Flavor pairings elevate wine tastings at downtown Paso Robles salon.
The Kama Sutra, the Sanskrit treatise on life, love, and pleasure, inspired the richly hued East India–chic decor of the LXV Wine tasting room. The gracious staff and voluptuous interior (there’s also an outdoor patio) provide reason alone to visit. You can taste on their own several of the wines co-owner Neeta Mittal produces with her husband, Kunal Mittal, but it’s best to elevate the experience by adding to your reservation Neeta’s flavor pairing.
For the flavor pairing, small cubes of sheep’s cheese lightly dusted with various spices are served with the wines. At a recent tasting, the LXV Umami Blend of black truffle salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cocoa, vanilla, sarsaparilla, and Himalayan pink salt accompanied The Spell, a hefty, savory Syrah–Cabernet Sauvignon blend. A gentler mix of Mandarina hops, miso powder, toasted coconut, lemon zest, cayenne, garlic powder, and raw sugar, on the other hand, was the choice for a rosé. The hosts, sometimes Neeta herself, explain why understanding the spicing of a dish is as essential to pairing it with an appropriate wine as knowing the protein.
Old World Approach
The Mittals favor an Old World style of winemaking that emphasizes flavor but focuses on its subtler aspects as opposed to merely amplifying fruitiness. Sommeliers applaud the wines, crafted by Jeff Strekas (also of ONX Wines in southern Paso’s Tin City boutique complex), for their food-friendliness, but even solo they come across as complex, delicate, and delicious.
Why go: flavor pairings; stylish downtown Paso tasting room; gracious staff; Old World winemaking approach.
LXV Wine Lounge appears in 12 Foolproof Paso Robles Wine Tasting Experiences.
What to Do
Where to Eat, Drink, and Sleep
More About Paso Robles
Daniel Mangin is the author of Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma and coauthor of The California Directory of Fine Wineries: Central Coast. He has written about wineries and travel for Napa Valley Life, Marin Magazine, and other outlets.