A Taster's Journey is a newsletter on food, wine and travel. After 15 years of studying, tasting, teaching, and selling wine, I created this newsletter to not only share my passion about wine, but of food and travel as well. Each month I hope to share wines that I am drinking, food that is in season, restaurants that I have enjoyed, and places I have traveled. Enjoy!"

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Wine Of The Month: Tablas Creek Cote de Tablas’01 ($20)

February 25th, 2005

The movie “Sideways” has created quite a buzz about Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara. Although I think the Pinot Noir is good, I prefer Syrah and the other Rhone varietals from that region. Tablas Creek Vineyard is a great winery from Paso Robles, just north of Santa Barbara. It was started by the Perrin family of the famed Chateau Beaucastel and Robert Haas, and they have made some delicious wines in the style of the southern Rhone Valley. This Cote de Tablas is like a full throttle Cote du Rhone. It is a blend of Mourvedre, Syrah, Grenache, and Counoise. This wine has character; it is big and meaty with firm tannins. But as with a good Rhone wine, it is well balanced. The earth and spices are nicely blended with rich fruit flavors. I really like this wine; it is robust with well integrated layers of flavor. It would be a perfect complement to hearty meat dishes like beef stew or a grilled ribeye steak.

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