Friday, October 10, 2014

Holiday Wines 2014: Riverbench

A series on wines for the holidays

October means it is not too early to start thinking about holiday wines.  I think about them all year long.  As the months pass, I make little lists of the wines I want on my holiday table, with my holiday feast.  I know I'm not alone in that little obsession.  I hope I'm not, anyway.

I have asked some wine folks to help me do a little less obsessing this holiday season by outlining which of their wines they feel are special.  The requests went out right about the time harvest was getting underway - great timing! - so I really appreciate the effort the responses required.

image courtesy

Laura Booras is General Manager of Riverbench Vineyard and Winery in Santa Maria, CA.  The former tarheel moved from North Carolina to California wine country in 2004.  It was no surprise - her family has ties in the business end of wine.

Laura is a bit of an expert on pairing wine with food, so we should all pay attention to her suggestions and benefit from them.  She recommends the following Riverbench wines for your holiday feasting and entertaining:

2011 Cork Jumper Blanc de Blanc Demi Sec sparkling wine ($38)
Laura says, "Don't be fooled: this wine is anything but super sweet.  The touch of residual sugar brings out a whole different flavor profile of lime and brioche.  It's perfect for an aperitif (think blue cheese quiches) or creamy desserts (panna cotta, cheesecake, pumpkin pie)."

2011 Cork Jumper Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine ($38)
"This sparkler is celebratory and delicious - our classic and traditional take on sparkling wine, boasting pretty flavors of lemon curd, yeasty brioche, apple and pear, so it's a nice addition to the holiday table.  I pair it with cheese plates, salads, also quiche and other yummy bites."

2013 Rosé of Pinot Noir ($22)
"Light and fresh, this wine pairs mouthwateringly well with almost any food.  It's a classic with turkey (especially our brined turkey recipe).  Rosé and turkey is one of my favorite things."

2011 Mesa Pinot Noir ($48)
"I call this my Thanksgiving wine because of its stronger clove and spice aromas and flavors. Elegant, smooth red fruit flavors coat the tongue, and the finish of earth and mushrooms adds a sophisticated tone.  It’s just lovely with stuffing and gravy, and if a little lingers for dessert, that’s ok, too."

Laura Booras
General Manager
Riverbench Vineyard and Winery

Vineyard, Tasting Room, and Mailing Address:
6020 Foxen Canyon Road
Santa Maria, California 93454

Visit us at our new location in Santa Barbara’s “Funk Zone:”
137 Anacapa Street, Suite C
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

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