Niner Wine Estates

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Don’t Drink That Drink This! 6 Go-To White Wines That Are Anything But Chardonnay

How Chardonnay remains the most popular white wine sold in America is a mystery to me.  Maybe because it is easier to pronounce or remember?  At least some California winemakers  are now showing restraint and instead of using lots of new oak they’re making unoaked wines instead.  I just had a yummy Chard which was crisp with apple and citrus from Chamisal Vineyards in the Central Coast called Stainless Chardonnay.  This bright vibrant wine is totally unoaked, very nice for sipping.

I’ll admit it, Chardonnay gets more than its share of bad raps.  People are proud to say he or she is an ABC drinker – Anything But Chardonnay that is.  So what’s the alternative?  Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Grigio are options, but sometimes I want something richer and creamier than a zippy Sauv Blanc or citrusy Pinot Grigio.  Thank goodness for the white Rhone varieties grown in California that make wines memorable enough to compete with Chardonnay and even best it.  You may even agree with me that the white Rhones are so much more complex and interesting.  

A Perfumer’s Take on Wine Aromas

I walk into an event room at Niner Wine Estates in Paso Robles, Ca, for a class in wine aromas expecting to see lots of wine bottles and glasses.  No such luck.  The only bottles are small vials set out on one table.  I’m thinking, ok this will be interesting.

The man seated at that table is Alexandre Schmitt.  He’s not a winemaker or an enologist.  Instead, Alexandre is a perfumer.  He calls himself a Creator of Perfumes and an Expert of Wine Aromas.  His goal is to help people working in the wine industry find a common language to express what they smell when they stick their nose in a glass.  All the vials that he brought are full of essential oils and flavored oils.