This week we move on from our three-week roost in Santa Barbara and plunge mercilessly northwards, heeding no warning of man or soul, stopping not until we reach the Central Coast, at which point we’ll drink some wine. For the purposes of our tasting, we’re going to define Central Coast as the wine regions immediately north of the town of San Luis Obispo. Some people include Edna Valley and Arroyo Grande in the Central Coast rather than in Santa Barbara (since they’re not in Santa Barbara County), but we grouped them with Santa Barbara because of the similarity of climate and wines produced. The climate of the Central Coast is different — hotter, actually — and the wines grown there are therefore very different…. different varietals, and different tastes. The Central Coast regions we’ll be tasting are Paso Robles and the much smaller region of York Mountain.
When shopping for these wines, expect to find a lot of big, jammy reds, like Zinfandel, Cabernet, and Syrah. The Karen MacNeil book claims that the Zinfandel from Eberle Winery “could do justice to a medieval feast of roasted meats. In most years, it’s a big, masculine bear of a wine.” In a lot of ways, then, this wine is kind of like me. She continues: “…richly suffused with leather, chocolate, raspberry, and cigar box aromas and flavors, changing ever so slightly minute by minute.” I’m sold. In addition, Meridian Vineyards, which I believe is sold in Ralph’s, “makes a slew of very good, well-priced, every night dinner wines.” Oh, also, it’s not just reds on the Central Coast… you can also find Chardonnay and the occasional Riesling. Please bring either red or white, since we’ll only be spending one week here.
It sounds like we’re taking the Santa Barbara trip on the 16th — not this Saturday, but the following Saturday. We can decide on wineries at this week’s meeting, as well as discussing the transportation options (like this alleged “wine trolley”). I’m very pumped.
We’ll be meeting at Leah’s house in Santa Monica. Chill your whites, and we’ll see all of you — ALL of you, please, all eighty of you — on Tuesday night at 9 PM.