The 2012 Festival of Wine -- the 30th annual -- happens in Paso Robles from May 18 through 20. (Image courtesy of Ron Bez Photography, www.ronbez.com
CENTRAL COAST PLEASURES: It is funny to us whenever we see another piece touting the secrets of Paso Robles. Oh, we love those articles and the goodness they wreak, no doubt. And no, we're not going to act all insidery, like we've had the private line on what Paso Robles is about since Paso Robles was founded (because that was way before we got here). There was once a time we all were learning about this tasty slice of wine country, and its particularly laid-back, good-humored, easy-breezy Central Coast mountains character. It is a character everyone should know about, so thank you, new articles introducing it as a hidden gem. And much of Paso's character built on celebrating, which the lovely people of the region do love to do. The city's calendar is flush with great food and drink events, and one of the biggest is the Festival of Wine, which just happens to be around the proverbial corner.
MAY 18-20 CELEBRATION: It's on the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend, which gladdens the heart; anyone wanting to get a jump on the summer season by a week has our allegiance. And on the fest's own schedule? Seminars and tastings and really super specific winery events (a laser-focus on varietals here, gourmet chocolate pairings there). Nothing is terribly snooty, either; we see places where your dog is invited. Nice, right? Oh, Central Coast-y living. We do dream of you. That doesn't mean you should be a so-called hidden gem, but you should be visited often and with love.