Nick Coury

“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.”

This famous line from “Silence of the Lambs” describes wine culture at its finest.

San Luis Obispo is located on the California Central Coast with an abundance of wineries and vineyards ranging in all tastes, from the Cabernet Sauvignons of Paso Robles to the Syrah’s of Santa Yenz.

Wineries in southern SLO County were put on the map with the Oscar-winning film “Sideways,” which detailed two friends in wine-immersed weekends in the Central Valley.  The movie also sparked change in the world of current chic wines.

Merlots were of an older generation, full-bodied to match couples in their mid-40s living in classic suburbia, but thanks to “Sideways,” the Pinot Noir grape has moved into the limelight.

A good wine goes well with a good cheese. For me, there is really crumbly parmesan in a big block from Costco. When you eat a slice with a sip of a nice red wine, the tastes and colors mix in your mouth like heaven.

Personally, my two favorite wines are a rich merlot, or a very smooth zinfandel.  My choice for a good Zin is a bottle of Francis Coppola Black Label Zinfandel. It is $12 at Trader Joe’s, which has one of the best wine selections available at affordable prices, (just stay away from “two-buck chuck,” and you’ll be OK).

Trader Joe’s is not the only store in town with a exquisite wine selection.  If you care to shell out the $40 for a Costco membership, you are presented with the best selection of local wines, all at fractions of the price of the valley wineries.

The classy vino drinker has wine glasses of various shapes and sizes for maximum taste for your grape.  White grape wines call for a tall glass with a small-brimmed diameter, similar to that of a champagne glass, so the bubbles do not wear off too soon.

In the market, there is a much larger variety of red wines over white, and a shorter glass, with a larger bowl, is necessary to swirl for tastes. Swirling wines help determine “legs,”or the amount of alcohol seen in the way the wine drips down the inside of the glass.

A non-food item that goes well with wine is classic jazz music. There’s nothing I like better than sitting on my couch and drinking a nice red wine, while “Bitche’s Brew” spins the wild trumpet of the late-great Miles Davis. The only thing I could ask for would be a special short-haired girl to share the evening with, drinking wine and groovin’ to the man with the horn.

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