We find ourselves adrift in a mysterious sea, evoking exotic scents both fresh & pungent swirling about in warm currents. As if awakened from a deep & familiar dream, we rouse to the aromas of baked spices, fragrant herbs & other warm concoctions - cinnamon, butterscotch, lavender, baked cherry, toffee & walnuts. As we swish the wine around the palate: blueberry, Indian spices, ripe juicy raspberry, licorice - all of it come alive in an eddy of confectionary delight. Quite abruptly, a burly fellow, adorned with toque & brandishing a wooden ladle, bounces into our morning nook, holding aloft puff pastries filled with creamy layers of our wildest fantasies. Is this Pinot? Pi-YES! Bottle Price: $28
There’s a word to describe the fear of clowns. We looked it up: coulrophobia, is what it is; & we are just curious enough to wonder if there is an opposite, a word that describes love of clowns. Apparently not, but this wine could define it, because it’s all about embracing clownish fun, the kind of fun that comes from playing with crayons & donning pointy party hats & wolfing down red velvet cake while stomping on balloons just to hear them pop! As one imminently qualified taster said (with consistent notes), this wine “lingers like the best guest at a party.” Aromas of cola & black cherry lead to whiffs of fresh garden herbs like rosemary & thyme, fresh earth, a hint of sandalwood. A bit of waxy texture (there’s those Crayolas again) opens up to a mouthful of flavors: strawberry shortcake, fruit leathers of boysenberry & blackberry, pomegranate, molasses, with just a touch of racy cinnamon. Juicy like watermelon; swarthy, meaty & alluring like Zoltar the Boardwalk Teller. This wine is Tom Hank's grownup wish of being big & silly & living with no fear. Yes, indeed: the best guest at the party. Bottle Price: $30
Marie Antoinette lost her head, which subsequently landed in Paso Robles, but it matters not that the rest of her didn’t make the trip because she still had a nose & palate to enjoy the journey. A whiff of small French hard candies of mixed red & black fruits, touched by a dash of cinnamon stick & pomegranate, a fetching layer of buttered rum & a quick flick of licorice rope, as if a well-hewed cowboy had burst through a candy shop, commencing to shake its saccharine guts about the store. “Tres, tres terroir,” Marie Antoinette exclaims, her head spinning (what else could she possibly spin?). And so starts the twirl & swirl of the deposed Queen & rugged Cowboy. Sour gummy bears flung recklessly about, a shot of sarsaparilla, spoonfuls of black cherry ice cream, dashes of espresso & spiced rum cream cake…Stay in time, now. This wine has a steady finish, though its best to hold on to both your head & saddle.66% Syrah 34 % Grenache- Bottle Price: $33
A long, deep whiff unveils anise, minced meat, chocolate, cola, ginger bread – warm, familiar & cozy, like that Christmas sweater you won’t admit you love more than anything else in the closet (don’t worry, we won’t tell). There are also whiffs of outdoorsy scents: juniper bush, rose petal, forest duff, subtle chocolate mint leaf. clove, & cassis. On the palate, gushing black cherry fruit & cola, & wild meat – succulent, juicy, & profuse: a corpulent king’s feast in the great dining hall on the eve of mischievous sport in the lowlands, with fair ladies brandishing bottles high over their heads, encouraging you to fill your goblet high & seize the moment (or whatever else might be within reach). Be careful not to spill on your cozy wardrobe.Bottle Price: $28
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