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Blog for Third Street Wine Shop in La Verne. Wine tasting tips, buying guides and winemaker insights.

Old and New Favorites in Paso

Once in a while, Mary and Jim get a chance to sneak away and taste some wine. Below is Mary's take on their brief trip this fall to their favorite region: Paso Robles.

Mary and Jim at one of their tasting stops!

Mary and Jim at one of their tasting stops!

While traveling through California’s Central Coast a week or so ago, we stopped to taste at some old favorites, and investigated some new offerings, too. That’s the great thing about wine - there are all different styles and levels of wine, and you will probably find something from each category to like. For instance, Tobin James has always been a favorite tasting spot. There are some terrific bargains and some special big wines, too. Now, not every winery has “bargains” - it seems that more and more the wines are all $40 and up. Some we visited start at about $70. Very nice wines, but not great for Tuesday night spaghetti. So, for our “weekday wines”, we like to have a bottle or two in the $20 range. Then, if you find something that really captures your palate (like the Le Vigne Reserve Merlot), its so nice to have that on hand for your Sunday pot roast or grilled veggies and garlic bread.

We’ve found that sometimes you grow tired of a particular winery, and you pass it by for a while. Then, when you go back, thinking you’ll trudge through the same old tasting they always had, your eyes and tastebuds pop open in surprise! New winemaker?  Different grapes? Weather changes? You find you are trying a much better version of that same old wine. Or the current vintage is much fuller, fruitier, smoother or just tastier than how you remember the previous wine. Or maybe they are even producing a different varietal now. The moral of the story is that in the wine world, things do change. Often for the better, too. The increased number of wineries and wine drinkers means that the competition to sell that bottle of wine has become more intense, resulting in improved products. So, if you’ve given up on a certain label, you might want to give it another try. And there certainly will be lovely countryside and new wineries to try when you hit the wine country – some major perks of being a wine lover!
Shale Oak: one of those new favorites, perhaps? Matt is dying to try it... #VWphotobomb

Shale Oak: one of those new favorites, perhaps? Matt is dying to try it... #VWphotobomb