Five Rivers Wines are Whimsical and Affordable: A Review

Winemaker, Steve Peck

Five Rivers wines are "Whimsical wines reflecting the spirit of the Central Coast", as is seen in the fables on its labels, the Goddesses who help winemaker Steve Peck craft lovely, affordable wines.    It's focused strictly on the Central Coast, from Santa Barbara to Monterey, with a special affection for red grapes in the Paso Robles area. Its name comes from the five principal rivers that flow through the region to the Pacific Ocean.   It is a relatively new winery, having its first vintage in 1999.

Five Rivers Winery

Wine always enhances a lovely dinner with friends.   It provides the means for a toast to health and friendship, and a wonderful accompaniment to the meal.   Our friends, Dottie and Suru provided the meal and we provided wines-Five Rivers Merlot Central Coast 2004 and Chardonnay Monterey County 2005.

Chardonnay and Merlot

The Chardonnay had a lovely color and vanilla, honey fragrance.   The flavor was clean, fruity and not oaky.    It was just right with the Indian Kachori appetizer, enhancing the flavors in the food, mellow contrasting to the spicy pea and coconut filling flavors.


The Merlot's bouquet was blackberry and black cherry.   The color was a deep red and very appealing.   Each of us reacted to the first taste with "wow!" It proved to be a wonderful accompaniment for the dinner of parsley-watercress salad, Halibut with yogurt and saffron, cauliflower with raisins, onions and ginger.   The wine's chocolate and berry flavors were noticeable as well as a grapefruit- tartness.   The blend seemed just right with the cabernet providing some heft.    All of us felt both wines were a very good value.

Joel, toasting

Joel enjoyed the Five Rivers, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 with his friends at a birthday party.   He commented that: " The nose had a top layer of spice to it.   The real flavor didn't come out until I tasted it.   The first taste had the spice of a hearty Cabernet, then immediately the complex flavors hit my palate with cherry and black currants.   I couldn't identify the sweet undertone and considered chocolate or vanilla but it added to the multi-layers of the wine.   The finish was smooth and it stayed with me, and only increased and became more distinctive with each taste."

Gloria had occasion to explore the Five Rivers Pinot Grigio Monterey County 2005 and Five Rivers Pinot Noir Central Coast 2005 and her comments follow: " Five Rivers 2005 Pinot Grigio is a dry, straw-colored wine that immediately fills the mouth with tastes of green apple and pear. It is best cool, not cold.   It is lovely to drink on its own, sitting in the garden on a warm spring evening. I also took a chance and drank the wine with a spicy Thai chicken. The wine stood up to the spices and the flavor of the wine grew and deepened.   It wasn't as good with garlic shrimp, but I think that was because it was too cold.

Pinot Grigio

Five Rivers 2005 Pinot Noir is a light red in the glass. I found the wine to be light in flavor as well. The wine's scent of blackberries led me to marinate strawberries in the wine." a fine idea. The wine coated the berries and they were delicious together. However, the wine alone wasn't very interesting to me, and the after-taste was rather thin."

Leon and Barbara had Five Rivers 2005 Pinot Noir with a light dinner including goat's milk cheese and cheddar cheese,   hearty bread, and guacamole.   The wine enhanced the meal with fruity, light flavors that held up with the food.

Pinot Noir

Five Rivers wines are widely available in bottle shops (Binny's in the Chicago area), grocery stores, and restaurants. Specific locations can be found by calling 800-753-4567, giving a zip code to the customer service person, and they will look up a close place to purchase this terrific wine. There's also a link on the website: to send an email and ask the same questions.


Current Releases:

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir 2005 Central Coast $12.99

100% Pinot Noir










Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Paso Robles $10.99                   
90% Cabernet Sauvignon
7% Cabernet
 5% Petit Verdot











Merlot 2004  Central Coast  $10.99                   
(2003) 86% Merlot
11% Cabernet Sauvignon











Chardonnay  2005  Monterey County  $10.99                   










Pinot Grigio

Pinot Grigio 2005 Monterey County $10.99                   
Pinor Grigio
2% Viogner
1% Symphony






Winemaker:  Steve Peck

Winery Location:  Paso Robles



About Five Rivers - The legend behind the names is profound.   It is as deep as the rivers run.   Throughout literature, in both modern and ancient times, rivers have been used to connect man to nature.   The spiritual names of the Five Rivers: The River of Truth, The River of Time, The River of Memory, The River of Romance and the River of Ceremony.

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