Napa Valley Chardonnay: Foods to Pair With, and Meals that Call for, Napa Chardonnay

Chardonnay—a chameleon of a grape. There are an especially large number of choices to be made in terms of winemaking when it comes to Chardonnay. It can be still or sparkling. It can be aged in oak or un-oaked, filtered or unfiltered, subject to malolactic fermentation or not. Even the type of oak used, or the decision to keep the wine in contact with dead yeast cells during the winemaking process affects the style of the final product. These factors (not to mention the concept of terroir) result in endless Chardonnay styles that can range from Burgundy’s crisp, austere, mineral-driven wines to Australia’s tropical fruit-packed, viscous style.

How Much Does a Wine's Vintage Matter?

In the last few weeks, I have been asked whether the vintage of a wine truly matters. My initial reaction was “of course”. Then, I started to question whether it was true or whether it was just a knee-jerk reaction based on historical precedent or even worse – wine snobbery. We can all envision the wine snob sitting down in a restaurant and refusing a bottle of wine because it’s the wrong vintage. Yikes. I have done that myself. Was I being a wine snob? Was I just trying to impress my dinner companions? Or, does vintage matter? Nothing like a bit of self-reflection when ordering a bottle of wine. Oh well, at least it’s cheaper than a therapist.

Wine Trends for 2012

Wine lovers are always asking the question, what should I be looking for now? What is that latest/greatest trend(s) in wine going to be? As we enter 2012, it seems appropriate to make a guess at what those trends will be and more importantly, what wines we should be looking for in this New Year? Here is my Top Ten List: 10. Malbec will continue to be hot. While the world will rediscover that France does indeed make some very good Malbecs (see Cahors ), Argentina will continue to lead the way in the number of offerings and value. If price is no issue, try the upper end wines of Archaval Ferrer. For value, look for the entry level wines of Susana Balbo, Archaval Ferrer or Altos, although there are many other very good wines. 9. Malbec quality will be variable. Unfortunately, a lot of producers, importers and distributors will want to cash in on the Malbec craze. Don’t assume that every Argentinean Malbec is created equal. As always happens with the “hot” grape varietals, Malbec will get over planted in poor vineyard sites. Others will allow the vineyards to produce at prolific rates diluting the quality of the wines. This will be especially true in Argentina, so beware. Try before you buy if possible by going to store tastings.

Football and Wine Series

Baseball and Wine combines the great American pastime with wine enthusiasts. Find out the wines served at various ball parks across America and what wines your favorite team chooses to celebrate with.