When it comes to wine tasting, are you really in it to win it? Do you have a game plan? Are you armed with the right info? If not, you may find yourself not quite getting the full Paso Wine experience. You don’t have to have a sommelier’s lingo or an encyclopedic knowledge of the Paso Robles wine region to get in on this action—we promise! This spring, try these five easy-to-follow tips for getting the most out of every wine you swirl. Because when it comes to wine tasting (and most things in life), easier is always better.
Relinquish the Wheel
Although it’s truly noble to volunteer for the role of designated driver, why not leave the worry to a professional? That way, your whole group can enjoy the wine tasting fun without fretting over traversing (or navigating) Paso’s winding backroads. Setting up a bachelorette party, birthday bash, or simple double date getaway for you, your spouse, and your favorite couple? Give Pearl of Paso Limousine service a call (not only do they offer the most luxurious limo in town—the prices are very reasonable). Take it from us: Paso’s gorgeous green hillsides are all the more scenic when you’re able to sit back, relax, and enjoy the view.
The beauty of Paso Robles isn’t in its massive, corporate winery scene—it’s in the smaller, more laid back operations that radiate with authenticity and warmth. We say, seek out these boutique wineries where you can taste and feel the passion of winemaking and spend quality time with people behind the bar (FYI: Those people might just be the owners or winemakers). In fact, more often than not, you’ll get a person-to-person chat about this year’s vintage, quality of the fruit, and interesting behind-the scenes intel. All you have to do is belly up the bar!
Don’t Forget the Box
This sounds super obvious, but you’d be surprised how many veteran wine tasters forget this tiny step. Before you make a dash for the tasting rooms of your choice, be sure to pack a cardboard box that will keep your precious wine purchases secure while en route. No one wants bottles rolling all over the place, and it would totally ruin your day of blissful sipping if you got a splash of red wine all over those sweet leather seats.
Soak it Up
Sip and be merry, but don’t forget to eat! It’s easy to get so excited about the next taste that you forget that you haven’t had a peck since breakfast. Pack a picnic, or plan to stop at a swath of wineries that serve amazing, gourmet spreads. Way before you start feel light headed, stop for a nice, carb-laden nosh followed by a full bottle of H20. Nothing’s worse that realizing you’ve forgotten the last three wines you tasted because you’ve been running on empty. Great Paso wine lunch stops include Cello Ristorante & Bar at Allegretto Vineyard Resort, Cass Vineyard and Winery, Hearst Ranch Winery, Lone Madrone, Opolo Vineyards, Oso Libre, Seven Oxen Estate Wines, the Restaurant at JUSTIN, Tooth and Nail Winery and Wine Boss Lounge. Click here to plan your foodie stop today.
Mapping and Directions to Cello Ristorante & Bar: speedfind.com/Allegretto
Mapping and Directions to Cass Vineyard & Winery: speedfind.com/CassWinery
Mapping and Directions to Hearst Ranch Winery, Jack Ranch Café, Cholame: speedfind.com/HearstRanch
Mapping and Directions to Hearst Ranch Winery, Sebastian’s Café, San Simeon: speedfind.com/HearstRanchWinery
Mapping and Directions to Lone Madrone: speedfind.com/LoneMadrone
Mapping and Directions to Opolo Vineyards: speedfind.com/OpoloVineyards
Mapping and Directions to Oso Libre: speedfind.com/OsoLibreWinery
Mapping and Directions to Seven Oxen Estate Wines: speedfind.com/SevenOxen
Mapping and Directions to The Restaurant at JUSTIN: speedfind.com/JustinWine
Mapping and Directions to Tooth and Nail Winery: speedfind.com/ToothAndNail
Mapping and Directions to Wine Boss Lounge: speedfind.com/WineBoss
This is a big one. These days, social media begs us to try and do everything, right now… but let’s face it: there’s no way you can be everywhere at once. It may be tempting to hop from Westside to Eastside, break for lunch in downtown Paso, then cruise up Highway 1 and back again. But this type of a wild, crisscrossing route is extremely unrealistic, not to mention a little dizzying. Instead of dividing your attention between many different areas, stick to exploring one aspect of the region where you can hit a few great places within a reasonable radius. Check out a range of itineraries here, and happy trails to you!
This blog was written by Hayley Thomas Cain, food and wine writer for SLO New Times and PasoRoblesWineries.net. You can reach her at [email protected] or follow her on instagram @flavorslo.
If you’re looking for a place to spend the night in Paso Robles, checkout:
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.
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.
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.
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®
Experience the pristine countryside of Paso Robles Wine Country at 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.
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.