Big news for local fans of Paso Robles Pulchella Winery (with a local tasting room in downtown Newhall) or of Salt Creek Grille Valencia: Pulchella has bottled a red wine blend exclusively for Salt Creek Grille called the SCG Blended Red. The launch party was Thursday January 12th on the SCG patio with paired hors d’oeuvres by Director of Catering/Chef Tamra Levine and Salt Creek Grilles’ Executive Chef Ignacio Munoz.
Our only teaser to our waiting palates were the tasting notes provided by Pulchella’s tasting room sommelier, Jeff Prange: “Complex aromas of dried strawberries and Bing cherries on the nose carry over to the palate along with rich flavors of pomegranate and rose water. The balanced finish suggests ripe ruby red grapefruit, while the light tannins make this wine dangerously easy to enjoy with most food.”
According to Jennifer Chadwick, Director of Sales and Marketing for Salt Creek Grille, the new SCG Blended Red is the result of a collaborative effort between Greg Amsler, owner of Salt Creek Grille, and Pulchella’s winemakers Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper.
Greg explained further, “We had been looking at offering a Salt Creek Grille branded house wine for quite some time and settled on the idea of a quality red blend which would compliment a number of our menu items in the restaurant. I approached Steve and Nate because I knew Pulchella shared Salt Creek’s commitment to quality, and being a locally owned small business it was a pleasure working with another locally owned small business in the SCV. We are proud to work with Pulchella in developing this new and exciting blend to offer our Salt Creek Grille customers.”
Many supporters of the winery came out ready to try a wine they couldn’t have in the tasting room, which was brand spanking new and exclusive. The food pairings, inspired by the wine and created under the tutelage of Executive Chef Ignacio Munoz and Chef Tamra Levine were delectable.
Tamra, handing out a new catering menu – also exclusive to guests at the winery – explained that SCG and Pulchella not only partnered on the new wine to the restaurant, but also on a “Tasting Room Treats” menu for Pulchella. Winery guests can select from the menu, call SCG (661-222-999) to order what they would like and then pick up anytime between 11:30 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. to enjoy back at the tasting room.
Winery guests also have the option of a more customized menu, and for that Tamra listed her direct contact number, 661-510-9406.
Some of the items we enjoyed during the launch party and included in the Tasting Room Treat menu included: Baked Goat Cheese Marinara, Imported Cheese Platter, Mediterranean Puffs, Coconut Shrimp, Ocean Pearls, Mini Chicken Cordon Bleu, Cocktail Meatballs and Mini Beef Wellingtons.
Tamra added, “We may have worked with the winemakers, Steve Lemley and Nate Hasper, but only in tasting our tapas with their wines. We did a lot of tasting before they finalized the blend! We are very proud to say that Pulchella is only available as a house wine at Salt Creek Grille Valencia.”
So, being your local wine conduit, I inhaled a few delectable treats and then spent my evening interviewing peeps on what they thought of the wine.
Winemaker Steve Lemley – This was a really fun project. We are honored to work with the SCG staff to come up with their custom blend. This new wine is sort of a “spin-off” of one of our best selling wines we serve in our tasting room. The blend, of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Zinfandel, is designed to pair dangerously well with all of the cuisine at SCG.
Francine Danny – I’m a fan of the Everyday Red, it’s my favorite, so I like this…it’s a little bit smoother in comparison.
Dr. Kim Rosen – One word, peppery!
Cathy Martin – Black cherry on the nose followed by some very mild tannins.
Bruce Brown – I usually like heavy wines, this I would pair with meats, pasta, cheese, and it’s very well balanced, satisfying to both the novice and distinguished palate. For a Paso wine, this is a nice lighter taste.
Cathy Craig – Very smooth, easy to drink, pairs well with these appetizers.
Alex Sheridan – Wonderful, I laughed, I cried, I enjoyed!
Dr. Ron Cappi – Can’t wait to pair with SCG BBQ ribs!
Kym Cappi – A lovely bouquet and nice and soft on the palate.
Me – Lots of juicy fruit, very accessible, ready to drink now. Guess they did their job right in making a wine for SCG diners!
The blend is available by the glass for $7.50 and $27 a bottle.
I hope you enjoyed this virtual tasting, and I’ll see you soon at SCG or Pulchella. (And, at press time, SCG has a brand-spanking new wine list with Pulchella not being the only new wine to try…!)