Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Shall We Chardonnay?

I like to cook with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food. - Unknown

I've received lots of emails from those of you just getting into wine, or want to bring something special to someone's party.  Love this!

I'm a California girl and love our wines, so I'm going to pick some of my tried and true favorites.  These chardonnays are easily available in Cali.  I went for six that instantly came to mind, so if you see one of your favorite whites missing, please share your recommendations in the comments section.

  • Chalk Hill Estate Chardonnay - ($35-$45, 93 Points) My mother introduced me to this splurge.  Cakebread used to be my fave chardonnay to blow money on, but Chalk Hill is even better.
  • Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay - ($15-$25) I see half-bottles of this wine in nearly every mini-bar across the country.  Don't be put off by it and give it a try.   
  • La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay - ($12-$25, 90 points)  What restaurant doesn't offer this wine?  It's consistent and better than Kendall Jackson, which is nearly always on the menu with La Crema.  The extra two dollars a glass is worth it.
  • Au Bon Climat Santa Barbara Chardonnay - ($20-$25, 90 points)  I have special memories associated with this wine. When I turned 21, it was one the first bottles I ever ordered in a restaurant.  It was at Patina (which I believe is now Providence?) and it was light and fruity and I still enjoy it with fish and chicken.
  • Acacia Carneros Chardonnay - ($12-$25) This is what I keep in my home at all times and buy in bulk when it goes on sale.  It's what I usually have with dinner at home, unless I'm drinking red! 
  • Gainey Chardonnay - ($20, 92 points) I visited this charming Santa Barbara vineyard around Halloween one year and I remember thousands of pumpkins on the drive up.  Not only is this winery worth a visit, this wine that doesn't get the same attention as the others, but stands up to the rest.

Here are some budget-friendly wines under $10:  Coppola Chardonnay, Chateau Ste. Michelle, Kendall Jackson, Clos du Bois.

There is a Spanish saying that goes...  Good wine ruins the purse; bad wine ruins the stomach!

1 comment:

Cafe Observer said...

I prefer Merlot.
I saw your pic of In N Out burgers a couple weeks ago. Can u imagine having that with wine, SM?!

Btw, have you seen Miss California's wunderful In &Out video??


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