Pairings in Paso: Venteux Vineyards Estate Syrah with Spicy Chipotle Jam

by Tina Swithin

I refuse to brag about the fact that it was 68 degrees today in Paso Robles (it’s January!).  Maybe I am bragging just a bit but honestly, can you blame me?  What is one to do when faced with spectacular weather in the dead of winter?  I know what I do: wine tasting, of course!  I took a jaunt down the road to Templeton because I’ve been wanting to try out a few wineries that are new to me.

I had the pleasure of visiting Venteux Vineyards and while I was there, I picked up a bottle of their fabulous 2007 Estate Syrah.  Their beautiful, modern-rustic tasting room is located on Las Tablas Road in Templeton and you will probably find me there quite often after today’s visit.  Bobbi Stelzle, co-owner of Venteux Vineyards was kind enough to share a favorite family recipe with me.  “We have a very simple, but great recipe that works well with so many things.  We use it for wine & cheese in the afternoons and we’ve also used it for Hospice du Rhone weekend with lamb hash and rustic toast for brunch”, explains Bobbi.  She had me at “wine and cheese”.  After a quick stop at Trader Joes, I was excited to get home and put it to the test. Continue reading

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Pairings in Paso: Spicy Hummus and Le Cuvier Chardonnay

by Tina Swithin

I wear several hats for the Travel Paso Robles Alliance but one of my favorite jobs is scouting around for new and exciting recipes.  With over 200 local wineries and the best restaurants this side of the Mississippi, I have an endless supply of artisan delights right at my fingertips.  I am one lucky lady!

Being that the holidays are behind us, I have been on the hunt for recipes that are a little bit lighter and more nutritious.  I have had my fill (and then some) of turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and everything else that graces a Thanksgiving Day table.  Throughout the year, I tend to lean towards foods that are on the  healthy side.  I am a huge fan of hummus so you can imagine my delight when I stumbled upon this Curry Spiced Hummus recipe from Le Cuvier Winery in Paso Robles.  I couldn’t wait to get home and try it! And here’s the recipe: Continue reading

by Danika Reed, Vivant Fine Cheese

Hello Cheese Lovers!

When I sit down to collect my thoughts and begin to prepare for the upcoming Holiday season, I get an overwhelming feeling of comfort, which makes me appreciate the rich life we enjoy because we live on the Central Coast of California.  Many of my friends are sharing their daily feelings of thanks online.  I find it uplifting and inspiring to read the simple everyday things people are thankful for and that I most often take for granted.  As we settle into a season of family and friends, my first thoughts focus on food and of course CHEESE!!  Many of the customers who frequent Vivant Fine Cheese inquire about what the cheese girls’ favorite cheeses are right now. We definitely have our favorites.  They usually change seasonally and sometimes daily.  Our favorites right now mostly revolve around recipe ideas.  We love to share our cheesy recipes with anyone who will listen.  Two that we think are quick, easy and perfect for your Thanksgiving appetizer table are Baked Brie en Croute and Baked Bucheron.  Each of these warm gooey treats are easily increased in size depending on how many guests you are entertaining and will make you the talk of the neighborhood for years to come! Continue reading

Pairings in Paso: JK Wine’s Viognier and Artisan’s Shrimp

by Tina Swithin, Travel Paso Robles Alliance

“All four elements were happening in equal measure – the cuisine, the wine, the service, and the overall ambience. It taught me that dining could happen at a spiritual level” – Charles Trotter.

Katin_07viognierThe 2011 Sunset Savor the Central Coast embodied all of these things: fabulous wine, cuisine, people and ambiance.  I am left reminiscing about the delicious food and phenomenal wine that I was lucky enough to partake in.  I am also left remembering the new friends that I made through this event.  One such person was Justin Kahler, Winemaker at JK Wine Company who introduced me to a fabulous Viognier which I am excited to share with you.

Traditionally, when “pairing”, you select a dish and then choose a wine to compliment the dish.  Sometimes, I like to do things unconventionally.  I’m going to go out on a limb and be completely honest: I don’t like to follow rules.  Wine should be fun and food & wine pairing should be a delightful experience.  It only took a few “tastes” of Justin Kahler’s 2009 Viognier for me to select it as the October Pairings in Paso.  You can imagine my delight when Justin presented me with a recipe which turned out to be a dish from one of my favorite Paso Robles restaurants: Artisan. Serendipity at its most delicious.  Continue reading