If you need evidence that Paso Robles passes for southeastern France as a wine destination, get to a tasting with Tablas Creek Vineyard at the Wine Cask (813 Anacapa St., 966-9463) on Saturday, October 27, from noon-2 p.m. When the legendary Perrin family looked for a New World site to make Rh’ne varietals, they turned to wine importer Robert Haas for help and found a location in Paso where they hoped to make wines as good as the ones they’ve produced for decades at Ch•teau de Beaucastel. Turns out they pulled it off: At a recent blind tasting, a cellar-full of folks couldn’t tell Tablas Creek’s flagship Esprit de Beaucastel from the actual Ch•teauneuf-du-Pape. While they make stellar mourvdre, syrah, and roussanne, as well as blends, Tablas also has a real knack for finding and nailing unusual varietals like vermentino and counoise. What’s more, Robert Haas’s son Jason is convinced the 2005 vintage is a benchmark for the young winery. Come and taste what all the buzz is about. $15 per person. Visit winecask.com.


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