Frugal Wine Gal: Desert Wind “Ruah”


On a recent trip to Northern Washington I was perusing the wine aisle and saw a bottle that caught my attention. That bottle was the Desert Wind Winery’s “Ruah”. I was looking for something specifically from Washington, and what I found was a gem. The “Ruah” is a bordeaux style blend from Eastern Washington. Specifically Prosser, my old stomping grounds. Wines from this area are very distinct. It is a very warm area which means that big red grapes, like those used in the “Ruah” can really ripen.

Merlot in the Barrels! (Photo Credit: Desert Wind Winery)

What exactly is a Bordeaux blend? Bordeaux blends are big bodied, complex blends. If it is a white bordeaux blend you might expect to see Sauvignon Blanc, Muscadelle, or Semillion grapes. In wines like the “Ruah”, you’ll see Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Cabernet Franc. The Desert Winds blend is Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Cabernet Franc. It is the perfect example of a bordeaux blend.

The Desert Wind Winery has an interesting history. The brand was officially launched in 2001, and they set up a winery and vineyard in 2004. Before this venture though, the owners ran Duck Pond Cellars. This winery has been producing Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris here in our very own Willamette Valley since 1994. Since 2004, Desert Wind has been producing primarily big red varietals – they grow so well there! They also occasionally make rosé, which I would love to try as well. Although I haven’t had the opportunity to go to this tasting room myself, you can bet it is on my list of things-to-do in 2015.

Desert Winery Vineyards (Photo Credit: Desert Wind Winery)

It is no secret that I love red blends. There is something about mixing varietals that creates a full flavor experience, and it just gets me. I loved this wine. The “Ruah” is the perfect example of a red blend done well. It had a color of rich purple, and was just gorgeous. The nose smelled of coffee and had hints of coca cola. My initial impression was that this wine was a bit “masculine” but it really softened up. Flavors of chocolate, big berries, and dark cherry popped with each sip. Desert Wine Winery ages its red wines for 3 – 5 years in oak and with this wine that complexity shows. It left notes of cracked pepper, and smooth tannins rounded out the glass. Every second of this wine was enjoyable, a real treat.


This bottle was right around the $20. For any of you red wine lovers – buy this! You’ll love every sip – just like me. Big bodied, complex reds don’t get any better. Cheers!


Wine lover and student. I love finding great wines at fantastic prices that are affordable for anyone and everyone. Both Oregon and Washington have some amazing options and I look forward to sharing them with everyone. Cheers!

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