22 August 2011

Round Hill Chardonnays

The Grace made it clear that she wanted a white wine with her steak during her visit to Hot Springs, Arkansas a couple of months ago. And thus, she developed a love for Pinot Gris that might not have happened otherwise.

Wine iconoclasm can be annoying ("I only drink wine out of coffee mugs and I put coffee in my wine! I even throw a little Hershey's Syrup in there when I feel like it, Old Man!"), but often the various rules that are associated with wine are not quite on the level of the Ten Commandments. Red wine with red meat and white wine with fish or poultry is common wisdom, but not a law or physical constant of the universe. Drink what you like and drink what makes you happy. As long as you're willing to try different wines with different foods, and enjoy the pursuit, I'll never criticize your choices.

Frankly, I enjoy Chardonnay with steak sometimes. If it's not heavily seasoned or cooked over fire, rare beef can be light and buttery, perfect for a Chard. (And obviously veal goes great with white wine, so there's established precedent.) Indeed, if you get a dark and heavily oaked Chardonnay, you really need something stronger than a steamed chicken breast with a specific number of green peas that's ordered every day at noon by an elderly dowager in New York.

These wines are from Round Hill via Rutherford Wine Company.

2010 Round Hill Oak Free Chardonnay
97% Chardonnay, 3% Muscat Canelli
$12, 13% abv.
Hallelujah! A great name for unoaked Chard. Much better than something like "grapes who have dreams that they are at a meeting stark naked, and you can taste the shame". This wine has a light nose of pear and apricot. Mild acidity with a soft, pleasant, and refreshing character.

2010 Round Hill Chardonnay
98% Chardonnay, 1% Pinot Grigio, 1% Muscat Canelli
$8, 12.5% abv.
While this one is oaked, it's not overdone. Just mild butter and vanilla tones with a touch of green apple and a hint of sweetness. It's fun to taste the two back to back, but I definitely prefer the unoaked version.

Note: These wines were received as samples.

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