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Sally Loo's Wholesome Cafe Chai Tea Latte and Rabbit Ridge's 2013 Allure de Robles

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Sally Loo’s Wholesome Café Chai Tea Latte

There’s nothing cozier than basking in the hot steam of a spicy chai tea latte while pretending it’s drizzling outside. Although pumpkin spice has risen to massive stardom in recent years (New Times Arts Editor Jessica Peña is quite aware), chai has always been the OG fall flavor. Sally Loo’s concocts its very own house blend with cinnamon, clove, cardamom, black tea, and ginger. This, my friends, is the closest thing we in California get to actual “seasons,” so you best drink up and think chilly thoughts.

• About $3.75 for a small; 1804 Osos St., SLO.

Rabbit Ridge’s 2013 Allure de Robles

Allure de Robles is Rabbit Ridge’s most popular wine for a reason. Made in the traditional Cotes du Rhone style of Southern France, the grapes are cold soaked for about a week, receive extended skin contact, and are gently pressed with tender love and care. The new 2013 vintage release is mostly comprised of grenache, syrah, and mourvedre, and each type of grape is allowed to co-ferment to boost complexity. The result? Incredible vanilla notes thanks to French oak aging, soft tannins thanks to up to six pump-overs a day, and a powerful wallop of flavor that makes me think of luscious, ripe blackberries dribbling down my chin. With all of this “gosh darned wine talk,” you’d think this bottle would run a writer like me an arm and a leg. Well, you’re wrong there, dear reader. Allure de Robles is exclusively available at Trader Joe’s and to wine club members (membership is free). So, I spent less than I would on a really good sandwich and came away with a fabulous new wine find. Oh, and don’t forget to check out the Paso Robles-based winery’s downtown tasting room, aptly named “The Rabbit Hole.” Happy hopping!

• About $6 at Trader Joe’s; 3977 S. Higuera St., SLO or visit the tasting room at 1244 Pine St., Paso Robles.

Sorry-not-sorry about all the references to Jessica Peña. Send letters of concern to hthomas@newtimesslo.com.

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