Movie & Wine Pairing


Gold Star Grenache Blanc 2017
Santa Barbara County, California

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
FRIDAY, MAY 31 @ 08:00 PM (ET)

The long, complex finish of this luscious California white matches the complexity and awe-inspiring moments in Steven Spielberg’s celebrated sci-fi film. Richard Dreyfus stars as an average Midwesterner who finds himself permanently affected by a chance encounter with a UFO. He, along with others who have had similar experiences, is drawn to a mysterious location for the film’s rousing finale. A master craftsman, Spielberg was paying homage to a number of classic sc-fi films, including The Day the Earth Stood Still and It Came from Outer Space.


When a top estate in Santa Barbara County needed to make space in their cellar, they called our California expert, Clare, to explore what they had on offer. After one sip of this vibrant Grenache Blanc, she knew you had to taste it. Clare worked out an exclusive, friends-only deal (you enjoy a much better price than the winery’s regular customers, so we can’t name them), then gave the wine her special Gold Star label. Look forward to expressive, stonefruit flavors, plus hints of white pepper and gentle spice.


Santa Barbara County has a much longer farming history than it does winemaking – the region’s earliest vines were planted in the 1960s. After the success enjoyed by Firestone in the ’70s, the total number of acres under vine boomed. Today, about 24,000 acres are dedicated vineyard space. The area’s moderate temperatures result in longer grape “hang time.” This extended period ripening on the vine creates serious depth and complexity of flavor – on full display here, thanks to the fantastic 2017 vintage.


VY_California_Central Coast_26Grenache Blanc is the white-berried cousin of Grenache Noir. It’s a key grape in southern France – it makes fuller-bodied whites in Roussillon and is a prized component of white Rhône blends. Though still rare in California, Grenache Blanc flourishes in the Golden State’s sunny coastal vineyards and is made in a crisper style with a focus on purity of fruit, as you’ll soon taste.


sal_lentilsaladWith its luscious fruit flavors and gentle spice notes, this thrilling Grenache Blanc is incredibly food-friendly. Enjoy it alongside creamy risottos or exotic salads (we loved it with a lentil salad, made with Mediterranean vegetables and chopped herbs). You could also try it with baked white fish, herbed pork tenderloin, or grilled chicken topped with an apricot-balsamic glaze.

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