This is another case of “Sonoma-envy,” in that it’s a winery I’ve heard about (all amazing things), but haven’t actually visited (yet). And, of course, in context of the rave winery reviews, I’ve heard mouth-watering descriptions of their wines. To be honest, I didn’t know that Benziger Family Winery would have bottles available at a local grocery store. But, as I’ve said in other posts, I’ve learned to search all shelves in the wine aisle — my friends, I’m telling you: gaze your eyes upwards, kneel down towards the floor and you’ll find wine gems like Benziger Family Winery Merlot.
As far as California wines go, Pinot Noir is most notably at home in the Sonoma Coast where, even with its varying microclimates, produces Pinots that garner descriptors such as “plush,” “cherry-driven,” “light and bright.” But, alas, we are not in Sonoma any longer, my Totos. We’ve traversed the terrains of the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Is it wrong to be scared of a wine? Because I totally was when I walked out of the store with Wente Riverbank Riesling. But, like my partner in wine crime said, “If you’re going to take a chance, it might as well be with a Wente.”
I’m not a fan of sweet wines, sweet-ish wines, or wines that are close neighbors with the word sweet. But I had a dish in mind — a spicy dish — and new in my heart of hearts a Riesling would be my answer. Up until this post, there was only ever one Riesling that I officially enjoyed (Kung Fu Girl) because most other are just so cloyingly sweet. Now, to be fare, this is based on grocery store available Rieslings and (maybe) sweet wines are popular. So there I was, Kung Fu Girl in one hand, Wente Riverbank Riesling in the other — and I opted for the devil I didn’t know…
Yeah, don’t try to pronounce the name, everyone just calls it “Gun Bun” anyway.
I’ve only heard amazing things about Gun Bun’s winery. It’s an estate with history and personality and, although I’ve never been there, I can tell you that, at least on social media, the “Cast of Characters” behind the brand are wonderful. So, with a good rep and socially engaging peeps, I just had to see what all the hype was about and pulled this bottle off the shelf of a local grocer. (Spoiler alert: I was not disappointed.)
When I find a producer who has successfully provided me with wines with a well-rounded palate, I feel comfortable enough to take a chance and try some of the “harder” varietals. And, let’s face it, Cabs can be harsh. But I so loved St. Francis Zinfandel (and I’m quite picky about my Zinfandel), that I didn’t even hesitate when I needed a Cab and came across this offering from St. Francis.