|Sorry for the blurry iPhone pictures!|
Monday, April 16, 2012
Paso Robles Grand Tasting
Last Wednesday, H and I attended the Paso Robles Grand Tasting event at the Hotel Palomar downtown DC. A couple of weeks ago, I saw on Twitter that the We Love DC blog was giving away 2 tickets...so we both entered...and H won!
When we arrived, we checked in, grabbed a glass, and headed into the very crowded room. They had the wineries set up around the perimeter of the room, all with a little sign with their name. There were about 30 wineries represented at the event - some had their wine makers there, some the sales/marketing person from the winery, and some had a local distributor. They actually had 2 rooms because not everyone fit in the first one... Also there were some cheese and charcuterie trays set up in 2 spots in the room - right where the columns in the first photo are.
Since we typically aren't fans of wine festivals and big crowds like this one, at first it was a bit overwhelming. We didn't know a lot of the wineries, but recognized a few and decided to start there. We ended up visiting 6 tables, but I'm going to tell you about our 3 favorites.
We stopped at Tablas Creek first. They are owned by Perrin & Fils, the same group who owns La Vieille Ferme from a past Wine Wednesday. We certainly enjoyed talking to their distributor and tasting the 3 wines he had with him.
Next we stopped and talked with Ted Plemons, one of the partners at Cass Winery. He was fantastic, and so were his wines. They make primarily Rhone varietals, and we loved tasting his wines and talking to him. He had a line at his table most of the night!
After visiting with him, he sent us to meet Sherman Thacher, from Thacher Winery. They are a relatively newer, boutique winery focusing on Rhone blends and Zinfandels. He was great too, really nice and fun to talk to. His wines were delicious also!
The actual ticket price was $60 each, and I'm definitely glad that we didn't spend that amount (although, isn't that easy to say when you get anything for free?!). The wines were good, and it was nice to have such a large number of wineries to choose from...but the small amount of food was a little disappointing. Some of the information we had read indicated there would be cheese and hors d'oeuvres, but there really wasn't. It was fine for us, but if I'd paid the full price, I would have been a little underwhelmed.
Overall it was a nice event, and I'm glad we were able to attend. I'm so glad we found Cass and Thacher, and got to know Tablas Creek a little better. I will certainly be on the lookout for their wines on restaurants' lists and in stores! And Paso Robles might need to be added to the list for next wine region to visit!
Posted by Lindsey Baker