21 May, 2015

Happy #ChardonnayDay

#WenteChard and Mac-and-Cheese from Home Room, Oakland
May 21st is Chardonnay day.  A day to celebrate one of the world's most popular grapes.  Grown all over the world, Chardonnay makes its mark very comfortably close to home in the Livermore Valley.

As early as 1889, wine from the Livermore Valley,won the Grand Prix at the International Paris  Exposition.  In 1936, Wente bottled the first varietally labelled Chardonnay in Livermore.  So there is a lot of precedence to delicious Chardonnay here, especially from Wente.

 For people visiting San Francisco, there is a tendency to go right to more famous appellations, as there are many nearby.  However don't  skip Livermore.  It's close and convenient and best of all the wine is yummy.

Set your GPS for Wente Vineyards.  The Wine Maker's Studio is a lovely destination where you can advance your knowledge of wine in a fun, tasty way. More information on classes here

Cure for Homesickness in Paris
Announcing this Chardonnay Day is a white wine blending session as well as an Umami class.  As people drink and celebrate #Chardonnayday, a lucky few are enjoying the festivities where it all started:  Wente Vineyards. But even if you can't get to the winery, Wente's Chardonnays are easy to find.  I was lucky enough to get samples and can vouch for their excellent value and good taste.

First 2013 Morning Fog Chardonnay ($15) This is a wine that is made with care to express the Livermore fruit well, even adding in 2% of Gewurztraminer for a dash of spice.  A combination of barrel and stainless fermenting as well as seven months on the lees and monthly battonage, produces a soft mouthfeel with a snap of acidity.  I got a nice vinous edge to the aromas as well as citrus notes and apple.  It is carried all over the world as I snapped a photo of it at the Nicholas Wine shop on the Rue Cler in Paris.  Way to represent the USA Wente!

2013 Riva Ranch Chardonnay ($22) This is made from Monterey County fruit. It had a warmer gold color and was very food friendly. 3% Gewurtz here. More oak gave this a broader touch of vanilla, which was nice with pineapple and mango in the flavors  It was delicious with the Mac and Cheese.  Without descending into "Cougar Juice", the more persistent creamy notes of this wine stood up to and complemented the insanely delicious Home Room macaroni and cheese. Home Room is an Oakland purveyor of over the top rich, buttery, cheesy goodness #Cardiologists avert your eyes.

2014 Eric's Chardonnay Small Lots ( $25) I am a sucker for Unoaked Chardonnay.  I thought this wine made a great aperitif.  It had a crisp, refreshing texture that was perfect for peeling off the stress of that last concall.  Flavors and aromas were subtle but shifting clouds of peach, lemon, bay leaf, pineapple and savory vinous notes.  Stainless steel is the perfect backdrop to make the most of hand harvested premium fruit.  This is a great introduction and representation of the Livermore Valley and how tasty this place can be

Whereever you choose to spend #Chardonnayday, I hope you lift a glass of Wente to taste California history in a glass. When I finish my work, my final and my commute, I plan to toast Livermore!

These wines were provided as samples

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