Hang in there Wine Lovers! We’re going to get through this. To boost your jingle factor and endorphins we’re going to take a look at something all of us can get behind, wine and chocolate.
Real chocolate lovers know: there’s nothing better than a rich square crafted just the way you like it. Whether you prefer dark chocolate, semi-sweet morsels or the luscious texture of caramel swirls, there’s a Paso Robles wine to pair with it. Sure, one is great without the other. But—just like with your favorite holiday socks and a roaring fire—together, they’re magic. Here’s 5 Paso Wine and chocolate pairings that’ll wrap your holidays in a layer of sophisticated sweetness.
Pinot Noir and Caramel Chocolate
The earthy allure of a well crafted pinot noir is elevated to fresh heights when paired with a caramel-laced chocolate treat. Sextant sources world-class pinot from the famed Santa Lucia Highlands (cool climate, produces the best Pinot), so you can be sure that your next bottle will turn an average night into a true celebration. The winery’s 2018 Pinot Noir is blessed with raspberry, strawberry and black truffle delights, plus a hint of spicy sage. The best part? The wine’s smooth silky tannins mimmic the smooth caramel texture, sending a little shiver down your spine.
For mapping and directions to Sextant, click here
It’s been said that New World Pinot Noir has much to prove when it comes to rivaling Old World Burgundian reputation. After all, it’s difficult to match centuries of meticulous cataloguing of grand cru vineyards in terms of quality, style, and finesse. …Or, so they say. Behold, the Santa Lucia Highlands have rewritten the catalog of reputation for Pinot Noir. The 2018 vintage features a prominent integration of raspberry, strawberry, and kirsch underscored by black truffles and spicy sage notes. Ample acidity and silky tannins along with an all-world finish result in unmistakable quality, style, and, yes, finesse but branded with Californian provenance.
Syrah and Dark Chocolate
Come to the dark side: A rich, dark syrah finds a true love match in dark chocolatey goodness. Robert Hall Winery is known for crafting classic wines from across the varietal spectrum, but we tend to linger a little longer whenever their sumptuous syrah is uncorked. Why? The winery’s sophisticated 2018 Cavern Select Syrah is awash in brandied cherries, brown sugar and chocolate on the nose (dessert in itself, no?). Flavors of blackberry cobbler and coffee fill out the round, full bodied flavor. In other words, this pairing’s for the grown ups!
For mapping and directions to Robert Hall, click here
The 2018 Cavern Select Syrah has notes of brandied cherries, brown sugar, and chocolate on the nose. Flavors of blackberry cobbler and coffee fill out this round, full bodied wine. The wine has beautiful dusty tannins and a soft lingering finish.
Awards: 93 Points – Blue Lifestyle 2020, 92 Points – Wine Enthusiast, February 2020, Gold Medal/92 Points – Sommelier Challenge International Wine & Spirits Competition, Gold Medal – San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition 2020, Gold Medal/90 Points – Orange County Wine Competition 2019, 90 Points – Connoisseurs’ Guide to California Wine, March 2020
Zinfandel and Semi Sweet Chocolate
Live a little: Semi-sweet chocolate sings when paired with a lively zinfandel. Head to Peachy Canyon Winery for a grand expression of Paso’s heritage varietal that only intensifies with time. This westside favorite is known for sinful zins that range from jammy to spicy to altogether zesty. The winery’s 2018 D Block Zinfandel was crafted to kick your holidays up a notch with powerful clove, allspice, tobacco and a wallop of ripe raspberry yum.
For mapping and directions to Peachy Canyon, click here
100% Estate Fruit from 18 different highly prized clones. Intense clove, allspice, and tobacco. Ripe red raspberries and red currants. Bright and acidic, with cinnamon, cedar, and cassis. Fine tannins and a lingering finish with hints of cacao, bay leaf, and orange peel.
Cab and Non-Sweet Chocolate
Why mess with perfection: A bold cabernet sauvignon enjoys its rightful place as the star of the show when paired with a morsel of non-sweet chocolate. Ditch the sugary confections: cabernet sauvignon brings more than enough fruity flavor to the table. SixMileBridge knows a thing or two about crafting wines that please the crowd. The winery’s 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with demure black currant and lilac on the nose, but shows its true personality on the palate. Get ready for a rush of black cherry, chocolate torte and nutmeg, topped with a citrusy finale. Bravo!
Buy it now…aka, join their exclusive allocation list!
For mapping and directions to Sixmilebridge, click here
80% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Petit Verdot
The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon opens up with black currant, lilac, hickory and wet stones on the nose. The palate packs flavors of black cherry, chocolate torte, and nutmeg into a rich and chewy midpalate. This wine is incredibly focused on the long finish but lightens with a citrusy topnote at the very end.
