Save on vino with WalletPop and Jennifer Horn
Paso Robles is one of my favorite wine-making areas in the state, so I try to make trips there every so often. On my last visit to the area, I came across FS Cellars, a small boutique winery and tasting room located at the hub of the Paso Robles appellation, in the heart of San Luis Obispo County, Calif.
FS Cellars is the joining of two families (in fact, the name comes from the last names of the families - Farley and Simons). While raising their kids in the small town of Templeton, Calif., Benny Simons and his wife Sandi became great friends with winemaker Joe Farley, and his wife, Leigh Anne. Farley has been passionate about wine since his time spent studying at Cal Poly University in San Luis Obispo. After graduating in the 80's, he went to work as vineyard manager for Martin Vineyards, known today as Martin Weyrich Winery, quickly nabbing the position of assistant winemaker, which he held for more than 2 years. After that, Joe and his father started a wine label called Abby D'Or and opened a tasting room in Templeton, Calif. It was there that Joe received a call from his friend Tobin James of Tobin James Cellars, where Joe worked as the assistant winemaker for the next 4 years. Joe moved on to become a respected assistant vineyard manager for French Camp Vineyards, one of the largest wine-grape-growing operations in San Luis Obispo County. Joe knows that great wines begin with the nurturing of the grapes, and he oversees the whole process from growing the grapes to the end product.
F/S Cellars makes Chardonnay, Mourvedre, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Pinot Noir, Cab Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon with grapes from select premium vineyards in the area. Their tasting room is casual, unintimidating and fun and offers free wine tasting, which is a great treat in a tough economy like ours! Each of the FS Cellars wines are unique, sophisticated and sexy.
One of my favorite discoveries at FS Cellars is the 2007 Mourvedre. Mourvedre is a Rhone varietal and this one will not disappoint. The classic nose of plum and spice (think cinnamon, clove, black pepper) carry over to the palate with slight nuances of chocolate and coffee. Even though most people follow the "meat with red, fish with white" rule, Joe Farley suggests pairing this flavorful, fabulous red with a lightly seasoned, seared Ahi. If you want an even bigger treat, try the just-released, Mourvedre Reserve aged in 100% French Oak five months longer than the 2007 Mourvedre.
On to the deal: Usually, the only way to save money on boutique wines is to join their wine club, but, for a limited time, FS Cellars is offering a great bargain only on Wallet Pop. Receive 10% off the 2007 Mourvedre or try the very special Mourvedre Reserve for only $40 when you order at their website. Make sure to write in "Wallet Pop" in the Discount Code box to get your discount. Cheers!
Jennifer Horn is a co-host on the nationally syndicated Good Day radio program heard on more than 300 stations across the country in morning drive. She hosts a weekly food newsletter with fellow Good Day personality Chef Louie DeAngelis. An accomplished sommelier, Jennifer also co-authors a weekly Food & Wine Newsletter and is a contributor on the nationally syndicated What's Cookin' Show on CRN Digital Talk Radio. Follow Jen on Twitter her