Central Coast Wine Country
Is there anything better than a day spent in Central Coast wine country? Not in our book of great adventures! My goodness, there’s little better than a trip away from paradise to make you return home to truly appreciate all we have here in Central Coast wine county. Seriously. Our wineries continue to grow in the number of passionate winemakers who want to be part of this blossoming wine scene (including some pretty incredible winemakers who learned their art in France but preferred the freedom of artistic expression that they are allowed in the U.S.).
On Friday, we started out with lunch at Kuma, a great sushi house run by Chef Nogi in Los Osos. It was our fourth visit over the last year or slightly more, and we were as impressed this time as we have been on every visit. Chef Nogi is talented and consistent–and that’s something we should be able to expect of every good eatery. Dan had the Figueroa Mountain Davy Brown Ale, and I chose the Firestone 805, both on tap and very good with our sashimi focused meal. Visit them at www.kumabowls.com.
From there we paid a visit to the nearby Baker & Brain tasting room in Los Osos, to buy their newest releases. We brought home two cases of their excellent wines, choosing a few extras of the ones we favored most. We won’t say which yet, as you should choose among the new releases to discover the wines you like best.
But you will see our faves coming up in reviews over the next few months. That’s a good way of thinking whenever you’re visiting one of your favorite wineries. Baker & Brain is only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. and you get really good deals on their wines if you become a wine club member, as we did. Check them out at www.bakerandbrain.com.
Next we headed east to San Luis Obispo for the Stephen Ross Winery introduction party to promote their new 2016 Rose, as well as a fine Chardonnay, two Pinot Noirs, and the Zinfandel. We loved them all but purchased more of the ones we liked most, as usual. Again, you’ll want to do the same when you visit any of these tasting rooms. There’s no doubt about the quality in these bottles, you just pick the ones you love most. The new release of the Rose of Pinot Noir was pure elegance in the glass, and we ordered six bottles of it, as well as extras of their other new releases. Find them at www.stephenrosswine.com.
We have always loved Stephen Ross wines for their quality and consistency. Stephen “Steve” Ross Dooley has a long history in Edna Valley, and earned his high quality reputation for making fine wines (he was the consultant when Tolosa winery was built to make it an ideal winery). Today, Steve stil reigns among the most popular wineries in Edna Valley, which he deserves.
When I started out in the wine business, in my first job at Wine Spectator magazine in San Francisco, I was a novice to the wide world of wine. But Harvey Steiman, our editor-at-large, would teach me an invaluable lesson. When I told him I didn’t know much about wine, I only knew that I liked some wines I tasted, and knew when I didn’t like them. he amiably said: “Then you’re off to a good start.” I would never forget it, and I hit the fast track to learning in a place I considered the college of learning about fine wine. It was a wonderful world of lessons learned, wine experiences, and meeting the nobility of the wine industry. I shed elephant tears when I left after seven great years, and it was tough to say I was leaving. It was the best job I ever had in my life. That said, I speedily fell into place here on the Central Coast and never regretted moving here for one minute!
Yet despite what I consider my noble training, I was not equipped to become a wine snob. That’s why I can promise you that I will always steer you on the right course in finding the best wines for the money you spend on them. Not only that, I considered it my primary course in the creation of this webpage. That said, I am always wiling to hear your feedback. And if I consider it helpful to others I will gladly publish your emails (By the way, your emails cannot be seen by the public unless you want them to, and I have the final approval for what appears on this site).
On our way home to Pismo Beach, we had to stop for gas and that’s when I spotted the Ribline food truck sending up a delicious smoke signal about their killer BBQ in the parking lot of the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets alongside the 101. We pulled in to pick up some baby back ribs, triple threat chili (a multiple award winning recipe), and their delightfully crunchy coleslaw.
They are currently at the Pismo outlet mall every Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and odd day holidays from 2 until 5 p.m. It’s a very convenient spot on the way home (when you don’t feel like cooking) for a delicious BBQ dinner. Get to know them at www.ribline.com