Viognier and White Chocolate
Let it snow: Some of you out there might be wrinkling your nose at the suggestion of a white chocolate and wine pairing, but trust us. This one is about as delicious as it is festive on your plate! The decadence and over-the-top sweetness of white chocolate is cut by a gloriously acidic viognier. Sculpterra Winery & Sculpture Garden never disappoints when it comes to tantalizing whites that add a bit of whimsy to your meal. The winery’s 2019 Viognier brings bright white peach, cantaloupe, citrus and grapefruit tanginess to the party. Guess we’re having a white Christmas after all.
For mapping and directions to Sculpterra, click here
With deep yellow-tinged gold color in the glass, the 2019 Sculpterra Viognier offers orange blossoms, white peach, cantaloupe and citrus grapefruit flavors with a hint of sweet spice on the nose. The palate offers much of the same with tantalizing textures of matched acidity, and ends with a lingering finish. Strong aromas of marigold and pear mingle perfectly with warm almost earthy spice, gently gripping and finishing with tangy acidity. Overall, it’s an instant Sculpterra classic; it’s exuberant and perfumed, and fills the air with aromas of tropical goodness while ending with sufficient weight and textures. This delightful wine should drink well through 2025.
This blog is written by flavor fiend Hayley Cain. Follow her @flavorslo on Instagram or at astoldbyhayley.com.
Looking for a place to stay in Paso Robles?
The Adelaide Inn is an iconic, locally owned hotel known for its friendly staff and lush landscaping. With spacious rooms and a convenient location close to highway 101 and the event center – home of the California Mid-State Fair – this hotel is a great choice for most travelers. TOUR VIRTUALLY
Majestically set among vineyards, olive groves and fruit baring orchards, the 20-acre Allegretto Vineyard Resort is a world unto itself, offering breathtaking settings that inspire and bring joy to all who choose this memorable wine country haven. Featuring 171 rooms and suites, on-site spa, grand ballroom, wine tasting room, and inspired culinary creations at Cello, the resort’s full service restaurant.
Wouldn’t you love to wake up among the vines? Eden House at Carriage Vineyards Bed & Breakfast is on a real working vineyard and longhorn ranch in the Paso Robles Wine Region. Our rooms overlook vineyards, creeks and oaks, right in the Paso Robles Wine Country of Central California.
Spend an idyllic getaway at Briarwood Cottage at ONX Estate Vineyards in an English-cottage inspired vineyard-side home. Guests may rent rooms in the main cottage, reserve the entire main cottage for a large group, or book the fully equipped apartment. Wake up to peaceful vineyard views and spend twilight hours sipping wine on the back porch of the cottage. It’s a time you won’t quickly forget. Contact us for pricing and availability (see form below). Case, 6 Bottle, and 4 Bottle Collective Members receive preferred pricing.
Hoyt Family Vineyard Retreats Two very cool, tiny houses, designed using fertile imagination and repurposing of materials are located on Hoyt Family Vineyard.
Hampton Inn & Suites Paso Robles is nestled in the Central Coast wine region, home to over 200 wineries, beautiful beaches, mountains and diverse attractions. Relax and revive in a comfortable guest room with all you need for a successful stay. You can count on Hampton to deliver value, consistency and service with a smile. We love having you here®
Enjoy the elegance, style and natural beauty of California’s Central Coast at the JUST Inn®. Surrounded by vineyards, our JUST Inn Suites offer luxurious appointments like fireplaces, Tempur-Pedic®mattresses, Frette linens, hydro-spa tubs, and range in size from 600–1,200 square feet. An overnight stay includes breakfast and a tour of the winery and caves. TOUR VIRTUALLY
La Bellasera Hotel & Suites is an elegant boutique hotel nestled in the heart of Central Coast Wine Country. Influenced by Mediterranean and Italian architecture, the luxurious accommodations reflect the aged sophistication of the Central Coast region and the relaxed nature of the California countryside.
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at chic, sparkling clean Lekai Ranch. Lounge on the porch of your private suite and lose yourself in the tranquility and stunning views of the vineyards and oak studded hills beyond. This vacation rental is located just minutes from some of the most distinguished wineries and a premier olive oil estate, and only 15 minutes from downtown Paso Robles’ restaurants, wineries and shopping. TAKE AN AERIAL TOUR
Oxford Suites Paso Robles You’ll find that from our lobby, our on-site restaurant, to our meeting spaces, to our 101 spacious suites, every space is beautiful + functional as well as comfortable + chic.
Peachy Canyon Guest Inn Sits above Peachy Canyon Winery + acres of vines at Mustang Springs Vineyard. The house has 2 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, living room, family room + panoramic views.
Paso Robles Vacation Rentals, also known as PasoStay.com assists guests in creating memories and wonderful experiences by providing quality privately owned vacation home rentals in Paso Robles Wine Country. With over 90 vacation homes to choose from, small enough for a couple’s romantic getaway to large homes amongst local vineyards and olive orchards, PasoStay.com has the perfect option for you. Feel free to call 805-423-9174 to talk with a local expert or book online at PasoStay.com.