Valentine’s Day is fast approaching and now is the time to begin planning the ultimate celebration to share with that special someone. Some of us appreciate receiving an expression of love through cards, flowers, and candy. Personally speaking, nothing gives me greater pleasure than when my husband gives a toast with his wine glass, looks into my eyes and thanks me for the love we share.
Whether your plans are to take a special bottle to your favorite restaurant or to stay in for a home-cooked meal, an appropriate bottle of wine will bring a noteworthy element to the occasion. Because my husband and I are home winemakers, we will be choosing an older vintage from our wine cellar. As hobby winemakers, we do not sell to the public. Central California is a mecca for outstanding wine varietals and the producers listed are all located in the Paso Robles AVA (American Viticultural Area).
St. Hilaire Vineyard and Winery, located in Templeton, create complex, qualiity wines, receiving recognition from both local and state competitions. John has been a friend for years and my husband’s mentor, willingly sharing his knowledge for our own wine making endeavors. All wines are barrel aged, bringing out the character of each varietal and the tannins are softened. St. Hilaire has three meritage blends. The 2005 and 2006 Meritage is a Bordeaux style blend of cabernet sauvignon and merlot and sells for $26 per bottle. Blackberry and cherry flavors are evident followed by a smooth lingering, finish. The 2007 Meritage blends cabernet sauvignon, merlot and cabernet franc for a delightful wine with notes of blackberry and spice and can be purchased for $24 per bottle. Taste St. Hilaire wines at Zoller Wine Styling in downtown Paso Robles. Join the online wine club for savings or call John direct.
Cinquain Cellars, located in Paso Robles, specializes in estate-grown Bordeaux, Rhone and Port varieties. The winery is run by Dave and Beth Nagengast and all wines mature for at least 16 months in French, American or Hungarian oak barrels. Being a member of their wine club has given us the opportunity to appreciate some exquisite wines. Cinquain’s 2007 Syrah would be a pleasing addition to your Valentine’s Day meal. This syrah was awarded a gold medal at the 2009 San Francisco International Wine Competition. The color is a deep ruby and flavors of black cherry, black currant and smoke greet the palate. The syrah sells for $41 per bottle and is available for online purchase or join the wine club and save.
Windward Vineyard exclusively specializes in the pinot noir varietal, hand-crafted in the Burgundian-style. Windward is situated on the west side of Paso Robles where cool breezes blow through the Templeton Gap, creating supreme conditions for growing the temperamental pinot noir grape. Ten vintages are available with exemplary notes of wild strawberry and bing cherry, with a velvety, complex finish. Prices range from $36 to $72 a bottle and available for purchase online or local stores.
Mark Goldberg, “The Philosophy Behind Our Pinot Noir”, Windward Vineyard
David and Beth Nagengast, “About Us”, Cinquain Cellars
John Anderson, “Discription”, St. Hilaire Vineyard and Winery