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.