I dedicate this post to my partner in wine crime, without whom this site and my very career as a wine writer wouldn’t exist. I wasn’t always a writer — believe it or not, I wasn’t always a wine lover. But one thing he and I had in common right from the beginning of our relationship was the joy we both found in the kitchen. That joy increased exponentially when we started cooking together. I may have been the first in the relationship to ask, “What wine would pair with this?” but it’s only through both our inquisitive minds and insatiable curiosity about all things cuisine, that I’ve gotten as far as I have.
Along with Wente and Chateau Ste Michelle, Chateau St. Jean is another wine producer that has established itself as a regular in our cellar. I first fell in love with CSJ after tasting their standard Chardonnay — totally Cal-oaked to perfection — and I have to say I knew the love was real after tasting their Pinot Noir. Light and lively, there’s nothing serious about Chateau St. Jean’s Sonoma County Pinot Noir — it’s simply easy drinking for any night of the week.
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 am way too excited to write about this wine. Why? Because it’s one of those instances when I knew right away what I wanted when I saw it: Chateau St. Jean Sonoma County Fume Blanc. The truth is, I knew what I would be eating for dinner that night, and nothing in my cellar was going to play the part of the perfect pairing. I was in a state of mind that I really needed my wine to enhance the dish: elevate certain flavors while calming down others. So I went out and, despite the store’s limited selection, I found this gem.
Chateau St. Jean — yet another cellar staple in my house. But I have to say it’s Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay that made me fall in love with this Sonoma County wine producer. It has everything I look for in a casual daily drinker with the added benefit that it can certainly double as a date night delight when paired with the right meal. It’s fun, versatile, easy drinking. So, Cheers to Chateau St. Jean Chardonnay!