Savory Sparkles

When we think of sparking rosés we usually think of bright, fruity, baby-pink bubbles, but what if I told you there was a whole undiscovered world of savory, earthy, even salty sparkling wines?

IMG_6775(1)The 2015 Riverbench “Corkjumper” Sparkling Brut Rosé out of Santa Barbara County is my favorite example of such a special genre. You’ll find no bright pink bubbles here, but instead a deep rose gold hue. It’s aroma is reminiscent of damp forest floor, under-ripe strawberries and, believe it or not, savory chicken broth. Don’t be deterred by its nose though, the flavor will surprise you even more: flavors of lemon curd, Asian pear, and white peach piled atop salty, buttery crackers make this wine both refreshing and comforting.

The best part of a wine like this, is you finally have something that easily pairs with the more complex umami dishes that we all love so much. “Umami,” that mysterious “fifth taste” presents a challenge for most Wine Specialists and Sommeliers. That dark, meaty, craving-inducing flavor can be easily overpowered or offset by many wines, so we are presented with a challenge: find a wine that matches the dish‘s complexity, without overshadowing it. Many people argue that umami is not actually a “fifth flavor” but rather the combination of all flavors, much like the fruity, savory, Riverbench “Corkjumper” Brut Rosé.

My favorite dish to pair this with is Spicy Miso Ramen. The savory notes really compliment the Miso broth, while the citrus fruit flavors refresh and cool the palate. The final touch is the bubbles: the elegant sparkles that cut through the fatty pork or beef slices, leaving you ready for your next bite.

Finally Umami has a mate, and it’s a match made in culinary heaven.

Long live the savory rosé.


Check out their Winery and Tasting Room events at, and make sure to pick up your own bottle of the “Corkjumper” Brut Rosé while you’re there!

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