Dinner with the winemakers! I’m Tom Simoneau with today’s wine minute here to say the best way to taste a wine is to have dinner with it. Last week Jeff Meier and Steve Peck of Paso Robles J. Lohr Vineyards and Wines poured their new releases for me at Healdsburg’s Dry Creek Kitchen. J. Lohr farms some 3000 acres from three wine regions: Paso Robles, Monterey County, Napa Valley. J. Lohr may be large, but it’s still family owned. It operates with the loving care of a boutique winery. Jeff Meier spoke with pride of his new small batch vineyard series, from the Clonal selection, soil types, to the winemaking techniques. The taste is in the bottle. Look for the J. Lohr 2010 October Night Chardonnay all lemon, tangerine, and pears, 4½ wine stains, $25. The J. Lohr 2010 Highlands Bench Pinot Noir is a smooth strawberry jam, cherry, and mocha of a wine, 5 wine stains, $35. Dinner with the J. Lohr winemakers… I love my job!