I received some samples from the marketing team for Ron Rubin's River Road Family Vineyards and Winery. I was unfamiliar with the brand so a little research informed me that Ron Rubin had grown up in the beverage industry as his family owned a wine and liquor store in Illinois. He attended UC Davis in the early 1970s and studied winemaking.
Rubin was interested in more than just wine and spirits. He would start his own beverage company and acquire The Republic of Tea which was based in Larkspur, CA. Eventually, he would purchase the River Road Vineyards and Winery in the Green Valley AVA which is a subzone of the Russian River Valley and begin making wine. This is a family company, his son now manages the tea business and his wife, Pam, inspired one of the Chardonnays in their line which is reviewed below.
Ron Rubin Winery Pam's UN-Oaked California Chardonnay 2018 - This is not a traditional dry Chardonnay, it is an off-dry wine with sweet ripe fruit aromas and flavors. It has classic Chardonnay notes of pear, apple, and citrus with food-friendly acidity, moderate alcohol, and a tropical pineapple nuance in the finish. It is a fun summer wine for only $14 per bottle. The grapes are sourced from family owned vineyards in Clarksburg, Lodi, and Mendocino County. I served this wine with a salad lunch made of grilled chicken, feta, spinach, apple, and avocado. It has a suggested retail price of $14.
Two other products for wine lovers that like a bit of sweetness in their vino come from the River Road winery, Ron's Chillable Pink and Ron's Chillable Red. I served these at home on a Sunday evening spent poolside in our backyard. The Pink version was preferred by everyone there except for one young lady friend of my son who had previously told me that she prefers sweeter wines and prefers reds. I set out some fresh berries, ice, and sparkling mineral water for anyone that wanted to make a spritzer or faux sangria.
Either wine could be a good choice for use in a Sangria recipe and may eliminate the need for adding any additional sweeteners. Both also have a low 7.1% alcohol. The wines were served with a spread that included spicy barbecue sliders, potato salad, avocado salad, and fresh melon. They could be enjoyed with any salty or spicy snacks. Both have a suggested retail price of $12.99.
Ron's Chillable Pink - Appearance wise, any rosé lover would be attracted when seeing this in a glass, however, for those that like their rosé dry and mineral driven, this may not be the right wine for them. It is spritzy, fresh and fruity with sweet mixed berry and melon flavors and a lightly sweet but not cloying finish. I enjoyed it most over ice with a few berries and a splash of sparkling mineral water.
Ron's Chillable Red - Loaded with aromas and flavors of raspberry and plum with a slight savory note which I found disconcerting with the sweetness level. It was also lacking that spritzy element which enhanced the pink version. Only one in our group favored it, she drank it both straight and in a spritzer with fruit and sparkling water.
The wines are sold at Total Wine, they are affordable and the quality is good for the price.