Today’s event was winetasting in Paso Robles. Early on, I stated my theory that no wine tasting trip can really accomodate more than three tastings. Good thing I set the bar. At only the second winery, Jackie and Gerry found their place. (See pictures of today’s adventures here.)

Our goal was to seek out Rhone style wines which Paso Robles is supposed to specialize in and which are the ultimate goal of Two Terrier Vineyards. Tablas Creek, with its connection to Beaucastel, is a must see. So I suggested we head down the road toward Tablas and pick any two other wineries on the way.

The first winery, Villicana, was charming and the owner personally poured our wines and told us about his harvest. Excellent.

But the second was special. And we almost missed it. The was “Thunderbolt Junction” with an electric blue logo. We thought it might be too modern and experimental and started to drive past. Suddenly Jackie and Gerry said, “Wait! The sign says ‘Historic Winery'” I agreed to do a drive-by and then we’d decide by the look of the tasting room if we wanted to go in. Luckily we did.

Charming Aurora, the owner who is from six generations of Spanish winemakers, was on hand to pour our wines. Better yet, she had made, from family recipes, a variety of tapas that she served with each wine to give us a sense of how they paired with food. We spent nearly two hours there, felt we had a gourmet lunch and ended up buying 15 bottles between us (with Gerry joining the Wine Club.) You can only buy the wines at the winery and through the website, so check it out now.

Poor Tablas Creek! They may have an international reputation and high Parker ratings, but they couldn’t cut it with Gerry and Jackie after Thunderbolt. They found the service cold, the server a bit supercilious and the wines distinctly inferior. I wonder if Tablas knew how much they were found wanting as Gerry and Jackie grumbled about the stale breadsticks offered and nostalgically recalled Aurora’s wonderful tapas.

We ended the day in Carmel at Doris Day’s Cypress Inn. After Doris (actually her stand-in) served us high tea, we are now relaxing in the lounge, listening to a piano/cello duo and nibbling on a cheese plate (continuing the Goat Cheese portion of Gerry’s Goat Cheese and Garlic themed tour.)

See pictures of today’s adventures here.