I love a big, beautiful Cab just as much as the next girl. But when it comes to most wines, individual varietals generally don’t have the legs to stand on their own. As with most things, there are exceptions to every rule, and I’m sure some of my friends (and foes) may disagree (and will likely tell me so)…but in general, blended wines surpass their individual parts in balance, complexity and flavor.
Look at it this way: do you like to eat peanut butter by itself? Or do you prefer it with chocolate or perhaps with some jelly and bread? Like many great taste sensations: sometimes two great tastes, just taste great together. This may sound like a clever jingle (which it is), but it’s also true for wine grapes. In my opinion, there's nothing better than a wine that exhibits the bright, fruity cherry-flavors of a Cabernet Sauvignon softened by the silky-chocolate hints of a Merlot and the lingering complexity of a Cab Franc (much like our 2008 Soul Mate, I might add). Whereas to achieve this with anyone of these individual varietals, you'd be giving up one of these delectable traits. (For the rest of the story, click the READ MORE link below...)
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.
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!
Hey, all of you Crush Club members! Don't forget to whip out your Crush Club membership card to receive discounts from many of Paso Robles' great local shops and wineries.
Not only does your Crush Club membership give you 20% off of First Crush wines and events, it also gets you special rates on lodging from beautiful Paso Robles hotels and bed and breakfasts, free-tasting at some great Paso Robles wineries, and much more! Click here to see a full list of our great Crush Club merchant partners.
A few new members of our Crush Club partners are:
Thomas Hill Organics: Thomas Hill Organics offers delicious, farm-to-table cooking with many ingredients coming directly from the family's Thomas Hill Farm. Crush Club guests will receive a complimentary wine tasting with the purchase of any entree.
J&J Cellars: Located just a short drive away from our wine workshop at Silver Horse Winery, J&J Cellars will grant Crush Club members a 10% discount off all wine purchases (excluding sale items)!
Emily's House: This beautiful, four bedroom, two bathroom vacation home is located in the heart of beautiful Paso Robles. A short drive (or walk!) away from great food, shopping, and Paso Robles wineris, Emily's House is the perfect place to spend your Paso Robles get-away. Owners Ken and Vicki Combs will offer Crush Club members special rates on their stay! Call (661) 288-2125 to make your reservation.
At First Crush, we like to share with our customers and guests all the best that Paso Robles has to offer. Starting at $35 for a one year membership, the Crush Cub is the ideal way to explore and experience Paso Robles, and save!
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.
Wine Workshop: 2010 vintage Wrap-Up – Nov. 20, 2-5 p.m.
The 2010 vintage is a year that Paso Robles won’t soon forget. Unusually cool weather resulted in a harvest that fell behind schedule, and equally unusual harvest dates for the many different premium wine grape varietals grown throughout the Paso Robles region: Zinfandels were being harvest before Viogniers, and fruit is still coming in off the vines, even though it’s already the second week in November.
During a November 20 winemaking workshop, First Crush will look back at the 2010 vintage, and give you an inside look at some of the wines that we harvested, and the wines that we have in barrel. You’ll have the chance to meet with First Crush’s viticulturist, as well as be some of the first to taste our newly pressed 2010 wines straight from the barrel.
These are our last winemaking events until January 2011, so you definitely don’t want to miss them!
You can register online by visiting our online store, or by calling (805) 434-2772.
The Art of Blending Wine – Nov. 20, 11 am – 1 pm
Blending wine is truly an art form, and First Crush blending workshops have taken on a new name to reflect what blending is all about. Formerly known as our “Blending Workshop,” the Art of Blending Wine will guide you to a whole new appreciation of wine.
These blending seminars are a fun way to learn about the art of blending wine, sharpen your palate and gain a new understanding of why blending is an important process of making great wines. You’ll also taste some great Paso Robles wines and have the opportunity to purchase your custom blend and create a custom label for your wine that will be made from 100% premium quality Paso Robles wine varietals.
At our newly opened First Crush Wine Workshop, you’ll begin by learning how to evaluate a selection of base wines for aromatics, flavor, texture and aging characteristics. After learning the nuances of each wine, we’ll give you the tools that real winemakers use (graduated cylinders and Erlenmeyer flasks) and let you create several unique blends.
When you’re all finished, you can create your own custom label for your wine using one of First Crush’s beautiful templates, or you can unleash your inner graphic artist, and design your own! Custom wine is an excellent gift for friends, family, and co-workers, and is a big hit at holiday parties and dinner tables.
First Crush makes your custom winemaking experience simple, and fun! Don’t miss it! Includes wine and cheese pairing. (Approx. 2 hours.)
$40/pp, $32 for Crush Club members in advance. $50/pp at the door. You can register by visiting our online store or by calling (805) 434-2772.
Don’t miss this great opportunity for a truly unique winemaking experience. Join us this Saturday, November 13 from 1-3 PM for our Roxo Port Cellars blending workshop.
Just in time for the holidays, you can create your own custom-blended port from Roxo’s great port varietals and put your own name on it! What a great holiday gift or crowd pleaser at those special holiday meals. This is also a fun way to learn about the art of blending wine, sharpen your palate or just gain an understanding of why blending is an important part of the winemaking process.
For this special event, First Crush will be teaming up with Roxo Port Cellars and their winemaker/owner, Jeff Steele to take you beyond the tasting room! Jeff will be rolling out barrels of FOUR of these different delicious port varietals: Touriga Nacional, Souzao, Tinta Roriz, and Bastardo. Then, Jeff and First Crush owner, Becky Zelinski, will help you craft your very own custom blend of premium, Paso Robles port!
Traditional, Portuguese-style ports are typically blended, and this time, you and your friends get to be the winemakers! We’ll also be serving port’s favorite pairings: a selection of fine artisan chocolates and cheese. This way, you’ll know exactly what to serve with your own, custom-made port at your holiday events and family gatherings.
Once you finish blending your port, you can really make it your own by naming and designing your own custom label for your wine. First Crush has a number of beautiful label templates for you to choose from, or you can create one that is completely your own design. Custom wine is an excellent for friends and family during the holidays, because there’s no better way to keep warm during the coming winter months than snuggling in front of a fire with a glass of premium Paso Robles port.
Register by visiting our online store, or calling (805) 434-2772.
Cost is $53 for Crush Club members, and $65 for non-members in advance. $75/pp at the door. Cost includes admission, wine tasting, chocolates and cheese pairings, and a souvenir bottle of your blend.
First Crush blending seminars and wine classes make great company or private holiday parties. You and your group can have a great time learning about Paso Robles wine by helping create your own custom blend, or by simply tasting and enjoying some delicious food and wine pairings. The First Crush winemaking workshop is now open, and located behind the tasting room at Silver Horse winery in San Miguel.
First Crush makes celebrating the holidays in style fun, and provides you with an experience you can’t get anywhere else in Paso. Call us at (805) 434-2772 to get the ball rolling on your next holiday event. Also, don’t forget to ask about our special group discounts, and other holiday promotions! You can also register online for our pre-scheduled events by visiting our online store.
Link to usSubmit link
Winery/Office: 2975 Limestone WayPaso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 434-2772 Fax (805) 434-3337