Founded in 2003, Clayhouse is a boutique winery located in California’s south-central Paso Robles wine region. Since 1990, the Middleton family has farmed a gigantic 1,700-acre estate where they grow 20 different grapes, from petite sirah to sauvignon blanc. It seems like they threw them all into this blend to come up with a luscious, full-frontal, easy-drinking wine. Mixed into this sweetly smoky juice is 44% Zinfandel, 32% Petite Sirah, 16% Syrah, 5% Malbec, 4% Grenache and 2% Mourvedre. Fruit forward with cherry, plum, blueberry, chocolate, vanilla (but no strawberry) and supple, easy-going tannins. Pair this wine with pepperoni pizza or any smoked meat dish.
Read my profile of the winery
Sweetness: 2 out of 10
Retail price: $13-$16
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Occasion: I tried this with a sales rep from Opici, the distributor who carries it, for a wine list consulting client.
Tampa Bay folks: Try it by the glass at Pan y Vino in Dunedin and retail at Ed’s Fine Wines in Clearwater.
Want cheese with this? Try Seahive’s cow’s milk cheese.