Can you say “impulse buy?” It was my birthday, I was stocking up on wine at (three guesses) Safeway, and my favorite color is pink. So — why wouldn’t I pick up a bottle of wine mysteriously labeled “Notorious Pink”?
Ok, let’s get something clear. My favorite color is pink, and I do like a good rosé, and I might be a bit of a girly girl (sometimes), but I do not like girly-sweet wine. So, being the somewhat knowledgeable wine drinker that I am, I did read where this was (France) from and what it was made from (Grenache), and noted that the color wasn’t cotton candy pink (side note: I do not like cotton candy). So, I used my deductive reasoning that aside from the cutesy name — this is a real wine a real wine lover can enjoy. (BTW I was right…)
In my house, we have a saying that goes something like “Chateau Ste Michelle anything!” Meaning? Meaning that pretty much anything Chateau Ste Michelle puts on the shelves is a cellar keeper for sure (just check out Chateau Ste. Michelle 2013 Indian Wells Chardonnay – A Cellar Keeper). And that rule certainly applies to their latest release of Pinot Gris. Crisp, refreshing, with a spice kick — you’re going to want to stock up on this beauty for sure.
I love this wine. Love love love it. It’s one of the wines that’s usually available at a local supermarket — so when I see it, I snag at least two bottles. You’ll want two bottles of this Chard in your cellar — one to drink casually now, on a random weekday, and one to save for a special date-night dinner. Because in all honesty, with it’s easy drinkability and complexity of flavor, the Wente Riva Ranch Chardonnay is perfect for either occasion.
This was one of those times where I was looking for a wine specifically to pair with my dinner plans. I was looking for something light and refreshing, but red. I was walking down the Pinot Noir aisle and right in my line of vision is a Pinot by Carmel Road.
So I picked up the bottle and — what’s this? Wine by Drew Barrymore? Ok ok…I know she’s making wine now — let’s face it, most celebrities are. And, for me, that could be a potential put-off: is it gimicky? is the wine going to taste as fake as Hollywood?
I’ve only ever had Carmel Road’s Unoaked Chardonnay (which is not associated with DB), and my mind was telling me what a reliable producer Carmel Road is. Besides, if their Chard is unoaked, perhaps they’ll keep the oak to a minimum in their reds. And with grapes grown in the steady climate of Monterey with its fresh ocean air and sweet sea breezes — how could this not be the cool and refreshing red wine I’m looking for?
Oh just another example of me looking for a wine to pair with my meal. Honest-to-goodness, I was looking for a total Cal-oaky Chard, but my partner in wine crime was not in the mood for a buttery indulgence. “I want an oaked wine,” he said, “but I don’t want it to taste oaky.” Sometimes in marriage, you have to compromise, right? Well we found that compromise with Alexander Valley Vineyards 2014 Estate Chardonnay.