Down The River We Go!


River rafting trips mean being ultra selective about the wine brought along. Everything you bring has to be easily packed onto your raft.

And you must be prepared to lose it all. If your boat flips, if a rapid washes everything in your boat away, if you lose your footing while chugging from the bottle, you can bet that bottle is sunk. And swimming upstream and to the bottom of the river is not an option.

Are you on the edge of your seat yet?

Essentially, our weekend trip river rafting was One. Wild. Ride.

Honestly, it was more of a joy ride, except for some extreme paddling when the wind was doing everything it could to divert our path. Which I kid you not, was some of the most resistance I have ever felt in my life (other than that time I tried to get my boyfriend to duet “Time of My Life” at karaoke with me). The Deschutes River is not exactly the wildest river, although I did tell some people at work that we would see Class VI rapids. To be fair, I didn’t really have any idea what I was talking about, but I’m sure I sounded like an experienced river rafter.

We spent two three days and two nights on the river. Rafting by day, camping by night. And packing everything in and out with us.

The selection of wine was limited and because of previously stated potential wine casualties, I brought inexpensive Trader Joe’s selections that would be refreshing during or after a day in the sun.

I brought along the 2013 Liberté Pinot Noir, first, because it’s from San Luis Obispo County, and many people on the trip went to school there. I was so excited to share the fun fact that this wine was from the city of their Alma mater. They weren’t as excited.

At $10, I was pleasantly surprise. It was tart, kind of smoky and acidic. Fulfilling black cherry and smooth enough to gulp when I needed something to quench my thirst after a long day in the sun.


I picked up the Espiral Vinho Verde, because choosing Vinho Verde when it’s going to be hot is like choosing Cadbury Eggs when you know it’s going to be Easter. (Read: an easy choice). The slight effervescence says party, but not like the fuller bubbles of Champagne scream celebrate. It’s lively, mineral and dry.

These wines and I now have special bond. They made it through my inaugural rafting trip and helped me survive the very rustic camping conditions.

Liberté Pinot Noir
Vintage: 2013
Region: Paso Robles, California

Espiral Vinho Verde
Vintage: NV
Region: Vinho Verde, Portugal