Sipping with Grace: Desert Wind Ruah and Yia Yia Nikki’s gyros

A wine for those looking to have some Greek food



This is the 2018 Desert Wind Ruah with Yia Yia Nikki’s gyros and greek fries.

JARED GRACE, Evergreen columnist

The 2018 Desert Wind Ruah is a red blend from Washington state consisting of 40% Merlot, 33% Syrah and a spattering of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Malbec varieties. With an ABV, or alcohol by volume, of 13.9%, this wine has a medium-high body and is moderately tannic, dry and acidic.

Opening with notes of sweet blackberry and vanilla, light pomegranate and cherry make a light in the dark. These light flavors bring a small amount of sweetness to the wine, making the oaky finish a savory and satisfying experience.

The mouthfeel of the wine is very tangible; it has a very thick texture, with a feeling of drippingly ripe fruit that has its own astringency. This wine also gives a very enticing spiciness that brings another level of character and flavor to the wine.

I paired this wine with two different gyros from Yia Yia Nikki’s: a Mediterranean pita and a falafel pita, with a side of Greek fries.

The Mediterranean pita contains gyro meat, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, feta, hummus and tahini sauce all on a pita. The falafel pita contains seasoned garbanzo beans formed into balls, deep-fried and grilled, accompanied by lettuce, tomato, onions, feta and tahini all in a pita.

Generally, I have found that white wines pair pretty well with these ingredients. However, these ingredients together create a more pronounced experience and pair well with the boldness of the red wine.

The fruity aromas of the wine were perfectly emulsified in the taste of the truffle oil and garlic of the Greek fries. The dryness of the feta in both the Greek fries and gyros paired perfectly with the spiciness, allowing both to shine without either being too overpowering or tinny.

To consume this wine at its best, I recommend opening it and putting it in the fridge 15 minutes before serving. This should chill the wine to about 60–65 degrees while also aerating the wine enough to release those flavors and aromas.

Winery: Desert Wind Winery

Varietal: Washington State Red Blend

Vintage: 2018

Locations: Columbia Valley, Washington

Price: $12–18

Pairing: Yia Yia Nikki’s gyros

I would like to emphasize that this column is not a review; my purpose for writing this series is to provide as much information about a wine as I can so that you can find your niche.

If you would like to inquire about anything I have talked about in these columns or recommend wines for me to pair in the future, email me at [email protected].

Drink up!