January 31, 2005
I went to my favorite liquor store in Athens a couple of weekends ago and bought this wine. First, this is my favorite store because they have a big wine selection and the prices are GREAT. If you see a wine in the grocery store, you can usually find it here for $2 or $3 less.
So, I wanted something different and the other thing good about this store is that there's a guy there who knows stuff and, in addition, he knows where all the wines are. And I asked him for an unwooded Chardonnay.
You see, a couple of years ago, I went to a wine tasting at which I tasted an unwooded chardonnay. I was suspicious of it because I don't have a profound love for white wines and chardonnays are so oaky to me that I actually prefer real wood chips to some wines I've had. But that wine I tasted was GREAT. All the citrus in the wine just popped out. It was like drinking summer and I loved it.
Sadly, I didn't write down the brand or anything, so now I just poke around occassionally trying to find it.
So, I asked the guy for one of these.
See, Chardonnays are usually aged in oak barrels. That's where they get the oaky taste. "Unwooded" ones are aged in steel containers, though, so it doesn't pick up those flavors.
This one is no exception.
Now, I have read that wines are sensitive to temperature. What temperature should be used for white wines? I don't know. It's in a book somewhere, but I'm sure it's cooler than that of reds, which I understand are actually supposed to be served at a cooler temperature than you think.
Anyway, this wine. When I first tasted it, I was not impressed. In fact, I think I was imagining some other taste and when I tasted this it was so wrong. So, I let it sit a minute before sipping it again and it was very pleasant.
I definitely detect something like tangerine in this one and it's very pleasant. It also has a creamy note in it. I don't think I can describe it beyond that because it has a couple of different flavors in it and because I haven't worked much at tasting, it reads as a pleasant noise to my tongue. Alas, this is as good as you're going to get in the way of description.
When I look up Chardonnay in my wine book it says of the grape:
The greatest dry white wine grape in the world, despite its proliferation in virtually every commercial wine-making area. Once erroneously thought to be a member of the pinot family, this classic variety is responsible for producing the greatest white Burgundies and is one of the three major grape types used in the production of Champagne.
Well, I think this is a decent wine and I would certainly consider serving it another time. It's the 2003 Gnangara Unwooded Chardonnay from Austrailia.
January 24, 2005
Well, I succumed to their wiles and bought another bottle.
Wisely, I took it to a 3 year-olds birthday party so that I would not wind up stuck with another horrid bottle of wine. Three year-olds will drink anything!
Anyway, we tried it. I didn't like it very much but it was not the "demon piss" that I had before. I would also note that this bottle had a synthetic cork.
The wine was fairly spicy and definitely heavy on the berry and fruit. Since we drank it immediately after opening the bottle, the comment was made that there was no wine in the bottle, because not one bit of it stimulated the front part of the tongue. I found that after it aired, it developed more body.
Still, not my favorite wine. I don't hate it like I did though. Thank you, kind readers, for convincing me to get back on the horse!
So, you can go get this Shiraz if you want to. I say: Stick to Yellow Tail. It's cheap and reliable.
I read in a recent issue of Men's Health that alcohol in ANY quantity is bad for the healthy individual. Studies that have shown that red wine helps people with their heart have downplayed the caveat: if you already have heart disease. The article in Men's Health compares it to radiation therapy for cancer. Which is worse: Cancer or radiation? Cancer. Which is worse: Red Wine or heart disease? Heart disease. That doesn't mean you should drink alcohol at all.
I've also held that the word 'poison' especially with regard to things like alcohol and cigarettes is overplayed. (I don't smoke, though.) I've long thought that it's ok to drink a little bit now and again or to smoke once or twice without sustaining any real harm to your health.
Apparently not. Apparently, the least amount is damaging.
I will look into this further because I started drinking red wine for this purpose. If alcohol is always bad for you, then I shan't drink it any more and that's that.
Tonight, I'm drinking Yellow Tail Cabernet-Shiraz blend, by the way. It's decent, but my tastebuds have been murdered because I made a particularly spicy batch of creole to go with it tonight.
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