Wine tasting and culinary delights have returned to Idyllwild. Ferro Restaurant began its monthly wine tasting in early May. The second tasting is Thursday, June 9, and features wines from Ascension Cellars in Paso Robles.

“We’re pairing wines to match our menu,” said Frank Ferro of Ferro. “Wine is food. And these pairings will offer knowledge about different wines. I’m excited; something fresh and fun to match the experience.”

Ascension is a boutique winery that favors wines in the style of the French Rhone and Bordeaux. Ascension vintner Erick Allen has said, “… our style preserves and highlights the wine’s link to its place of origin, the Geneseo [American Viticultural Area] on the east side of Paso Robles.”

A man who began his wine making as a hobby at home, Allen has evolved into a very well-known and recognized vintner. “We are inspired with every harvest to create wines that are flavorful and aromatic, distinctive and hypnotic, with charm, balance and grace.”

Ferro said his challenge is to pair the restaurant’s gourmet food with the wine selections. At this event, he is planning an Italian-themed barbecue. “From the regions where the grapes are from, they offer whole pigs on a spit and short ribs. How would they do it? It will inspire us,” Ferro said.

The epicurean wine and food pairings that began last month will continue throughout the year. They will generally include six wines with a matching course.

Reservations may be helpful. Especially since Open Table, the leading provider of online restaurant reservations, announced that Ferro is one of the 100 Best Al Fresco dining restaurants in the U.S. for 2016 and number one in the Coachella Valley.

The next pairing is 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 9. For gourmets and their guests, the cost is $95 per person or $75 without the wines.