Local Libations: “Hot Passion”
By: Brianna Bain
Last week Kat concocted a new and interesting variation on the Old Fashioned: the Bitter Sweet Fashion. Little did I know that my happening upon a wine tasting room in my local downtown would provide me with this week’s perfect continuation of Kat’s sweet, fruity and spicy drink rendition.
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I occasionally take Lola, my 4 year old rescued Beagleman, out for evening walks down the dog friendly main street of downtown La Mesa. It’s got an old-town feel with a budding local business vibe – it’s home to restaurants, resale clothing shops, antiques and the San Pasqual Winery tasting room. This tasting room is just one of the portals to this “urban winery” or “micro winery”, which buys grapes from local vineyards throughout California and Mexico. Their catchy deal for a tasting of 6 wines followed by a $5 discount on a bottle purchase lured me right in. Lola and I were warmly greeted by the friendly staff, received a tour of their tasting room adorned with local artists’ paintings and photos, and of course a enjoyed tasting – wine for me and a biscuit for the pooch.
The San Pasqual winery offers a variety of red and white wines but, I steered my tasting toward their more local grape and fruit blends. I was pleased to find four local San Diego County wines including a 2009 Nebbiolo, a Summer Vine Passion Fruit Wine, a Roselle “Pink Passion Fruit Wine and a Habanero “Hot Passion” Passion Fruit Wine. All very enjoyable, I did manage to narrow my choice to one and purchased a bottle of the Habanero Passion fruit wine. I have never tasted anything like it! Upon tasting, I immediately had visions of paring this delicate sweet and spicy wine with a square of rich dark chocolate for a lovely after diner treat.
If you are in the San Diego area I highly recommend stopping by one of the San Pasqual tasting room locations. Bring your dog, enjoy a tasting, chat with the staff and don’t forget to join the mailing list to be invited for crushes and other special events.