Tempting Tempranillo--A Blind Tasting

Paul, Touring & Tasting president (left), and Dorothy Schuler

Paul Arganbright, Touring & Tasting president, and I attended the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Wine Society (AWS) last week. The AWS includes wine lovers from novice to expert, amateur and professional winemakers, and people in all aspects of the wine trade. This meeting was a blind tasting of five Tempranillos--two from Spain, one from Argentina, and two from the USA--and featured Dorothy Schuler, president of the Tempranillo Advocates Produces and Amigos Society (TAPAS) and winemaker at Bodegas Paso Robles.

Tempranillo grapes have a thick skin which contribute tannins and color, but little acidity--something that can be rectified when they are grown in areas where the nighttime temperatures plunge, like Paso Robles. Tempranillo doesn't oxidize quickly, so it ages well. It's a refined wine, especially compared to other ones made from hot climate  grapes, and goes well with one of the main ingredients in Spanish food: olive oil.

Embarrassingly, I did not guess one wine's origin correctly. Fittingly, as he selects all the wines for our wine clubs, Paul not only correctly identified each wine's origin, but also determined that the two American wines were from Paso Robles and probably from Bodegas Paso Robles--which they were. A win for Paul!

We nibbled on crisp cucumber topped with beets (my favorite!), Manchego cheese in olive oil, endive stuffed with herbed grain, cucumber shots, and other treats. I believe this was the fifth meeting of the newly formed Santa Barbara chapter. Join here

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