A Weekend of Wine and Fun for Everyone
This year’s 29th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival was a fabulous event and a fantastic weekend of exploring the fine wines produced by the local vintners and wineries of the Central Coast of California. Paso Robles and the surrounding counties, which is well known for it’s plethora of beautifully scenic locations and for it’s wonderful agriculture is considered the place to grow the best grapes possible. Many of the local wineries have produced some of the best known award winning wines recognized around the world, and this year’s selections is no exception.
I personally tasted over 200 different varieties, Red and White, from outstanding wineries, such as Ortman Family Wines, Still Waters, Vina Robles, Arroyo Robles, Halter Ranch, Justin Wines and so many more. Paso Robles is home to over 275 Wineries, Tasting Rooms and Growers Ranches that make the area the ideal for both the wine industry and the community.
In addition to a vast choice of wines to sample, there were many booths that were hosted by the fine food/epicurean dealers and restaurateurs of Paso Robles – Cheese Makers, Farm Service Providers and Growers. This is an event that not only supports the wine industry, but all of the community businesses and services. Paso Robles is the kind of town that has managed to grow with the times but still retain the charm and elegance of “The Old Days”, a simpler time when you knew your neighbors by their first name and you could sit on the porch and watch the world go by with a smile, in short, an American Town, a place to call home.
While at the festival, I had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing the hosts of the very popular radio show about wine called “The Cork Dorks”, Adam Montiel and Jeremy West host this fun and freaky show that talk about the wines of the central coast with a humorous note, not to take themselves or the appreciation too seriously has made them the “go to” guys of wine.
“The Cork Dorks” are on Krush 92.5 FM which streams live on the internet. Jeremy an Adam are very well versed on the community and the wineries and had this to say about their radio station, their show and the community: “KRUSH is an interesting type of station as that it blends the Singer / Songwriter style of music with the California Wine Lifestyle, it’s really about getting down to who the winemakers is and what they are about, we get to know them and show them as a person, not just what they sell”, said Adam Montiel. Jeremy West pointed out “There is a multitude of winemakers who just love what they do and want to bring that same love of wine to the community with an industry that is designed to support the community”. Adam then added “We mix music, community and a love of life”. The Cork Dorks takes their irreverent spin on living life to the air and makes the daily drive time fun.
The day was well rounded by a special cooking demonstration with Chef Mark Sullivan of Spruce, a very popular restaurant in San Francisco. This was Chef Sullivan’s 2nd year doing demonstrations and the final product was delicious. Chef Sullivan stated he loves the Town of Paso Robles, its people and its natural charm and wanted to prepare a special dish for this year’s fair patrons, a dish that reflected the natural and wholesome charm of the community. The dish prepared was a Farroto (a grain much like Risotto, but creamy in texture) finished with Morel Mushrooms, braised spring vegetables and finished in a sherry wine stock. The chef then added “I would pair this with a light to medium bodied Red Wine like a Pinot or Merlot, something light but a fair bit of acidity to cut the rich creamy flavor, or a rich white, like a Chardonnay”.
We then went on to talk about his restaurant, Spruce, located at 3640 Sacramento Street in San Francisco, is a modern fine dining restaurant that has a family friendly, health conscious menu, but also has a unique atmosphere with an elegant yet warm and inviting décor, it is the toast of the town.
I will admit, it is sad that the 29th Annual Paso Robles Wine Festival was only one weekend long and it has passed, but I look forward to next year’s event with excited anticipation and I await the next year’s selection of fine wine temptations. To you, Paso Robles, I raise my glass and hope to see it filled once more.