Founders’ Favorites: The Wine Series


(Lisa) Wine. In its most simple form wine is merely an adult beverage made from fermenting fruit. At its best, however, wine can define an entire geography. Much like the start of R. Riveter, our passion for the craft of wine began in a garage. It was 2007, and I volunteered my husband Jason and I to make all the wine for my sister’s wedding. No pressure. The crazy thing is we had no idea what we were doing, but knew we lived pretty close to a great wine growing region in Washington, and we’d dabbled a bit in home-brewing. We bought an oak barrel, a fruit crusher, and press, and borrowed a friend’s truck to head out to the vineyards. When we returned with over 1,000 pounds of Malbec and Syrah grapes, we had no idea the door we had just stepped through. 

Fast forward 13 years and add our many military moves to the equation—we’ve made wine in four different wine regions, visited dozens of American Viticulture Areas (AVA’s), and even visited wineries in places as far away as Croatia, among other countries. (For the record, Croatian wine is fantastic and is the birthplace of the modern Zinfandel grape!) 

(Jason) Wine, to us, is not just an alcoholic drink. It is a full sensory exploration of how the gifts (or curses) of nature, and the skilled hands of farmers and vintners, create something as long lived and beautiful as a bottle of wine using only one ingredient: grapes. The lack of a recipe forces intense focus on perfecting the one and only ingredient. This also gives nature a heavy vote in the eventual product quality, and is why a Pinot Noir from Oregon will taste different than a Pinot Noir from California or France. For an inquisitive mind, the combinations, possibilities, differences, and similarities are endless. Ranging from light and crisp to deep and brooding, there is a wine for everyone. 

(Lisa) Jason and I want to share our passion for wine with you over the coming weeks. We’ll share some of our favorite wines and wine experiences, and recommend some bottles to try with our personal tasting notes. Of course there are no cherries, vanilla, rose petals, or tar (yes tar…it’s a good thing, we’ll get there soon) in the wine, it’s simply the best way we know of to articulate the complexities we smell and taste in a given wine. Feel free to compare our notes with how you perceive the wine’s qualities. We believe wine is an experience, so we’ll be focusing on how to pick the right wine for the right moment. After detailing our thoughts and where the moment led us in terms of wine, we’ll have several recommendations at a variety of price points, all with links to purchase if you wish. 

(Jason) Lastly, have fun. Wine isn’t meant to be analyzed, rather it is meant for enjoyment. Lisa and I have fun with the more scientific components, but ultimately how you enjoy wine is up to you.