I don’t like La Crema. And yet here I am on a cold winter night, wrapped in a warm blanket, supper furry UGG socks on, listening to the rain tap the window while the heater coughs up warm, if not a bit dusty, air. Oh yeah, and I’m drinking La Crema Chardonnay.
The act of drinking La Crema is, for me, a solo act — a bit like sneaking cookies after your parents go to bed. The utter butteriness, the creaminess that coats the mouth, that full-bodied, if not a bit fatty, texture on the tongue — you know you shouldn’t, and on most days you don’t. But when it’s what you’re craving…it’s what you have to have.
It’s ok, no one has to know. It’s our little secret. I won’t tell if you don’t…
About the Wine: Big name that they are, La Crema has vineyards all up and down the Pacific Coast. Obviously, La Crema Sonoma Coast Chardonnay is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes harvested from various vineyards throughout the…Sonoma Coast. It’s amazing how little La Crema tells you about the wine’s specifics regarding vineyard sites and even winemaking practices. But if you’re at all familiar with La Crema’s tastes and textures, you know that there had to have been some malolactic fermentation in the process and the five and half months it spent in barrel must have been predominantly new oak.
My best guess for lack of detail is that La Crema knows that this wine is just made for lazy drinking. It’s the “I don’t want to think about it, I just want to drink it” wine. The perfect pairing for pjs and netflix.
Flavor Profile: Let me preface this with the fact that I prefer La Crema Chardonnay served at room temp. To me, any cooler and you lose that fun fuzzy feeling this guilty pleasure is good for. Visually, the wine is a kind of dull yellow. But who wants something bright or luminescent when all you want to do is relax? The smell is neither here nor there. It’s the epitome of the scent of white wine. But, if you’re in the mood to, like, try or something, then you might just smell a some vanilla, apple blossoms, a bit of bark, and little plops of citrus zest.
I’m not going to pretend that this wine is a wealth of complexity when it comes to the flavors. But I will give credit where credit is due and La Crema Chardonnay is balanced. It’s a consistent full-bodied white wine filled with butter, honey, lavender and a thin line of lemon-lime citrus acidity going through the center of the whole taste. They’ve also done a good thing in not hiding the alcohol here: there’s almost the same warming sensation one would get from sipping a distilled spirit (mind you, it’s not actually that strong).
And that’s what La Crema is good for. It’s your secret dessert; the little nip at night; everything the wine snob in you doesn’t want, but the sneaky teen does.
Food Pairing: Don’t take this wine seriously. Have it as an aperitif on a cold winter evening. Enjoy it as a night cap as you snuggle under the covers with a good book. Bring it to a party for those “I only drink white wine” gal pals. Or pour it for you “I’m not really a wine drinker” mother-in-law. It’s that kind of wine.
But, on occasion, this may be a wine to pair with food. And on that occasion I encourage you to think casual comfort food. Think of what you’d cook for yourself on a stormy night when you’re too lazy to get ingredients.
Chicken, mashed potatoes, salad.
Grilled cheese and tomato bisque.
Cup ‘o’ noodles.
Seriously. Don’t take this wine too seriously. It’s a wine to have because you want it, so drink it with what you want (even if that’s just pjs and Netflix).
More Info: You can get this wine almost anywhere. And because this is kind of a solo, guilty pleasure wine for me, my favorite thing to do is pick up a half bottle (which you can find at Whole Foods, Safeway, and even Cost Plus; Price Range: $8 – $13).
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