The culmination of my recent one-day turnaround trip to Paso was a hands-on Lobster dinner – as in my hands are still feeling a little rough while I type this out – at Sextant winery.
But let me start at the beginning. Wasn’t entirely prepared to crash the 7th Annual Lobster Boil at Sextant Wines along with dedicated winery club members, though I thought I was.
After taking the winding drive up to the tasting room (thank you Uber for managing that) we were greeted at the doors, checked off a list, handed our wine glasses and proceeded to taste the 2015 Grenache Blanc and 2013 Windemere MacGregor Pinot Noir – both excellent examples of these varietals.
From there we wandered into a salon filled with happy sipping guests. We snagged seats in front of the fireplace while enjoying tray passed hors d’Oeuvres of Pulled Pork Tartlets, Butternut Squash Shooters and Grilled Cheese Bites – all while being poured more tastes of the Grenache Blanc and Pinot Noir.
After the 30-minute pre-event we were asked to descend a twinkle lit staircase down to where we were to have our meal created by Chef Nick Nolan from Society Cuisine. The view: giant pots of boiling water, heat lamps, tables set with red and white gingham napkins, bibs, and black personalized aprons to wear for the hands-on eating.
The meal also included wild Mexican prawns, corn on the cob, fresh cut Ocean Mist artichokes and fresh dug mini fingerling potatoes – and accompaniments such as homemade lemon aioli, cocktails sauce and drawn butter.
What fun! Shellfish flew everywhere as guests cracked into their lobsters. I had two men helping me: one that did my claws while the other instructed me on how to get that lovely lobster meat freed from its shell.
The fun was accompanied by the 2014 Santa Lucia Highlands Chardonnay, 2013 “Holystone” Zinfandel (my personal favorite) and the 2014 “Kamal” Cabernet Sauvignon (this was the wine that give them a good reason to join Paso’s growing Cab Collective) that was presented to members as a pre-release offering. Rules about fish and red wine be damned at this point, people drank what they liked and the shellfish was the better for it.
While we happily ate and drank we heard some news from winery owner Craig Stoller: Though the crush pad was full, room had to be made for this special dinner. The new winemaker Michael Fay – with a pedigree that included time at Cambria Winery and Duckhorn’s Goldeneye – new expansions, three estate vineyards and a tasting room in Edna Valley as well, were cause for celebration.
And though there was no room for dessert we couldn’t possibly call for our Uber without diving into a Granny Smith apple bread pudding with cinnamon anglaise and the 2013 “Passage” GSM – another pre-release shared. Over-sated, we reluctantly said our adieus.
The true essence of Sextant Wines is found in its roots.
With premier growing grounds along the California Central Coast, proprietors Nancy and Craig Stoller take great pride in planting clean certified Sunridge Nurseries ENTAV/INRA nursery stock. Allowing the rich terroir of the land to nurture the vines ensuring richness and unsurpassed quality which is honored by producing wines that reflect an uncompromised quality.
You can schedule a visit at their Edna Valley or Paso Robles locations here: http://www.sextantwines.com/Contact-Us/Tours–Tasting
Eve Bushman has a Level Two Intermediate Certification from the Wine and Spirits Education Trust, a “certification in first globally-recognized course” as an American Wine Specialist ® from the North American Sommelier Association (NASA), was the subject of a 60-minute Wine Immersion video, authored “Wine Etiquette for Everyone” and has served as a judge for the Long Beach Grand Cru. You can email Eve@EveWine101.com to ask a question about wine or spirits. You can also seek her marketing advice via Eve@EveBushmanConsulting.com