Spice pairings elevate 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. The spices co-owner Neeta Mittal pairs with the wines she produces with her husband, Kunal, further elevate the experience.
Small cubes of sheep’s cheese lightly dusted with various spices are served with the wines. The LXV Umami Blend of black truffle salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cocoa, vanilla, sarsaparilla, and Himalayan pink salt, for instance, accompanies Lover’s Spell Syrah–Cabernet Sauvignon, with Mandarina hops, miso powder, toasted coconut, lemon zest, cayenne, garlic powder, and raw sugar the choice for the Heart Note Rosé of Sangiovese. 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, gently 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: spice pairings; stylish downtown Paso tasting room; gracious staff; Old World winemaking approach.
LXV Wine Lounge appears in 12 Foolproof Paso Robles Wine Tasting Experiences.
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Daniel Mangin is the author of Fodor’s Napa and Sonoma and coauthor of The California Directory of Fine Wineries: Central Coast. He also writes about wineries and travel for Napa Valley Life, Marin Magazine, and other outlets.