Savoring a Great Wine Event

[wpg]Out of the cacophany of an exhibition hall, this one featuring a photo op on a surfboard with a wave curling over you, fabulous new cars, and a small, but quiet, hedgehog, it figures the one thing that leapt out at us was the offer of a blind wine tasting.  We were at Savor the Central Coast, a wine and food festival sponsored by Sunset Magazine and highlighting the wineries and restaurants to be found in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo County, in general.

The fair featured the best of the area, including wineries, restaurants, seminars and even a couple backyard gardening displays.

The blind tasting was at the Visit Paso Robles booth and the idea was to highlight the wineries in the area. The idea was to also have some fun and of course, we went right for it. Why? Because blind tastings are a blast.

The idea here was to guess what varietal we were drinking. We came close a couple times, but by the end of the day, we were two for seven. Which should give you an idea just how hard it is to isolate a varietal if you don’t know what it is. The thing is, even if you know what the characteristics of a grape typically are, wines can be made in so many different ways that those characteristics are often either diluted or overshadowed by others. Not to mention the fact, that what one tongue tastes isn’t necessarily the same as what another’s tongue tastes – one of the reasons we try to do our calibration tastings on a regular basis.

The biggest problem we had – besides choosing what wineries to concentrate on – was finding a spit cup. It sounds gross, and indeed, most of these kinds of festivals are geared toward drinking and enjoying as many different wines as possible, as opposed to taking notes for later blog posts. But what we’ve found is that it’s a lot easier to try more wines when you don’t swallow them.

Other highlights included the hedgehog, from the Atascadero Zoo, the lamb tacos – we loved that so many of the restaurants shared the recipes for the goodies they served us – and tasting several wines from Washington State.

Please tell us what you think.