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Kama Sutra-inspired: LXV Winery knows how to throw a party 

click to enlarge LXV:  Neeta and Kunal Meetal own LXV Winery, inspired by the sensual, ancient art of Kama Sutra. The winery recently released two new wines: Dark Romance, comprised of 100 percent Chenin Blanc, and Secret Craving, a blend of cab franc, syrah, and merlot. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • LXV: Neeta and Kunal Meetal own LXV Winery, inspired by the sensual, ancient art of Kama Sutra. The winery recently released two new wines: Dark Romance, comprised of 100 percent Chenin Blanc, and Secret Craving, a blend of cab franc, syrah, and merlot.

Good food and wine paring—it’s like that dirty love making that, deep down, everyone really wants.” This is what “Duchess of Paso Robles” Angela Payton proclaimed during LXV Winery’s recent release party featuring fare courtesy of Chef Nanette Smalley.

At the time, my mouth was bursting with truffle-salted braised oxtail and LXV’s newly-released 2013 Secret Craving, a lusty mix of cab franc, syrah, and merlot. Standing in the 95-year-old wooden barn that will one day be part of the winery’s new Westside Paso Robles lounge, I pondered this deliciously frank philosophy.

“We always say, ‘sip, dip, sip,’” Payton said while serving crispy-crunchy sage fritters to the group of club members and media. “You can truly have a mind-blowing experience if you do it right.”

Payton is the mastermind behind pairing LXV’s Kama Sutra-inspired offerings at the winery’s downtown Paso Robles tasting room. Guests are invited to sprawl out on lavish Indian day beds with a glass, a plate of fine cheese, and dollops of various spices for dipping. Rub a specific cheese into its complementary spice, take a nibble, and then—and this part is crucial—take another sip or two. As Payton is known to repeat over and over, you want all of the flavors inside of your mouth simultaneously.

click to enlarge DEFINITE CRAVING:  Vines intermingle with chandelier baubles and ancient barn wood at the site of what will become LXV’s new wine lounge, located in Westside Paso Robles. The winery recently released two new wines: Dark Romance, comprised of 100 percent chenin blanc, and Secret Craving, a blend of cab franc, syrah, and merlot. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • DEFINITE CRAVING: Vines intermingle with chandelier baubles and ancient barn wood at the site of what will become LXV’s new wine lounge, located in Westside Paso Robles. The winery recently released two new wines: Dark Romance, comprised of 100 percent chenin blanc, and Secret Craving, a blend of cab franc, syrah, and merlot.

This is what produces the real pleasure.

“We want people to understand that it’s not just the protein—but what you do with it—that makes for a great food and wine pairing,” Payton said.

The July 17 release party also marked the debut of LXV’s 2013 Dark Romance, a soft, rich white comprised of 100 percent chenin blanc.

Both new wines—crafted by award-winning winemaker Amy Butler—boast eye-catching labels. Painter Edward Walton Wilcox is shown deep in creative introspection on the white bottle and Bravo Network’s Top Chef Dakota Weiss graces the red. The art direction makes perfect sense when you consider the 64 ancient arts of Kama Sutra, which includes music, magic, perfuming, jewelry-making—even bed-making and tattooing. The winery’s debut 2012 release, Rising Tempo, showcases a photo of a ballerina lost in the art of “Nritya,” the Kama Sutra art of dance.

click to enlarge WINES AND VINES:  Vines swish in the warm breeze alongside LXV’s newest wines, released last month in Paso Robles. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • WINES AND VINES: Vines swish in the warm breeze alongside LXV’s newest wines, released last month in Paso Robles.

Weiss, who serves as executive chef at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, signed bottles at the event, although she looked a tad less “come-hither” than her Secret Craving self. When asked how it feels to be portrayed on the wine label while nibbling coyly on a piece of fruit, she smiled humbly.

“It is a bit strange, but also really cool. I absolutely love LXV’s wines, and I want to buy them all up and pass them around to everyone I know,” she said. Indeed, the chef has created more than a few winemaker dinners focused on the small-lot winery’s lush offerings.

Weiss said she’ll definitely be hanging around LXV’s new winery lounge slated for 2016-17 completion. Mittal added that “guests love the energy” of the Willow Creek Ranch location, which, for the time being, features pick-up parties and special club events.

click to enlarge A PERFECT PAIRING:  Crispy, earthy sage fritters crafted by Chef Nanette Smalley bring out the depth and spice prowling within LXV’s newly released 2013 Secret Craving blend. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • A PERFECT PAIRING: Crispy, earthy sage fritters crafted by Chef Nanette Smalley bring out the depth and spice prowling within LXV’s newly released 2013 Secret Craving blend.

With vines meandering through worn, wooden windows, a shabby chic chandelier swinging overhead, and a casual seating setup surrounded by breezy, golden grasses, winery owners Neeta and Kunal Mittal have truly acclimated to the laid-back elegance associated with Paso Robles Wine Country. Still, Neeta’s heart is tethered to her colorful Indian roots. This is perhaps why LXV has been coyly coined “The 65th” art of Kama Sutra.

“Every label of LXV features the portrait of an artist, caught in the moment of sensuality, as they indulge in their art,” Neetal said. “We wanted to inspire sensuality, and I believe stories do just that.”

Get sensual at LXV

Let your heart sing for the sumptuous spice and wine pairing at LXV. The tasting room is located at 1306 Pine St. in Paso Robles and hours are Thursday through Sunday from 1 to 7 p.m.

click to enlarge STAR OF THE SHOW:  Season 9 Bravo Top Chef Dakota Weis, who serves as Executive Chef at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, is emblazoned - on LXV’s newest release, 2013 Secret Craving. The chef signed several bottles at the winery’s release party, held in last month in Paso Robles. - PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • PHOTO BY HAYLEY THOMAS
  • STAR OF THE SHOW: Season 9 Bravo Top Chef Dakota Weis, who serves as Executive Chef at the W Hotel in Los Angeles, is emblazoned on LXV’s newest release, 2013 Secret Craving. The chef signed several bottles at the winery’s release party, held in last month in Paso Robles.

 

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