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Wine column: Enjoying the good life in Paso Robles 

– If you only have a few days (or about 36 hours) in Paso Robles, and it’s a special occasion (like a quick anniversary getaway), or you just want to make it special, treat yourself to some (of the many) distinctive Paso choices that won’t disappoint:

Here are some suggestions to “make your day.” Monochrome in Tin City is always a delight and surprise. Winemaker David McGee produces only whites, sourcing fruit from specially selected vineyards. On a recent tasting on his patio (on a beautiful end-of-winter day, with temperature in the mid-70s and sunny) we sampled two new, delicious wines.

First up was “North by Southwest:” Predominantly Gewurztraminer, with equal “dashes” of Albarino and Sauvignon Blanc, this blend had aromas of tropical fruits, rose petals, honeysuckle—a perfect gather around the pool or backyard in the afternoon with friends wine.

Next up was “By the Book,” so named, because winemaker McGee had never heard of the Spanish varietal Albillo Mayor. As Dave said: “Have you ever heard of Albillo Mayor? I hadn’t either. Have you ever heard of a white Ribera del Duero blend? I hadn’t either. So this is my first effort with Albillo Mayor, made into something that technically conforms to the standard for a white Ribera del Duero blend. Other than that, I was making it up as I went along.” Well, Dave, you did pretty good….with Wine Enthusiast giving this a 94-point rating!

I’ve come to expect new, creative exciting blends at Monochrome.

L’Aventure Winery was founded in 1998 by French winemaker, Stephan Asseo. Combining his winemaking and farming experience in France, Stephan has been one of the most influential personalities in shaping Paso Robles Wine Country into what it is today. Tasting on the patio is always an extra special treat and wine adventure. L’Aventure wines are consistently being given high ratings (including several 100-point scores). With a French wine upbringing and a Paso attitude, Stephan Asseo has created one of the most esteemed wineries in California’s wine country.

Column: Enjoying the good life in Paso Robles

Eberle Winery, founded by Gary Eberle, is simply a Paso Robles icon. For 45 years Gary Eberle has led the way in Paso Robles and has countless awards and accolades attesting to his influence. As Gary will tell you, he came to Paso Robles to make (and drink) Cabernet Sauvignon-but it’s not “just” Cabernet Sauvignon, it’s an Ebele Cabernet. Along with the gratis tastings, guests are invited to tour the first wine cave built in Paso Robles.

On this particular trip, my wife and I had a special treat. We didn’t do a full tasting, or cave tour (which is spectacular), but were honored to be able to sit out front of the winery (on a spectacular almost Spring Day), sipping a 2020 Cabernet with Gary Eberle, and just chatting and enjoying his company.

As a certain commercial used to say: Priceless! Les Petite Canailles was our “special occasion” dinner. This Michelin- designated restaurant is a dining delight. Service, food, and presentation always rate a 100 score. The changing menu always has delicacies to please every palate. Being the duck lover I am, I couldn’t resist the “dry aged duck 2 ways” (roasted breast, duck confit cannelloni, bitter cacao jus, fermented blueberry puree, crispy chestnut). The other entrees ordered were equally delicious and beautifully presented; of course, mousse au chocolate was the crowning glory for dessert. LPC has an exceptional wine list, and sommelier Alex is always available, with a smile, to suggest the perfect pairing.

Column: Enjoying the good life in Paso Robles

A few days and a night, or several days, Paso Robles is easy to get to, experience, and enjoy. A trip to Paso is always extra special, because of the wine, food, location, and mostly the people. Cheers!

Don Sonderling is a freelance writer covering California’s unique lifestyle of wine, food, and adventure, from Santa Barbara to Napa Valley and beyond. He may be reached at


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