We swear, it’s not what it sounds like! These brow-raising wine terms may sound ridiculous, funny or downright absurd, but we assure you they do cross the lips of many a Paso Robles winemaker. We’re mature enough not to giggle when we hear these phrases uttered on a tour of the barrel-room (well, sometimes), but perhaps you will let out a guffaw (we don’t blame you). Don’t be alarmed. We assure you, there is a very good explanation for our brash tone. Plus, it’s TSFW (totally safe for work).
1. “Bung Hole”
Say what? Your mind may race to 1990s MTV cartoon slackers Beavis and Butthead (and their annoying yet infectious chortles), but we can promise you (pinkie swear) that Paso Robles winemakers use this term in a totally unfunny way. A “bung hole” is far from anyone’s derrière. It’s simply the opening in a cask in which wine can be put in or taken out. Extra points for keeping a straight face while you say this one.
Casks aplenty: Let’s get serious. The elegant, rich reds produced by Seven Oxen Estate Wines are delicious when paired with good conversation, good steak, and perhaps a little friendly laughter. Try their 2013 Zinfandel, which features ripe red fruit, subtle vanilla, and an oak finish. (This is an awesome micro-winery.)
Quick and easy mapping and directions to Seven Oxen
2. “Wine Thief”
Stop, thief! Sure, there’s probably criminals out there who manage to get themselves arrested for commandeering truckloads of premium wine (a scary thought for us boutique wine lovers out there). A “wine thief,” in reality, is a very commonly used tool that works almost like a turkey baster to extract wine from a barrel. Truly, we are very grateful for all the wine thieves out there: They allow winemakers (and us) to taste what’s sitting in the barrel long before the wine has matured.
Barrels of fun: Book a private vineyard and barrel tour at Pelletiere and perhaps get a sneak peek taste of the coming vintage. We promise, you won’t get caught red-handed. (Talented vintner, winemaker and vineyard manager are all women!)
Quick and easy mapping and directions to Pelletiere
This one just sounds silly—or perhaps like some new up-and-coming hip hop star (Lil Leesy has a nice ring to it, no?). Actually, it is a funny-sounding tasting term for the rich aroma that can result from wine “resting on its lees.” What is the lees, you ask? Take a look at the bottom of a bottle of natural/unfiltered wine. It’s simply the sediment consisting of dead yeast cells, grape pulp, seed, and other grape matter that accumulates during fermentation. Sounds gross, but it makes wine amazing.
A natural approach: Lone Madrone winery produces terroir driven wines that showcase the true character of Westside Paso Robles soil—sediment and all. Book a tasting room flight and enjoy five outstanding wines sourced from a choice selection of celebrated sustainable and dry farmed vineyards. (Winemaker and co-owner, Neil Collins, was voted winemaker of the year by his Paso winemaker peers!)
Quick and easy mapping and directions to Lone Madrone
Foxy lady? No, we’re not coming on to you. If a winemaker starts throwing words like “foxy” around the tasting room, just keep your cool and rest assured he or she is merely describing the musty odor and flavor of wines made from vitis labrusca, a common North American varietal. No shade to this grape, but most winemakers would not want their wines to share “foxy” characteristics, even if you’d prefer to be described that way.
And now for something completely different: There’s absolutely nothing musty about this bright white, which is as clear as a summer day in Paso. Écluse Wines’ 2016 Prelude Rhone Style Blend showcases aromas of peach, tropical fruit, and a hint of honey. A glimmer of citrus and pineapple round out it’s totally fresh appeal. (Écluse supports eye-seeing dogs with their “Blind Dog” red blend, thumbs up!)
Quick and easy mapping and directions to Écluse Wines
5. Cellar Rat
Before your skin starts crawling…We are not talking about those flea-bitten miscreants that plague our attics on occasion. They are, in fact, the upstanding (and very, very hardworking people) who work in the wine cellars of most wineries. Commonly known as one of the lowest jobs on the totem pole (due to the low light, humidity, and never-ending dirty work). However, this position is not anything to be ashamed of. These folks are only lovingly called “rats,” and they are often known to work their way all the way up to the title of award winning winemaker. Sure, it’s more favorable to work in the fresh air of the vineyard, but we all have to start somewhere, right?
From the cellar to stellar: Respected boutique Paso Robles winery Bodega de Edgar was started by a self-proclaimed “Cellar Rat” who went on to learn all aspects of the wine industry. His enthusiasm only grew, and so did his fans. Now Bodega de Edgar produces nearly 2,500 cases of fabulous Spanish style wines each year. (Edgar’s passion shines through in all of his outstanding wines.)
Quick and easy mapping and directions to Bodega de Edgar
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.
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®
Treat yourself to the ultimate Paso Robles wine country experience by booking your stay at The Inn at Opolo Vineyards. Guests enjoy our luxurious, spacious rooms and all of the sensory pleasures of Paso Robles in one destination. TOUR VIRTUALLY
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 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
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.