I’m beginning to have a new appreciation for the Paso Robles AVA and that may be because I’ve found a new wine love: Rhone-style wines. I went to this year’s Rhone Ranger seminar and tasting, as well as the Paso Robles seminar and tasting, and what I’ve learned is that the Paso Robles AVA most mimics the terroir and climate of the French AVAs known to produce Bordeaux and Rhone.
Well, it was at the Rhone Rangers seminar where I first met Jason DiFrancesco of Leverage Wines who introduced me to a great line-up of his productions — everything from a “Big Boy” Rose to a soft and supple Grenache. So when he kindly gifted me some of his newest releases for sampling and reviewing, I knew I was in for a treat.
True story: I was perusing the wine aisles at Costco looking for my fav generic red blend when a Costco employee stopped to ask if he could help. Turns out they didn’t have what I was looking for. “But,” he says, “if you like that, you’ll love Tractor Shed Red.”I kinda looked at him like he was crazy-go-nuts. The thing you have to know about me is that I find blends — of any kind — hard. In my experience, everyday blends found at the local shops with cute, funky labels listed at under $20 tend to be…imbalanced. Imbalanced in aroma, taste, texture, and ultimately enjoyability.
So the fact that I even had, what I’d call, a “favorite” red blend was kind of a big deal — and I was willing to deal with the fact that they did not have it in stock. But the Tractor Shed Red price was right for experimenting, so I took a bottle home. Now, every time I go to Costco, I take two.
Looking for something that tastes special without an especially high price? Looking for that unique essence of a classic French wine, but don’t have access to an artisan wine shop? Enter Alexander Valley’s Homestead Red Blend.