Thursday, April 3, 2014

Wine Educaton - Chardonnay

Wine Tasting at all FOUR locations

Taste a few Chardonnays at all four of our locations this Saturday, April 5 from 11am-3pm. (each store will also have other wines out to taste)

A little more education: We are going to try to feature either a grape or a wine region each week at our stores. We will give you some background information on the grape or region and feature a wine that highlights what we are featuring. We will taste that wine on Saturday at all four of our locations. We will post it here in our blog and send it out in our emails - click here to sign up for our emails   I have started a new label "Education" that you can hit to read all the education articles (see the right column under the heading "labels".

Grape: Chardonnay

Chardonnay grapes in Moldova
image from Wikipedia

Chardonnay to oak or not to oak that is the question?

These days it seems most Chardonnay’s and indeed most Chardonnay drinkers fall into one of two categories, the buttery oaky crowd and the un-oaked mineral crowd.  Each thinks their style is the true expression of the grape varietal and quite frankly each is right. That is the beauty of Chardonnay it can be all things to all people:   big, ripe and lush, clean crisp and steely or just about anything in between. The best way I have been able to explain the usage of oak in the fermentation and ageing of Chardonnay is to view oak as a seasoning.  For example, let's say that oak is the salt and the wine a steak. Now if you are grilling a well marbled Rib-Eye you want to hit it with a good amount of salt to season the beef, the richness and fat of the Rib-Eye will not be overpowered by a heavy hand of salt, to the contrary the salt will serve to accentuate the flavor of the meat.  However, if you have delicate Fillet you want to be more restrained with the salt so as not to overwhelm the flavor of the beef. In other words, not all Chardonnay grapes are the same and should not receive the same oak treatment.  Only the best most intense fruit can handle oak ageing and maintain their true varietal character, lighter less intense fruit should be handled with care so that the fruit is not masked by the “oak seasoning” after all it is Chardonnay you are buying not the oak barrels. Come taste some great examples of Chardonnay from across the flavor spectrum this weekend

Try these two Chardonnays at all four of our locations
2012 "LMB" La Mere Boiter Macon Chardonnay...$16.992012 Beringer Private Reserve Chardonnay Napa Valley CA (New Oak)….$27.99

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