Letters to the Editor

Local cabernets hold their own against other wine regions

Another big win for San Luis Obispo County! OK, so we’re the happiest place this side of Bhutan, with the best climate in the world, and not too overly gentrified. What’s next? How about a world-class cabernet sauvignon region comparable to Napa Valley and Bordeaux?

The Paso Robles Cab Collective recently held a double-blind tasting of wines already blind selected and representative of the best examples of cabernet-based wines from the three aforementioned regions. The tasting involved eight unidentified wines presented to an eight-member panel of experts and a hands-on tasting audience of around 150 local winemakers, sommeliers and wine professionals.

The result: Neither the panel nor the audience was able to clearly differentiate the fine cabernets from Napa Valley from the best examples from Paso Robles. The split was usually around 50-50.

The great news: The best Paso Robles cabernets not only hold their own when compared to Napa Valley’s; they are much less expensive! Bordeaux — think $500 per bottle; Napa, $200; Paso, $100. Of course, these are all flagship examples, not the stuff of supermarkets. And one Paso Robles cabernet that I know quite well and would be in good company with those presented is available at $32 (please don’t ask me about it). So buy local for great value in great wine.

Alan Boehmer, Los Osos