Pairings in Paso: Archambeault Family Wines “Okipe Syrah” and Kevin’s Smoked Tri-Tip

paso wine

By Jennifer Knoll

In the summer of 2010, newlyweds Dani and Kevin Archambeault decided to sellmost of their belongings, buy an Airstream and leave the big city to follow their dreams of working and living in Paso Robles. Neither had worked in the wine business before, let alone made their own wine. They were confident that their enthusiasm and strong work ethic paired with outgoing personalities would make their dreams come to fruition. They each secured jobs in hospitality at two noteworthy wineries when fate smiled upon them. Dani and Kevin were given the opportunity to make two barrels of Syrah sourced from Fralich Vineyards in Templeton. Around that time, Dani and Kevin had caught wind of the small grief stricken island of La Gonave, west of Haiti, which had a new co-op calledOkipe (oh-kEE-pAy), which is Haitian Creole word meaning, "to look after" that had started a children's village. The story of this project immensely touched their hearts; they both knew they wanted to help. And just like that, Archambeault Family Wines, 2010 Okipe Syrah was born. With notes of blackberry, espresso, and pepper, 100% of the donations for this expressive Syrah go toward providing safe, clean water systems for the orphans in the children's village. Here's how it works: Your $20 donation equals one bottle of Syrah. Visit Click on Featured Partner "Archambeault Family Wines". You can make your donation using their secure pay-pal application. Email Dani or Kevin at to let them know that you donated & they will ensure that you get your bottle of wine! I recently had this rich savory Syrah paired with Kevin's famous smoked tri-tip, honestly I can't think of a better duet.

Kevin's Killer Smoked Tri-Tip

1 beef tri-tip, about 2 lbs, slightly trimmed

The Rub:

4 tablespoons salt 3 tablespoons garlic powder 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 teaspoon onion powder 1 teaspoon smoked paprika 1 tablespoon brown sugar ½ teaspoon cumin

Rub the tri-tip on all sides with spice rub. Place the meat in a sealable plastic bag, seal the bag and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours. Start your smoker with lump charcoal and use the traditional red. Place the meat in the smoker fat side up for the entire smoke and be sure to use a drip pan if you are using the indirect method of smoking on a gas or charcoal grill to eliminate flare-ups and grease fires. Acquire a temperature of 225 to 250 degrees and smoke the tri tip for around 2 to 3 hours or until it reaches the desired doneness. Allow to rest 15 minutes, slice thinly on the bias.

Savor this delectable pairing knowing that you too made a difference.

Jennifer Knoll is a lifelong resident of Paso Robles. Growing up in the wine business and being surrounded by farmers she developed her serious fetish for wine and food. She is also the Asssitant Tasting Room Manager at Tablas Creek Vineyard.