I had a friend in town over the weekend who convinced me to join Twitter. I know — I’m a little late on the Twitter train. But, I never really understood it before she did some explaining. I thought everyone was just writing little one-line status updates. I didn’t realize that it’s an amazing forum for sharing the most exciting articles on the internet. After talking to her for a while, I signed up and starting “following” a lot of the major food writers. I’m so happy she convinced me! It’s great to have a custom-curated set of sources, all passing around their favorite articles. So, now I’m going to pass my top picks on to you. You can follow us on Twitter (@eat_love_drink), or just check out the new box of Twitter updates on our home page. Even if you want nothing to do with having a Twitter account, you can still click on those article links and get lost in some fun food writing for a while. As always, the theme of the writing I pass along will be vegetarian cooking, eating and drinking, plus some agriculture issues. I hope you enjoy!
If you haven’t checked out Food News Journal before, it’s awesome. They send out a list of food-related articles (from macro-scale policy issues to baking minutiae) every morning. It’s always a fantastic collection of reading. We’re so happy to be included!
Thanks to everyone who’s stopping by our blog!
(I mean, look how happy Alex looks…)
This is the last post in a 3 part series on drinking wine in Paso Robles. If you missed parts 1 and 2, you may want to start there. Part 1 is an overview of Paso Robles as a wine region. Part 2 tells you about all the wineries we visited during our trip. This final part showcases Starr Ranch Winery, one of the wineries we visited on our trip.
Our last stop of the day on Saturday was Starr Ranch Winery. Before going to Paso, while we were researching where to visit and scouring every corner of the internet, this winery didn’t come up much. We found Starr Ranch because of a conversation at Turley — the sweet woman who was pouring for us mentioned we could find her son, Ryan, making wine there.
Starr Ranch was scheduled to close at 5:00p and we pulled into the driveway at about 4:55p. In the rush to get in the door, I only took terrible, blurry photos. So, instead, here’s a picture of the Starr Ranch property that’s shown on their website (though, this is pretty much how it looked for us, too).
The path up the driveway and through the hills around the winery was gorgeous. Next time we’ll try to picnic somewhere around there.
We walked into a big barn, down a corridor lined by wine barrels, and up to the tasting bar just as a group of people were finishing up. We nervously asked the woman behind the counter, whom we later found out was owner Judy, if we were too late. She shook her head and happily agreed to pour for us.
Here’s a scan of the map that’s given out everywhere around town (thank you Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance).
Here I zoomed in and circled the wineries we visited. I had to write in Epoch, a new winery we visited. I also included a couple food places (see Hot Tips in Part 1).
We split up the tour into 2 days. We weren’t entirely organized. Saturday we were able to make it to a lot of different wineries and Sunday…we were moving a little slower…so we only made it to a few spots.
Before we go any further, though, it’s only fair to be clear about our wine preferences. Alex and I think that what makes for a great bottle is the quality of wine + the quality of the experience. For us, the contents of the bottle absolutely matter, but what takes a wine from good to great is related to who we’re with, how we’re feeling, the weather that day and the food we’re eating. Neither one of us would want to drink a 1961 Cheval Blanc out of a Styrofoam cup all alone at McDonald’s (yes, I made a Sideways reference…help me). What are we looking for? A high quality product plus a casual and intimate setting where we get to interact with people who are excited about what they’re serving and want to teach us a little about what they know. But, everyone’s tastes and preferences are different.
We like wine and drink a lot of it, but we’re hardly qualified to judge its finer points. Alex actually has a good enough palette that he can pick out those odd wine flavors, like “pineapple” and “barnyard,” but I definitely don’t. So, instead of talking about the details of the wine too much, we want to show you what the wineries of Paso Robles look like, tell you some of the highlights of each winery we visited, and let you know where we’re planning to go back on our next trip down there (yes, there will be a next trip!).
And we’re off!
Finally! The Paso Robles posts! There’s so much to say we had to break this into 3 posts. Part 1 is an overview of the area, Part 2 is a bit about each winery we visited and Part 3 is a slew of photos from Starr Ranch Winery, where we were lucky enough to have some behind-the-scenes time with a resident winemaker.
This was our first trip to Paso (as the locals call it). We are by no means experts. But, we had an amazing time, were able to cover a lot of ground and I think we got a pretty good lay of the land. We want to share with you what we learned. Planning a first weekend in Paso can be overwhelming. We were told at one winery that there are over 200 vineyards/wineries in the area, so as an outsider it’s tricky to know where to get started.
After a computer-related rescue from the IT guys at school, I wanted to bake them a thank you gift. I think these homemade Oreos might be the secret to staying in their good graces in the future…they are goooooood.
Before we get to the cooking part, though, I want to publicly praise my new and already beloved Flour Bakery cookbook. Even though it’s missing my most favorite Flour recipe (the Twice-Baked Almond Brioche…sigh…), it’s near perfect. Great pictures, great combination of recipes and instruction, and a convenient hard cover without one of those dumb dust jackets that will inevitably tear. It deserves a big OMG.
I go to Flour as often as I possibly can, which isn’t very often. I live in California and it’s in Boston. To help me through Flour-withdrawl (an official condition, I think) my family in Boston sent me my wonderful Flour cookbook (thank you, thank you, thank you!). In the cookbook I found this recipe for Homemade Oreos and squealed with glee. Oh happy day! Homemade Oreos?! Picture from amazon.com
Conveniently, the recipe is also posted online. Should you be shopping around for a recipe, look no further. These are for certain the best Oreos going, including the real, Nabisco Oreos (hard to imagine, right?).
The picture from the cookbook is slightly deceiving. Before making them I thought the cookie might be a little soft (even though the recipes says to bake until firm). I pictured a whoopie pie (I know…these are Oreos, not whoopie pies). Rest assured, the cookie is not like a soft, cakey whoopie pie. It’s the best dense, short chocolate cookie you’ve ever had. In fact, on the occasions that you’re feeling too grown-up for an Oreo, the cookies would be perfect to serve with coffee, petite syrah or port.
Just got back from a weekend drinking wine in Paso Robles. Alex stashed a chocolate cake from Trader Joe’s in the car and pulled it out during a picnic at Booker Winery. Aw…
Booker’s house bull dog, Brutus, wanted to eat the chocolate cake as badly as I did. I didn’t cave to his intimidating stare (chocolate is bad for doggies, right?).
Instead, I want to share a heart with you!
Lots of love from eatlovedrink on Valentine’s Day. A big Paso post is coming soon!
Yesterday for lunch I wanted something quick, healthy and filling. I’ve been busy this week and spending time in the kitchen wasn’t high on my priority list. The perfect solution? Winter squash.
I love to keep squash around the house for impromptu meals. They are healthy, filling, a breeze to prepare and super versatile. They also last for forever and are beautiful, so I can proudly display them in our little kitchen for months.