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With California Wine, ‘Love The One You’re With’

“Do you smoke, use drugs or drink alcohol?” Classic questions from a doctor but the next question surprised me after I shared my wine proclivities. “Do you like Napa wine?”

Living in the central coast of California with close to 350 wineries within an hour’s reach, I was surprised by his question. There’s plenty of wine to love here in the central coast. But some people think Napa is the only place for great California wine. That belief is far from the truth.

Remember the classic song by Crosby Stills and Nash, “Love The One You’re With?” This is true for California bottles of wine. There are plenty of great bottles of wine to love in Paso Robles, Foxen Canyon, Gold Country, Lodi, Edna Valley, Sonoma, Monterey, Lake County, Temecula as well as Napa.

So this column is a guide for Dr. A to take his father on a tasting journey through our hometown Paso Robles. There are so many places to start and inevitably we’ll leave several places out that should be visited. But here goes:

*Rolling into town on Hwy 46 East from the San Juaquin Valley be sure to stop at Tobin James, Glunz and Eberle Winery.

*On the eastern inland side of town visit Pear Valley, Barr, Steinbeck, Sculpterra, Stillwaters & Cass.

*On the Western oceanside of town is Denner, Tablas Creek, J Dusi, Justin, Opolo, Manissian Young Vineyards (MYV), Calcareous and Moonlight cellars.

*In the Templeton area south of Paso Robles make sure to visit Onx, Castoro, Peachy Canyon, Clesi and Daou Vineyards.

That’s a slick 20 wineries to start your journey tasting wonderful wine from the central coast. They’re all very distinct in their taste and some wineries you will not enjoy. But, there will be plenty for you to love. Dr. A, remember, ‘Love the One You’re With’ on this central California coast wine tour.

That’s a slick 20 wineries to start your journey tasting wonderful wine from the central coast. Dr. A, remember, love the one you’re with on this California coastal tour of wineries.

Bill Hodge & Erin O’Neill-Hodge enjoy a good bottle of wine, visiting and enjoying California wineries from Lake County to Orange County, from the Paso Robles Gold Coast to Gold Country and from Lodi to Bakersfield.

Some notes on our wine ranking system.

– -✰  means -What’s next on your list of wines
-✰  means -Not liking it too much
✰ means  -We’ll drink this wine, especially if it’s hosted!
✰+ means -You’ve got our attention and we might buy this wine.
✰+ + means -We’re hooked and we’re going to buy this wine.
When you see -✰/✰+  with a slash, it means we disagree.

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