Believe it or not, blue cheese isn’t just for dessert anymore. It pairs well with both red and white table wines and some of the best cheeses for pairing with table wines are born in the U.S.A.
I love wine and I love cheese. But what I really love is a great wine and cheese pairing so I’m also looking for excuses to come up with new ones. When I came up with the idea to create a Red, White & Blues party some people thought I was crazy. I had one cheese expert tell me “you can’t pair blue cheese with white wine.”
Well, I am crazy but don’t ever tell me I “can’t” do something! I sipped and sampled for several days so that I could prove the wine and cheese pairing experts wrong…and I did. So…this Fourth of July I am declaring my independence by hosting a “Red, White & Blues party and celebrating the freedom to pair whatever wine we want with blue cheese. But all in good taste, of course.
Through this experience, I learned a lot about blue cheese and came up with some great pairings. To learn more about blue cheese and my findings.
But the best part, I’m going to share the fruits (or in this case, cheeses) of my labor with you. This Sunday, July 3, join us out at the First Crush Wine Workshop for our “Red, White & Blues” party. We’ll help get your 4th of July celebration off with a bang! You can taste our great wines with some creamy cheeses (and other goodies) enjoy cool blues and have a great time.
A true blue tradition
Just like America, it is thought that blue cheese was discovered by accident. Fittingly, for our Fourth of July celebration, blue (or in some cases, bleu) cheese is mired in tradition and has a rich history. Gorgonzola is one of the oldest known blue cheeses but it is the British that have perfected and protected the high standards of blue cheeses primarily made from cow’s milk. Roquefort is said to have been invented in 1070 AD, but it wasn’t until the 11th century that it received it acquired its blue veins that cheese lovers know and love.
Our 2011 Wine Grape Escapes are better than ever. Every Grape Escape lets you experience wine country during our most exiting and spectacular time of year -- CRUSH! You'll get a taste of winemaking while having a fantastic time in the vineyard and the winery. You'll enjoy fabulous wine country cuisine, premium Paso Robles wines and learn about the region, its wines and how they're made from the people (growers, winemakers, and chefs) that actually make Paso Robles one of the hottest wine regions in the country.
HERE ARE SOME EXCITING NEW (& OLD) FEATURES:
1, 2 and 3-day programs with new pricing and featuresSunday Brunch & Bottle lets you bottle and take home wine that weekendAll-inclusive hotel package options are back! You can once again purchase a "complete" Grape Escape Package with discounted hotel options from four of Paso's best hotels: the Paso Robles Courtyard Marriott, the Holiday Inn Express, La Quinta and La Bellasera Inn & Suites. These are great rates that are only available from First Crush with the purchase of your Wine Grape Escape.
So....sip, crush and stomp your way into a wine lover bliss in the beautiful Paso Robles Wine Country this fall. Space is limited and early registration discounts are available so don't delay, register today!
DETAILS & AVAILABILITY
Download registration form
Come celebrate Wild West Wine Fest this weekend with the Silver Horse Gang – First Crush, Silver Horse & Tassjara Cellars. All three wineries will be circling the wagons to bring you lots of good ol’-fashioned fun. Both at the park and out at the ranch, you can kick up your heels or just kick back with good food, great wine, winemaking activities, vineyard tours, live music and barrel samples.
Be on the lookout for Jessica, Ashley and Jennifer and the Little Pony Gang pouring at the park. All three wineries will be pouring together in the Silver Horse booth located near the entrance at the corner of Pine & 11th Streets. This pretty posse and their friends will be arresting the tastebuds of the good, the bad and the ugly with our great tasting wines. But don’t get out of line, or you might just find yourself locked up in the Wine Jail. If you’re really lucky, you could get deputized.
First Crush will be introducing its 2010 Spring Fling Chardonnay and we have cowboy beads and badges for all you city slickers, country folk and local yokels. You can also get yourself a Tassajara tattoo.
If the park isn’t your scene, blaze your trail out to the Silver Horse ranch Friday, Saturday or Sunday where we’ll also be rustling up some fun. It’s a great place to kick off your wine fest with a leisurely lunch before heading to the park on Saturday or winding it down on Sunday. This weekend just also happens to be Sunday Funday, so the good times won’t end until 7 pm on Sunday. (For the rest of the story, click the read more button below...)
First Crush owners, Lowell and Becky Zelinski, will join Master Sommelier Michael Jordan and wine expert Mike Horn on the “The What’s Cookin’on Wine Show,” Monday, February 28, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. PST. The show will be broadcast live on CRN 1 Live from the Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Pasadena.
Each week Mike Horn discusses what’s going on in the world of wine from around the globe. This live international wine show reaches wine lovers everywhere and features winemaker interviews, latest news, views, trends and more.
“I met Mike at the SLO Vintner’s Harvest ball last November,” Becky Zelinski said. “He was intrigued with our concept and what we’re doing and invited us onto the show. We’re excited about this opportunity to share First Crush with the world on live, digital radio.”
If you’re in the So-Cal area, First Crush invites you to join Becky and Lowell for the live broadcast. Otherwise, you can tune in to What’s Cookin’ on Radio America. You can also call CALL (800) 336-2225 to join the conversation. Ruth’s Chris Restaurant is 369 East Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena.
Have you ever wondered what’s going in the vineyard and winery in January? Most people assume that just because the vines are dormant and the wines have finished their primary fermentation that we must be sitting around twiddling our thumbs. Balderdash!
