I’ve been holding on to this bottle of white Port since the Prager family shipped it to me some months ago. I wanted to make sure that I was prepared — both mentally and culinarily — before I cracked the seal. I also wanted to make sure that I opened the bottle at the right time and in the right place: I wanted to make sure I was surrounded by loved ones with which to share this wine adventure. A family product like Prager Port deserves such attention and occasion.
I’ve never heard of Starmont Winery before. This was an honest-to-goodness random pick at my local TJ’s. My only requirements were a) Pinot was a must and b) I was specifically craving a California Pinot. And this particular TJ’s is slim-pickins’ in the wine aisle (ok, I guess requirement “c” was that it wasn’t labeled as a TJ wine). Anyway…I had two choices and this one was more in my price bucket. So I nabbed it, crossed my fingers it’d taste how I was craving, picked up my pizza, and went home. Read more.
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…
Prager Winery & Port Works is a boutique, family-run business in the heart of Napa Valley, boast three generations of Prager “Porters.” Although their physical location is a bit off the beaten path for most tourists, I was lucky enough to come into contact with them through social media. Their area of expertise is, obviously, Ports, but they do craft “regular” wines as well. I thought the best place to start my adventure in Port-land would be to experience one of their wines, diving deep into the main ingredient of their product of passion.
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!