If you’re from California or enjoy California wines, the concept of an “unoaked” Chardonnay may confuse and baffle you. Like, what’s the point? But, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, winemakers are like chefs: they know their ingredients in their separate parts, and they know their ingredients as a combined whole. With that experienced knowledge, winemakers will make their harvesting, pressing, fermenting, and aging choices. And good winemakers, like good chefs, will never distribute something they’re not 100% proud of. Now, that’s not to say that it will be to every person’s palate. If you’re a hardcore Cal-oaky Chard kind of person, then that’s your right and privilege. Personally, I like to experiment. And, though, I’ve had a few (unmentionable) un-tasty unoaked Chards in my time, I figured, why not give Joel Gott a go. I’ve had good experiences with his wines in the past (see Joel Gott Pinot Gris), his wines, on the whole, have a good reputation, and for ten bucks — might as well, right? So, I present to you, Joel Gott California Unoaked Chardonnay…
In the mood for a Cab, but not necessarily one inundated with chewy tannins or one that makes you work to taste the actual fruit juice? Yeah, me too. And for just such an occasion, I keep Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon as a regular tenant in my cellar.
The first time I bought this wine, it was on a whim, thinking (as I always do) that Chateau St. Jean is a good, reliable vintner. I trust they know how to accentuate flavors when called for (as in their Chardonnay), and hold back when needed (hello, Fume Blanc). So, I put my trust in CSJ when picking out a Cab for the evening — something not too bold, but not too timid, but just right. Yes, the Goldilocks standard of Cab-perfection.
I love that you can see the reflection of a tree in this shot and that the bottle just absorbs all the greenery around it. Because that is the essence of Kendall-Jackson’s Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc — fresh, crisp, and perfectly refreshing for a spring or summer evening. So, get comfy on your favorite piece of patio furniture and raise a glass with me.
This is my “cheater” big bold red. Like training pants, this is the wine that subtly introduced me to the heartier wine style. So, now, when I’m in the mood for a good wine with substance — but I don’t want to fight with decanting an age-old cellar stasher or fight with the modern-day tannin bombs — I turn to Michael David Petite Petit. That’s a fact.
PS Yes I love elephants. Can you see my elephant drinking in the background?
This is my ode to The Simple Life. Not just the wine, but the message it presents: wine does not have to be complex or expensive to be enjoyable. Sometimes it’s about popping the cork at the end of a long hard day and sharing a glass with the one you love over a mid-week meal while binge-watching Netflix.