Wine tasting in Paso Robles offers so many options! After a full afternoon of winery visits, we were ready to wrap up day one with a totally unique tasting flight at LXV Wines.
We have enjoyed so many variations on wine pairing flights: wine and cheese, wine and cheesecake, even wine and bacon. When we learned that LXV Wines served a wine and spice pairing flight, there was no question. We knew that we needed to check this out! Their tasting room was conveniently located a block from our dinner reservation, in the center of town. We therefore put our tasting visit at the end of our day, following a fun tasting at Herman Miller Wines. We walked past an attractive patio tasting area to enter the tasting room. The room was a festival of color, with blue sponge-painted walls, dramatic art, colorful pillows, and comfortable couches along the walls. Add the seductive aromas of spices from foreign lands and we were in love!
We met wine guides Paris and Nicole and settled in for our tasting. Nicole told us a bit about the winery as she set up our flight. The winery’s name “LXV” comes from the Roman numerals for 65. Owners Neeta and Kunal Mittal felt that the 64 Sutras, or desirable arts, should be extended by just one more: making wine. So Sutra number 65 was given life as LXV Wines. The Mittal’s love for spices gave rise to their unique wine pairing, matching each wine with a blend of spices infused into a small cube of cheese!
We first tasted their 2019 “Crimson Jewel” blend, made from 80% Sangiovese and 20% Petit Sirah. It was paired with their Wild Venus spice with porcini mushroom, dry mango powder, black lava salt, and saffron. We loved the friendly fruit layers that became even more exuberant by the spice. Paris next poured their 2017 “Lover’s Spell” blend, combining Cabernet Sauvignon and Sangiovese equally. It was paired with their Umami spice with black truffle salts, black pepper, ginger, garlic, onion powder, and cumin. This was a supple, gentle wine, with a blueberry finish. Our Take Home list developed a Lover’s Spell!
Nicole then poured their 2016 “Secret Craving” blending 59% Cabernet Franc, 26% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Petit Verdot. It was paired with Jaipur Nights spice, along with espresso, cocoa, rose hips, rose petals, panilla negro chile, and Chinese five spice. This pairing featured notes of raspberry and red plum that kept us sipping to the end. Our final taste was their 2016 Reserve Cabernet Franc, paired with Newfound Guru spice with mint, rosemary, parsley, marjoram, black garlic, and lemongrass. The Cab Franc really stepped forward here, with a perfect balance of acid and tannin on the finish.
As our dinner reservation approached, we found ourselves wrestling with a double dilemma: which wines AND which spices should come home with us. We decided to purchase nearly all of the spices and wines between the four of us. With thanks for Paris and Nicole, we set off toward our dinner.
About the Author: John grills a mean steak and is always in the market for another wine fridge. Believes that if a winery has more than 10 employees, it's probably too big. Buys wine faster than he drinks it, but who cares?