There's no sin in Zin–particularly the cozy, relatively smooth sort frequently produced in Paso Robles. This coming weekend, March 18-20, the region will celebrate vines both old and new at the Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival where more than 50 wineries will play host to a variety of events. Spicy zin-heads will particularly wish to buy tickets for Saturday's massive tasting and auction at the Paso Robles Event Center.

Sideways author Rex Pickett will hold court, though one can only hope that spit bucket-slurping Miles, his creation played by Paul Giametti in the film adaptation, will elect to stay at home. Apparently, Pickett's new book, Vertical, sees Miles and his partner-in-slurp Jack bouncing off to Oregon's Willamette Valley. We're hoping for two broken noses this time. At any rate, the tastings this weekend should be good fun. Cigar aficionados may want to stop by the Plaza Lounge for a stoagie. There'll be a whole “parlor” dedicated to port and chocolate. A dozen excellent local restaurants will share tastes of high-quality culinary creations. For a list of participating wineries and ticket information, click on.

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