Who knew that Atascadero had a vibrant wine tasting night life?
Laura and I along with a good friend enjoyed a fun Friday evening at Grape Encounters EmPOURium. This great little wine shop doesn’t only carry an excellent wine selection chosen by the owner David Wilson but they also carry unique wine accessories and gifts. They also host a remarkable wine tasting experience that just might blow up into a wine tasting party full of laughter and delicious wines. David is a wealth of knowledge and manages to combine his knowledge with such jocularity that will fill your mind and keep you laughing. Hey, you might even learn a thing or two while your laughing!
The Wine Flights offered are a “One-Way Red”, a “One-Way White” or both. The pours are served in small clear glass jugs arranged in a small wooden rack and you are instructed to drink from left to right and there’s a yellow sticker on the left side of the rack so you know which side is left.
The unique experience of tasting these wines is that they are from different wineries from around the world. Many of the wines served are from local boutique wineries in the area that don’t have tasting rooms so it was a privilege to taste them.
There was a delightful couple Amy and Michael enjoying the tasting at the counter who made room for the three of us at the counter who were quick to include us in the fun that had already begun before we arrived. We managed to catch up and ended up spending the next couple hours laughing, telling stories, and enjoying the wonderful wines. Michael happened to be a rep for Old World Vines, a company that imports “authentic old and ancient varietals from Greece, Hungary, and Slovenia”. We embarrassed ourselves by telling Michael who is Greek with a full Greek accent in tow, that we weren’t familiar with Greek wine or their varietals. We were quickly introduced to three of the wines that are sold at the shop and learned that some of the varietals in Greece have been around since the time of Aristotle. When Michael told me that the Chateau Porto Carras was a Cabernet Sauvignon blend that had 10% Limnio (the wine that Aristotle drank and wrote about), I had to buy a bottle. I have yet to try it, perhaps it will make me wiser : )
Grape Encounters Emporium is worth visiting for a fun afternoon or evening of discovering new wines and old favorites. Be sure to check out the wine accessories and gift items. Owners David and Annie Wilson are wonderful hosts and will make your visit worthwhile. David is also host of Grape Encounters Radio. Annie is a great photographer and her beautiful images are hanging around the shop. By the way, Laura has some of her photo gifts available in the shop as well such as pendants and gift cards with photos of the the Central Coast.