coast. Écluse is actually the French equivalent of the surname of the owners of Écluse Wines & Lock Vineyard, Steve and Pam Lock.

Saturday, 06 February 2016 22:53

February 5, 2016 Wine Pick of the Week

Ecluse Rendition Picmonkey

2013 Rendition

 

Écluse Wines & Lock Vineyard

Paso Robles

Alcohol: 15.2%

Suggested Retail: $38

 

“Rendition, the identity Écluse gave to the wine we’ve chosen as this week’s ‘Pick,’ is what’s called a ‘proprietary name.’ The custom in America is to label wines by the name of the predominant grape used. Under current law, this means 75% or more of such variety. But what if a winery makes a wine that contains less than that percentage of an easily-identifiable grape variety? A wine that is mostly Cabernet Sauvignon—but less than the magical 75% standard—would have to be called ‘Meritage’ or something as prosaic as just a 'red wine' if not given one of these proprietary names.

Saturday, 16 January 2016 16:36

January 15, 2016 Beer Pick of the Week

Firestone Pivo Pils Picmonkey

Pivo Hoppy Pils

 

Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Paso Robles, CA

Style: Dry-hopped Pilsner

Alcohol: 5.3%

IBU’s: 40

Serving Style: Six-packs of cans or bottles, kegs (our sample from draft)

Availability: Widely distributed on the West Coast

 

Appearance:   “Brilliant straw or light golden color. Big, frothy white head.”

Aroma:   “For a pilsner it’s quite floral and hoppy on the nose, but in a really good way. There’s also some citrus when you waft the glass by your face a second time.”

Taste:   “There’s a wonderful balance here. You still get a generous amount of hops, but it’s offset by the malt. The good carbonation gives your mouth an almost sparkley feeling. Finishes crisp and clean.”

Food Affinity:   “Sautéed sand dabs with freshly made coleslaw. Simple schnitzel served with lemon wedges. Salted Marcona almonds with rosemary.”

    --Guest reviewer Ginny Austin is a restaurant consultant in the San Francisco Bay Area

Page 3 of 9