Vi(v)a (Las) Vega(s)

OK, so Paso Robles is nowhere near Las Vegas. But we took a gamble on  Via Vega Vineyard’s 2005 red wine after spotting the sombrero-sporting skeleton on the label. Never mind that he’s also wearing a flower held up only by his non-existent ear. Flowers, skeletons and all for just $4.99? We were sure we had hit the jackpot. Grocery Outlet may be a long way from the uptown wine shop, but Paso Robles is 240 miles from Napa, too, so there.Via Vega 2005 with taco soup

We picked this wine because taco soup was on the menu, and what better accompaniment than some Dia De Los Muertos character from someplace that, loosely translated from Spanish and Latin, means “by way of the fertile valley?”

From the label: “The October series by Via Vega is a tribute and celebration of the harvest season. Growers, winemakers, and you with your glass, share the lovely October glow of the Harvest Moon. So enjoy our wines as you taste these vines.”

Wow. Dead guys and bad poetry! This wine just gets better and better!

And you don’t have to take the Wine Slobs’© word for it: This wine won the bronze at the 2010 Central Coast Wine Competition. Now, award-winning wines aren’t exactly our forté, but we know a winner when we taste it, and this hearty red and some spicy taco soup really hit the spot on a cold, damp night.

Aromatique: Spicy and bold. Full, round flavor.

SipQuips: Sweet on the tongue, followed by warm, spicy, intense flavor with a hint of black cherry.

Kitchen Couplings: Mexican food (have antacid handy); burger with bleu cheese; crackers and goat cheese (an acquired taste, according to Debbie). This wine needs food that can stand up to an equally bold flavor.

Taco Soup Recipe (bonus! No extra charge!)

  • 1 lb. ground buffalo or beef (free range, please)
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1 pkg. Hidden Valley seasoning mix
  • 1 can diced green chiles
  • 1 large pasilla pepper, chopped
  • 6 cans of beans (kidney, white, pinto, black, chili – mix and match your favorites)
  • 1 large can stewed or chopped tomatoes
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • water (add to desired consistency)
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • tortilla chips
  • sour cream
  • shredded cheese
  • sliced olives (unless you’re Brad)
  • chopped jalapeños

In one large pot, brown and sauté meat, onions and garlic. Add all other ingredients (except Toppers). Heat thoroughly over medium to medium-low heat. Serve over tortilla chips. Add Toppers as desired.

¡buen provecho

Bonus factoid: “Paso Robles” translates as “Pass of the Oaks” which seems like a pretty good place for a winery, eh?

2 Responses to “Vi(v)a (Las) Vega(s)”

  1. Papaduck says:

    Your right! This is a nice table wine. If I get to Groc Out early tomorrow for their wine sale it will be an amazing $38.40 a case!

  2. BraDebbie says:

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope you can pick some up at the Outlet sale tomorrow. Let us know if you see any other great deals or if you come across a good, cheap wine that we ought to know about.

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