On our way to Big Basin Redwoods State Park to stay the weekend in a rustic tent cabin, we stopped at Ben Lomond Market for take-away food and some wine.
A bottle of Robert Hall Winery 2015 Zinfandel for $18.99 turned out to be a good choice.
Meeting up with friends to share our spoils, we gathered ‘round a campfire to enjoy this full-bodied wine, its dense core of fresh raspberry and cranberry fruit intertwined with peppery spice.
With soft tannins and moderate acidity, this Zin was a winner paired with hearty sandwiches from the market and an assortment of chips and dips. The winery suggests that you can also pair it with “decadent chocolate desserts.”
Not surprisingly, this robust Paso Robles Zin won a double gold in the 2018 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.
Robert Hall Winery in Paso Robles is a big operation. Hall Ranch totals 300 acres—all farmed with sustainable practices—and home to 12 different grape varietals.
While Paso Robles has long been a hot destination for wine tasting, new and exciting hotels such as the splendid Allegretto Vineyard Resort are only adding to an abundance of superb wineries to visit.
Robert Hall Winery, 3443 Mill Rd., Paso Robles. 805-239-1616, roberthallwinery.com
Hakouya Miso Dressing
At a recent Aptos Natural Foods open house, I sampled locally produced Hakouya Miso Dressing made by two ladies from Japan, Eriko Yokoyama and business partner Masumi Diaz.
Miso is a traditional Japanese fermented seasoning high in protein and probiotics, and also packed with vitamins and minerals. The savory flavor has for centuries been a culinary staple in Japan.
Today, a sprinkle of miso served with avocado on rice crackers is a tasty, nourishing and healthy snack—and it’s handy to keep some in the fridge to add a splash of flavor to various dishes. Hakouya Miso produces homemade miso (soybeans, koji and sea salt) with olive oil, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, and garlic. The ingredients are mostly organic, all natural, gluten free, dairy free, and good for your gut! Classes on probiotic food are also taught locally.
Visit hakouya.com for more info.