Paso Autumn: Harvest Wine Weekend

Over 140 events pop up over three days, and the theme? Yep, it's the glass-good stuff.

THE DE-HOITY-TOITY-ING OF WINE: California has boasted a host of inventions and firsts over the decades, from the first video record to the Egg McMuffin. (Oh, and hello to you, too, Pixar and Apple and movie technologies aplenty.) And while it probably can't be pinpointed with any measuring device, we'll wager that we're the first to de-hoity-toity something that's gotten a bit too big for its britches, or at least seemingly so. Gardens and outdoor living is a prime example; beautiful plots were once for aristocrats, but Californians showed the world that living with the land is a way of easy-breezy, patio-chill life. Same with wine. Oh, we won't take all the credit for the Golden State, but winegrowers throughout California's grape-plentiful regions keep the enjoyment of a cold glass of Riesling from getting too snooty. Look to the welcome literature for the Paso Robles Wine Country Harvest Wine Weekend, which runs from Friday, Oct. 17 through Sunday, Oct. 19. The opening lines say, with a wink, "So you like wine. You drink it. You think about it. And sometimes you can't pronounce it. No matter. Here there are no rules..." Well put, Paso Robles. You don't need to be a wine scholar to love Chardonnay, you only need to keep on keepin' on in the enjoying, learning, and meeting winemaker departments. And you can...

DURING THE HARVEST WINE WEEKEND... which offers over 140 to-dos for people who aren't fussy about their sips (but do love them something fierce). Straight-up, old-school tastings dominate, but food pairings are up there during the weekend, as are vineyard walks, art displays, picnicking, library tastings, grape stomps (there's still time to get the soles of your feet plenty juicy this season), and chats with the people who swish/spit on a regular basis, all in order to bring wine lovers the good stuff. Nope, we're not being snooty about snootiness, but taking the Paso path, which is about good-time-having in the wine realm, and not outdoing everyone in the areas of expertise, seems pretty solid to us.

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