For those of you without the good fortune of calling the San Francisco Bay Area home, let me introduce you to the term “weather wimp.”
Weather Wimp, n., one unaccustomed to extreme changes in weather conditions and temperature, and who will embarrassingly complain about daytime temperatures outside the range of 65°–85° Fahrenheit.
This obviously changes a bit from season to season. We weather wimps are not unreasonable. We don’t expect 85 degree weather in November. But we also can’t handle 35 degrees in November. During the day. With the sun out.
In order to salve my worried soul over the implications of such CLIMATE CHANGE (sorry, was that emphasis distracting?) on my future and the future of my as-yet-to-be-conceived children, I turn to you, dear reader, with a tale of hot wine for cold nights.
Now, “hot” isn’t always a good thing. Usually, in fact, it’s used in a derogatory manner to describe wine that shows off too much of its alcohol; that is, to put it bluntly, unbalanced. Perhaps nigh undrinkable.
But I also think of “hot” wine as big, bold, fruity, and yes, alcohol-heavy wine from hot regions of the world, like Australia, parts of South America, and California’s Central Valley, like Lodi or Fresno.
Or Paso Robles.
Dusty, windy, seemingly inhospitable, to an outsider appearing to be fit for neither man nor beast, Paso Robles provides the world with some very impressive wine. The hot region within California’s sprawling Central Coast AVA is home to, among many others, Dusi Vineyard.
Turley Wine Cellars, located just a hop, skip, and a jump down 101 from the city of Paso Robles itself, is one of more than a few winemakers to make zinfandel from Dusi Vineyard grapes. And what kind of zinfandel is it, you ask?
It’s pretty. It’s really quite pretty. Bright, brilliant red-pink in the glass. Lots of zinfandel hangs out in the darker hues, but this is nice and bright. Warm, and inviting. It stays pretty on the nose, too, with underripe strawberry and some succulent red apple notes. Finally, it’s pretty on the way down, as well: a sort of candied cherry mixes with some earthtones to mellow out what was beginning to be a too-pretty, too-sweet affair.
And the alcohol is here. This isn’t, by any means, a food-pairing wine. But on a cold autumn night, with temperatures hovering in the high 30s or low 40s, your favorite weather wimp likes to be warmed up. And this is a hot Paso Robles zinfandel that can do just that.
Price Point: $50-$60