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Liquid courage 

Sink your fangs into this: The Grey Wolf tasting room offers up a howling good time, whether you travel solo or with a pack! The homespun surroundings are warm, welcoming, and authentically Paso Robles (you can even chill out in a rocking chair with a guitar in your lap). Known for their award-winning stable of wines—Barton, Occasional, and Grey Wolf—this 46 West winery is now putting out top-notch booze. Its new distillery is open Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. (during the week, spirit tasting is by appointment only). A $15 flight includes a taste of neutral brandy, botanical brandy, gin, barrel aged gin, and a "surprise" sprit to boot! Feeling extra wild? Try a taste of the rye whiskey for an additional $10. Then, feed your carnal cravings with a prime grade smoked tri-tip sandwich crafted by Jeffry's Catering at Barton's Kitchen Window. ( ... Did you know that The Rabbit Hole in downtown Paso Robles boasts a kick-ass bubbly bar? It doesn't have to be Sunday to feel the tickle of bubbles on your tongue. Check out their Bling sparkling wines mixed with a range of natural juices, including pomegranate and mango (1244 Pine St.). Slurp!

News nibbles

Paso Robles pride: With its rock star reds, edible garden, inn, and restaurant, I am not surprised that JUSTIN Vineyards & Winery was nominated for Wine Enthusiast's 2015 American Winery of the Year. Let's see if it can beat out four other nominees from around the country for the coveted title and put Paso Robles on the map yet again ( ... The Garagiste Festival is collaborating with Cal Poly to create the Garagiste Festival Scholarship Fund, which will award scholarships annually to high-achieving, entrepreneurial students of viticulture, enology, or wine business in the university's wine and viticulture department. How cool is that? Seeded with a $20,000 donation, the fund will be a beneficiary of proceeds from future Garagiste Festival events which include Garagiste Festival: Southern Exposure in Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez, Garagiste Festival: Urban Exposure in Los Angeles, and the Festival's annual flagship November event in Paso Robles. You heard it kids! Get out there and get crushing, growing, and pressing ( ... Adelaida Cellars in Paso Robles has jumped through the necessary 82 hoops needed to call themselves a Certified California Sustainable Winery & Vineyard. Congrats!

Bello Mundo opens its new, expanded location at 974 Monterey St. on Sept. 17.


Anyone going to eat the last slice? Woodstock's Pizza is making me fat! Try the SLO hot spot's new Kickin' Carnitas Pie, which launched on NFL kick-off day, and join me in my elastic-waistband-wearing pride. This aggressive 'za is topped with enough goodies to make a quarterback full: premium mozzarella cheese, slow marinated carnitas, crisp bacon, red onion, and fresh cilantro with creamy chipotle sauce ( ... The Paso Robles Rhône Rangers are at it again! This time, join more than a dozen local wineries pouring their best grenache selections at Burbank Ranch Winery in Templeton. Did I mention this is all in honor of International Grenache Day? Head over to the scenic winery on Sept. 18 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and sample an array of small bites and artisan cheeses from Vivant fine cheese paired with this light, playful red. Live music and an educational zone round out the night's festivities ( ... The Windrose Farm Heirloom Tomato Fest is ripening Sept. 19 through 20 (, and SAVOR the Central Coast is coming up quick this Sept. 24 through 27 (

Food is so much more than fuel. Send thoughts to [email protected].

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