The vines are busy accumulating water and nutrients to get ready for their big (bud) break onto the scene in the spring and some wines are still finishing up their secondary fermentation.
If you’d like to see what’s going on or learn more, join us for While My Vines Gently Sleep on January 22, at 2:00 p.m. Viticulturist Lowell Zelinski is going to talk about what’s going on with the vineyard and talk about terroir – that illustrious word that gets cast about in the tasting room like a magical spell. Becky, along with either Steve or Craig are going to talk to us about secondary fermentation and let you help us rack some wine.
The new First Crush wine workshop is now open at the Silver Horse Winery. If you’ve never made a trip out the winery, you should do so. We’re a bit off of the beaten path but worth the scenic drive. Due to our country location, the area can sometimes get a little wet and muddy during the winter months forcing us to keep the doors shut.
For the month of January and February, the workshop will be open for pre-scheduled and private events. Our scheduled events are listed on our online Calendar. Beginning in March, we’ll be open every weekend and by appointment throughout the week. The First Crush wine workshop is the perfect place for group events and tours, and we’ll take groups as small as four for blending workshops and tasting classes so give us a call at (877-82-CRUSH) to schedule yours.
Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe we already have another vintage under our belt.
We’re looking forward to an exciting year at First Crush. We have a lot of new and unique events, classes and tours planned for 2011. We will also be switching to a monthly enewsletter format so be sure to read The Pressing News to keep up to date with First Crush events and promotions, as well as updates on what’s happening locally and in the winery. The newsletter will feature stories about our Crush Club partners, viticulture and wine tips, and of course our popular Wine Trivia. Watch your emailbox for the all-new Pressing News in February.
During the rest of the month, we’ll send out periodic Pressing Updates when we have something exciting to say, and post pictures and stories on the blog and sharing them on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re not our Friend or Follower, be sure to “like us” and/or follow us to ensure you receive all the latest updates from First Crush!
Do you struggle every year trying to find a special gift for friends and customers? Custom-labeled wine is the solution and First Crush MAKES IT EASY!
At First Crush, there are two ways you can have custom-labeled wines for the holidays. Either one will give you a fabulous, Paso Robles wine – with your name or message on it – to serve with holiday meals or give to your friends, family and customers. There’s no better way to show your friends and customers that you are thinking about them, and they’ll certainly remember you when they’re enjoying your wine.
Option 1: Purchase our pre-bottled premium Paso Robles wines, go to our online label program, choose your label from a wide assortment of templates, create your label and voila! In just a few days, you’ll have your own custom-labeled, Paso Robles wine. You can also provide your own artwork for an additional fee.
We have two pre-made wines for you to choose from: A velvety, traditional 100% 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, or a bold, flavorful blend of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah. Both of these wines were professionally crafted with the assistance of our winemaker, Steve Kroener of Silver Horse Winery, and have been receiving rave reviews from our customers! Each wine costs $30 per bottle, or $24 for Crush Club members. Also, additional bulk discounts are available.
Option 2: Create your own custom-blended wine. Attend a blending class or schedule your own and create your own custom blend. Create your label online or provide your own artwork, and in less than two weeks, you can have your own custom blended, custom-labeled wine.
We would love to help you create your wine to share with friends and family this holiday season, so give us a call for more information or to schedule your private blending today! Our office numbers is (805) 434-2772, or send us an email inquiry to
Sometimes, there’s a lot more going on inside a bottle of wine than you might think. Even if it says “Cabernet Sauvignon” on the front of the bottle, there’s a good chance that the wine you’re about to enjoy has been blended with an entirely different grape altogether, like Cabernet Franc, or maybe some Merlot. But this blending practice isn’t intended to be an act of deception; it’s a way for winemakers to add their own personal touch and flavor to the wines that they help create, by highlighting a particular flavor or characteristic.
Blending wine is where the true art of winemaking comes into play. While every part of the winemaking process, from growing the grapes to filling the bottles, affect the final flavor of a wine, the blending process can be the most influential, and the most fun. This is because blending is actually more of an art than a science.
Do you know the different wine grape varietals that comprise a Meritage blend? Do you know when and why single varietals started appearing on American wine labels? And what’s the real difference between a GSM, SMG, or even a MGS?
You can learn the answers to these questions (and a whole lot more!) when you attend a First Crush blending workshop. Typically, winemakers are the only ones who get to make the wine, but at First Crush, we make it easy for you and your friends to get in on the fun. Our blending classes (newly dubbed “The Art of Blending Wine”) let you be a winemaker for a day, and create a wine tailored to your personal taste. These events are perfect for wine lovers of all wine-knowledge levels. They give you the chance to learn how different varietals affect how blends taste, pick apart the many nuances of a glass of wine, and much more!
This Saturday, Nov. 20 at 11 a.m. will be our last “scheduled” blending class for 2010. Don’t miss your last chance to experience the Art of Blending Wine, create and purchase your own custom blend, and have a blast with First Crush!
If you can’t make it to our blending workshop this Saturday, schedule your own! From now until December 31, blending classes are available by appointment for groups of four or more, Thursday – Monday from 11-5 PM at our new winemaking workshop out at Silver Horse Winery. Call (805) 434-2772 for more information.
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Winery/Office: 2975 Limestone WayPaso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 434-2772 Fax (805) 434-3337