Look at your wine. Now look at mine.
September 14, 2012 12:24 PM   Subscribe

The Most Interesting Wine Man in the World? Maybe. Maybe not. But Paso Wine Man is not from France or Northern California. Paso Wine is from a winemaking region 100 miles west of Bakersfield and 30 miles east of Hearst Castle*. Proud winemakers with a sense of humor who introduced Paso Wine Man with an Old-Spice-esque video for the spring Zinfandel Festival.

* disclaimer: also 30 miles north of me, although I don't know anyone in the Paso Robles wine business and didn't learn of the existence of Paso Wine Man until today. I don't even drink wine, but I do eat strawberries, which just passed wine grapes as the region's top crop. Broccoli is #4 and Avocados #9... go figure.
posted by oneswellfoop (13 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Noooo. People: Paso sucks, and you should never go there, or buy their wines. Leave it all FOR MEEEEEE.
posted by louie at 12:33 PM on September 14, 2012 [5 favorites]

PWM should do a video on the importance of proper cork soaking.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:48 PM on September 14, 2012 [2 favorites]

Interesting selection of mile markers. I wouldn't count Bakersfield and Hearst Castle as key points of reference. In terms of driving, it's ~205 miles from both Los Angeles and San Francisco. There is a LOT of wine in the area, and Paso Wine continues pretty seamlessly into Santa Barbara Wine, with acres of land changing from grazing to vineyards. Delicious, inexpensive wine for all!

But I will agree that Paso kind of sucks. Who throws a fair in the MIDDLE OF SUMMER? I volunteered at a booth one year, when the temperatures got up over 100 degrees by mid day. We were there one day, and questioned why the fair wasn't thrown at the beginning or end of summer, when it's a lot cooler during the day.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:05 PM on September 14, 2012

PWM should do a video on the importance of proper cork soaking.
posted by Blazecock Pileon


"we a-soaked each other's corks at the same time!"
posted by zippy at 1:23 PM on September 14, 2012

Ah, I remember being at a wine pressing party and the subject of Paso Robles came up as a future wine region and I recall this statement, "Paso Robles?! That's cold fusion there, my friend."
posted by jadepearl at 1:26 PM on September 14, 2012

I like Paso Robles wine. My favorites were Dover Canyon, Turley and Linne Calodo back when I passed through there in 2009 (the zinfandels released then from '07 were fantastic). I'm passing by the region again next month and hope to find a few new favorites.

California in general has a lot to offer beyond Napa/Sonoma. In fact, next month's visit is part of a week long drive down the coast.

I'll be in the Russian River Valley, then Sonoma proper, then Napa before driving along the PCH through Monterey and into Paso Robles. Then, as if filthy light thief, mentioned, it's a short trip to the Santa Ynez region where I'll use Solvang as a base of operations before heading into Santa Barbara.

I go to Temecula often enough since it's the easiest to access from Los Angeles so this trip is for points north.
posted by linux at 1:58 PM on September 14, 2012

Turley. That's all I'm going to say.
posted by jeffamaphone at 2:04 PM on September 14, 2012

Vin jaune, Vin de Paille, Sauternes, Amarone, etc. are all infinitely more "interesting". Americans make some exceptionally good wines, and Robert Parker has certainly shed light on the human palate, but afaik the more "interesting" wine still comes from weird traditions.

There are certainly plain silly or outright fraudulent traditions throughout Europe, like Beaujolais and Champagne respectively, that hide weak wine behind the appearance of being "interesting", but they're avoidable.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:19 PM on September 14, 2012

When I wrote 'not Northern California' I was concerned that someone would say "but Paso Robles is 200 miles North of L.A." and I'd have to reply, "no, it's NorthWest of L.A., almost as far West as North because of the weird shape of the California coastline". (Santa Barbara is all south-facing coast, dangit.) And the relative location of Paso to Bakersfield (the southernmost landmark of the Central Valley) seemed the right way to put it for non-Californians. That said, I briefly lived in Visalia (between Fresno & Bakersfield) and since moving to San Luis Obispo, I refuse to lump it into the same "Central California" with the Valley. But also, most of the ways that Paso Robles does suck (and I never said it didn't) it seemed to have in common with, well, Bakersfield. In fact, the biggest thing that struck me about Paso Wine Man was the sense of self-effacing humor which seemed so rare of inland SLO County, and much more the signature of down here where we're unafraid to call it SLOtown and where Weird Al got his start.
posted by oneswellfoop at 2:22 PM on September 14, 2012

That commercial is fantastic in the way that independent attempts at Old Spice Guyesque concentrated awesome rarely are.
posted by 256 at 2:55 PM on September 14, 2012 [1 favorite]

Turley. Indeed. Yes, yes and yes.

And thank you for this delightful post, which I shall claim for my very own when I tell the story in the future.
posted by cccorlew at 4:26 PM on September 14, 2012

I love Paso but all my favorite wineries keep going out of business! First Silverstone, then Ortman...all I can say is that Anglim better stick around until I get back there.

Also, seriously a brilliant campaign.
posted by rednikki at 9:56 PM on September 14, 2012

Paso Robles had maybe two or three wineries when i was growing up. i was blown away last time i was there how wine growing has expanded. my sister and her husband have become wine lovers now and took me on a tasting run through a few vineyards. based on that and the wines from other wineries i've had at their house i have to say i'm not a fan. i find the wines i've had from the area to be over flavored, heavy, low-notes with high tanins, almost ham fisted, unbalanced. i had one really great red wine that was grown in really schisty soil (the lady at the winery showed us a jar of soil from where each grape type was grown). i tasted mostly reds and the whites i had were fairly sweet and thick seeming, granted that could be based on the tastes of my sister and her husband and the 6 or so wineries we visited. all in all there didn't seem to be much subtlety. i imagine Rachel Ray liking it if that's not too dismissive. like i said i haven't had every wine from around there and was steered by people whose wine preferences i don't find particularly sophisticated.

however, i was more than pleasantly surprised a few months ago while on business in San Francisco when i met an old friends' wife at a wine tasting for Mendocino County wines. she works at a winery and i snuck in to surprise her which means i had to go to a lot of tables and drink a lot of wine before i found her. i was really blown away by how great most of the wine i had was. one in particular that i could kick myself for not buying a shit ton of (or at least writing down the name of). i was pretty dismissive going in and am now a convert. actually that whole trip turned me on to white wines in a way i hadn't been before. SF has totally different wine importers than NYC and i had downright amazing Spanish white wines. another place whose wines i had written off because i hadn't had the right ones but the few i do know have let me pick others. all i can say is Rebisaca, a Rias Baixas/ do Ferrero. holy shit.

i would love to know more about California wines but i can't just blindly pick them based on region and grape type like i can with European wines. i
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 11:08 AM on September 15, 2012

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