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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wine and Food Pairing of the Week: Tuna Melt + Wente Morning Fog

Another Wine Wednesday on tap, many vino-sapiens will be scurrying about looking for a good-to-great bottle of wine for the upcoming weekend or even a little something for tonight's wine-slurping festivities. Last week I was involved in another online "taste and tweet", where I came across a simple little California Chardonnay called Morning Fog, from the great folks at Wente Vineyards, that I would like to high-light in this review.

A few of the more snobby elements of bloggerdom panned this wine a bit, throwing it under the wine-wagon. Pegging it as being the typical over-oaked butter-bomb, better suited as a wine to be poured over stale movie theatre pop-corn. But nothing could be further from the truth. While I got a certain amount of toast and a delightful drop of lemon-curd, this wine is not monolithic in style. It had some nice layers of minerality tucked into the subtle apple and pear flavors dancing around the citrus notes. The abundant fruit is punctuated with a nice bit acidity to help carry the day.

By me saying this no way implies that I drink Chardonnay on a regular basis, in fact I typically will go out of my way to drink a red wine over white wines, if I have a choice. But there are times I do enjoy a good white, especially when they're paired with the right foods or I just want something a little lighter on a warm day.

In fact as it's stated on their tech-sheet, "50% of this Chardonnay was barrel fermented in French oak" while the balance was fermented in stainless steel, nicely cutting down on the Chateau Two by Four style, so often associated with typical California Chardonnay low-acid butter-bombs. Especially from producers like Rombauer for example, a style sometimes known as Cougar-Crack.

Additionally; the wine was sur-lie aged for seven months, helping to give those round mouth flavors, many associate with creaminess in this style of Chardonnay. So I want to salute the folks at Wente, for the effort to dial down oak influence. While many folks who write reviews, don't think much of wines like this one, the fascinating fact is that Chardonnay and California Chardonnay specifically; are still on top of the charts for consumption among the general wine-slurping-public and is a wine that still commands major shelf space with many wine and spirit retailers.

Like I said, I opened this wine last week to sample during the live tasting, I later used my vacu-vin and tucked it back into my refrigerator for safe-keeping. [I had previously mentioned it was a screw-cap closure, but it was cork] I came back to this same wine this past Saturday, while preparing lunch for Mrs. Cuvee and myself. I poured a glass, the same vanilla, toasty lemon-curd aromas jumping from the glass, invited my first slurp. This wine paired so nicely with our tuna-melts, which you see pictured below, that the Mrs. and I had no problem finishing the bottle, making for a wonderfully simple Saturday afternoon food and wine pairing.

What I hope you take away from this post is that this wine is a great Tuesday evening wine, you'll have no fear of buttery sweetness and its pairing possibilities are quite literally limitless, who am I judge anyway, even a toasted marshmallow would work out quite nicely. If you like a nicely balanced Chardonnay now and then go get yourself of this very tasty juice, which I've scored 87 points, it has an SRP of $13 most places and it's a wine can easily recommend to you. Until next time sip long and prosper cheers!

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Beau said...

How did you get a screw cap to fit onto that bottle, if it originally came with a cork? You'll have to show me that trick sometime :)

You wrote: "A few of the more snobby elements of bloggerdom panned this wine a bit, throwing it under the wine-wagon. Pegging it as being the typical over-oaked butter-bomb, better suited as a wine to be poured over stale movie theatre pop-corn. But nothing could be further from the truth."

Which I assume is directed at me, since I seemed to be the only person with the balls to speak my honest feeling and not just cheer-lead..But where the fallacy in your statement lies is after attacking the "snobs" opinion, you turn right around and give your own; "nothing could be further from the truth".

Later on you mention you rarely drink chardonnay. If you indeed are attacking my comments (which you should just come out and say in the first place), I might point out that I regularly drink chardonnay. To go further, I regularly taste chardonnays from all over the world, not just Burgundy. Therefore, we can infer that I perhaps have a fairly good grasp of the styles that it appears in. As such, maybe my opinion is more informed on this issue than yours. I grant that it may not be, but given the evidence, I think there's a compelling case to be made.

And finally, as I step off my soapbox, I do want to point out that I (and whomever else you think is a snob) never once knocked the QUALITY of the wine, just the STYLE it was made in. That's an important distinction to make, and I think you fail to understand that.

A Wine Snob

Bill Eyer said...

There's only one thing I can really say to that:

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