It’s beginning to feel a lot like fall! Kids are zipping up their backpacks, the days are getting a little bit shorter, and Halloween stuff (and, in some frightening cases, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations) has taken over seasonal aisles across this great land. In Paso, it still might be 90 degrees, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the changing of the seasons in our summer bathing suits. Here’s five good rituals—wine included—that will help you get into that chilly autumn state of mind. That’s right folks, it’s time to put down the white wine spritzer and say hello to luscious, Paso Reds. As hard as it is to let go of summer, we can all grab a glass and toast to this sumptuous seasonal switch!
Curl Up with Aromatic Beef Stew
Of all the aromas we fill our houses with each fall and winter—cinnamon, cloves, gravy, Douglas Fir—the best scent of all has to be beef stew that’s been sitting on the stove all day. Officially commence a cozy family hangout session with this easy crock-pot stew paired with Cayucos Cellars 2008 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, which brings to mind black currant jam and warm spices (so wintery!). The best part: Just do a little prep the night before, and in a few hours your entire home will be remarkably filled with the earthy scent of herbs, spices, and savory fall-off-the-bone beef! Who doesn’t love coming home to that kind of reception?
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/CayucosCellars
You may think it’s too soon for pumpkin carving, but…and I’ll just put this lightly…you’re wrong! Head to Jack Creek Farms on Oct. 1 for Pumpkin Palooza and pick up a variety of striped, bumpy, and white pumpkins (the heirloom varieties are exciting, aren’t they?). Be sure to pick up a few pumpkins for baking, too—and this is key. They’ll look super adorable on your porch, and once they start looking slightly less adorable they will be ready for baking into Thanksgiving pies! Speaking of pumpkin pie, I recommend pairing any fall sweet treat with JUSTIN Winery’s berry-licious, savory 2012 Obtuse dessert wine.
Mapping and Directions : speedfind.com/JustinWine
Tuck into a Good Book
Summer reading lists are a joke in Paso Robles! There’s just way too much to do, see, taste, and explore during those long, balmy summer nights. Now that fall is creeping in, dust off a few good reads you meant to read on the beach and get cracking. I like to brew a nice pot of ginger tea for full fall effect. If you have a sleepy dog or cat that enjoys lap snoozing, you are seriously set for a quintessential fall night. Want to get even cozier? Top it all off with a piece of dreamy dark chocolate and a sip of Chronic Cellar’s 2014 Suite Petite, which warms the senses with cigar spice, sweet cherry, and brown sugar notes.
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/ChronicCellarsWinery
Ignite that Seasonal Spark
Something magical happens when you spark a flame, whether in your fireplace or in your backyard. Feel the crackle of a warm fire dancing on your skin while you make big plans for the holiday season ahead (or just reflect on what a great summer you’ve led). No fireplace? Fall-scented candles reminiscent of cardamom and clove can also add an alluring flicker to a temperate fall night. Get things really roaring with a bottle of dinner-approved Eberle Winery Full Boar Red, a mix of cab, barbera, touriga, and mourvedre that tastes of spice, blueberries, and black cherry.
Mapping and Directions: speedfind.com/EberleWinery
Celebrate the Autumn Equinox
Chances are, you haven’t given much though to the autumn equinox, which signals the exact time when day and night are approximately equal all over the planet. Rituals like these create more than wonder about our world—they allow us to take a step back and think about the time that’s passed. Mark your calendar for Sept. 22 and plan a special gathering, or just hunker down with the fam. A few good ideas: Cut back end of summer foliage in the garden while thinking about the changing seasons (and what you’ll be planting for winter suppers); create a scrapbook or Pinterest board of summer memories and share it with your loved ones; spread out a thick, wool blanket and look up at the night sky as the refreshing wind dances across your face. Tip: Stargazing is even more mystical when paired with Hearst Ranch Winery’s 2013 Cabernet Franc “Lone Tree,” brimming with toasted French oak, tobacco, and dark stone fruit.
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.
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.