Friday, August 18, 2017

Wine, Women, and Song...Concert Day in Paso Robles

OK, well, it's one a son but there will be wine and a song or two.
Warby Parker
Thursday's in Paso Robles is Concert in Park days during the hot, summer season.  A time for everybody to come together for a community-wide happy hour in the downtown park.

That'll be later, first it's time to cash in some chips. As noted in the previous post, I had a coupon for free wine tasting at Ancient Peaks Winery in nearby Santa Margarita. My wife really liked their cabernet.

Actually, we had several coupons for wineries stretching for about a 3 mile radius, courtesy of the front desk at our hotel.  We decided just to try two.

Watch the Video!

While you can get more details in our companion Cocktail Hour post and video, I can tell you that along with the great wine at Ancient Peaks, there's a tiny little (and inexpensive) bakery in the same building where we picked up some brownies and cookies for later.

They were delicious.

On the other side of town, up in the hills full of quarter horse ranches, sits Wild Horse Winery.  It's lonely here, us being the only customers at the time, so we get the full attention tasting experience before getting a case of some great pinot noir and voignier on sale.

Hand Picked Special Occasion Wines delivered to your door.- Wine of The Month Club

It's back to the hotel to take a swim in the 100 degree weather. The hotel has a pool lift, albeit at an awkward angle to the pool, that puts Tim in the water fairly easily.

As is typical in a lot of modern chain hotels, there's not a lot of shade around the pool and what little there is is already taken up by others.

We spend about an hour in the water before heading back up to the room for a quick afternoon nap before heading out for downtown Paso Robles. The plan is to get to downtown a little early (the concert starts at 6pm in the downtown park bandstand), get a good parking spot,  put our blanket down to hold a spot, find a restaurant nearby for an early dinner, then over to the park for the concert.

My wife smells garlic in the air. To her, this means pasta. Pasta is what she wants and pasta is all she'll accept. We wander along Pine Street, the park's eastern edge, where a half a dozen restaurants sit...not one among them with pasta on the menu.

Except one, Berry Hill Bistro. We go in, have one of their spectacular Millionaire Margaritas, and order pasta. Only thing is, it's too early for the dinner menu.

"The menu outside said nothing about it being a dinner menu," I tell my wife.  

She's not having it. We're a half an hour early for dinner. While Tim and I are happy with sandwiches, it won't do for her. I make a compromise. Tim and I will eat our sandwiches, then, I'll order the pasta to go for dinner and she can have a picnic in the park for the concert.

That's a deal she can live with. I tell the server what I intend to do, she tells the chef, and he relents and just makes the pasta now so we can all eat together.  

And that is how big tips are generated.

In the park, I thank our new friend, Tony, for letting us set our blanket next to his and for keeping an eye on it while we ate.  We make a few more friends as people file in for the concert.

A booth from J. Lohr winery sells bottles of very good wine for $20. I get a fine Riesling. They also give me four free souvenir glasses to drink it with.  You can also brink your own drinks from home, as many people do.

It's all a very relaxed atmosphere and all are here to have a good time.

The band strikes up...a jazzy, old school rock band...and we relax over wine and new friends as the sun sets on the music.

Darryl Musick
Copyright 2017 - All Rights Reserved

Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2017 - All Rights Reserved

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