Buttery. Vanilla. Charred. When I read these words on a bottle of Chardonnay, I put it right back down. The label might as well read “Oaky, with a hint of oak, and a mouthful of wood.”
Big oaky Chardonnays (California is especially guilty) need to join the other 1980’s trends like shoulder pads and slap bracelets and die a quick death.
When used correctly, oak is critical to the wine making process and nearly as important as the grape itself. When used incorrectly, it overpowers what could have been a beautiful wine. I also suspect it is used to cover the flavor of not-so-great wine (lazy winemaking).
Before you @ me and send angry emails, let me say that there is nothing wrong with liking oaky Chards. They are just not for me and the reason is that unoaked or unwooded Chard can be magical. They can burst with tropical fruit, melons, and similar lush happy mouth stuff.
Go forth and ask your wine retailer for lightly wooded, unoaked, or unwooded Chardonnays and let me know what you think.
Pro Tip: A lot of French white table wine is actually Chardonnay and rarely involves oak.
Medium firm but still pretty smooth. Slight crumble. Not too aromatic, smells Italian in style and has some nuttyness. Very flavourful and works well with Italian charcuterie boards and red wine. Well, beer too.
The merlot is just for visuals. We’ve also had the original and there is no difference to us.
Medium dry crumbly white cheese. Mild flavour and smell. Smells similar to a fresh mozzarella. Mildly acidic. Good with original triscuit crackers. A good mild easy going non run of the mill cheese varietal.
We had this flavoured with champagne and strawberries once from a different cheesemaker and it was amazing.
Good with beer. We had a double IPA. Red wine or champagne would also be nice.