Fruity, spicy, and extremely well balanced, this medium bodied zinfandel from plucky boutique winery Felten Cellars is a good spring barbecue sipper, indeed! With notes of fennel and cocoa and aromas of blackberry, it sips swell on its own, but shines bold and beautiful when paired with a charred rack of barbecued ribs. Pour on that barbecue sauce, honey! I have a whole roll of paper towels to spare!
• Felten Cellars 2014 Zinfandel—$28 a bottle; Paso Robles; shop.feltencellars.com.
Cravings. The struggle is real! I’m not sure if it’s Chef Jeffry’s Catering’s killer Philly cheesesteak mac and cheese or Barton Family Winery’s amazing whites that are calling me to Paso as of late, but one thing’s for certain: You can’t really enjoy one without the other. I highly recommend scooting up to a seat on the tasting room’s casual porch, forking some hot mac into your face, then finishing it all off with a cleansing, pleasing glass of Barton’s “The River” Grenache Blanc. (Yes, this wine is named after the Bruce Springsteen song. This makes sense, after you notice the turntable in the corner.) If you want to go all out “Paso Robles Wine Country,” catch the sunset and give winery dog, Ginny, a scratch behind the ears. Just don’t go doing the #blessed thing. We all know this is paradise—the idea is to keep it our little secret. Oh, who am I kidding? The cat’s so out of the bag! We should be posting fliers around town.
• Barton Family Wine's 2013 Grenache Blanc—$24; 2174 Highway 46 West, Paso Robles.
Hayley Thomas is ready for liquid mac and cheese to become a thing. Send letters of disgust to firstname.lastname@example.org.