Famigilia Bianchi in Argentina is going through a label change for its entry-level Elsa wines. So a local shop managed to pick up some of the last of the old labels at a bargain price, and has passed on the savings. I was able to get the 2003 Elsa Chardonnay Semillon for a mere $6. I got it primarily for cooking purposes, but it's still a good drinking wine. When I buy wines for cooking, I generally look for something delicious under $10. It's nice to cook with something more expensive (or ideally with the wine you're serving with that dish), but that's not always the best budgetary choice. So whenver I refer to using a wine for cooking on this blog, I'm not insulting it--I only cook with stuff I like to drink, even if it is on the less expensive side.
And I got to meet the winemaker last year. From my notes I liked this wine back then as well.
One odd note: it's got a synthetic cork, which I like, but this cork is solid black. It's not bad or offputting or anything, just odd. It's classier than the neon versions, but I tend to prefer the "cork" colored synthetics.
It's 60% Chardonnay and 40% Semillon. I love this particular blend of grapes, especially coming out of Australia. It's an unoaked, slightly crisp and medium fruit wine, but it's not too heavy. It's got a lovely white gold color, and reduced down nicely for a cream sauce I'm making for some chicken.
I don't generally get excited about South American whites--I have nothing against them, but rarely seek them out. In fact, I think that these days I drink more white wine in sparkling varieties than I do in the still varieties. I'm sure this will change as summer approaches. Today it was in the 60s here in Memphis, so I'm doing chicken and pasta with a Sauvignon Blanc tonight. More on that one after I get a chance to try it.