Thursday, October 27, 2011

Herding Cats Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay, Vintage 2010

First, let me make this disclaimer: This wine is complete shit, but I love it.

The result of a purchase designed to shame and embarrass me as a cat lover, I'm glad I discovered this wine, because it's perfect just as it is: cheap, unassuming, and unoffensive. It's also unextraordinary and unremarkable, but I'm willing to let that slide, personally.

Verdict: Porch wine. It has some of the typical characteristics of a Chenin Blanc (a white floral nose, a minerally palate) and a few of the typical characteristics of a Chardonnay (a fruity palate, creamy mouthfeel due to the ML Fermentation), but it's not terribly complex. It is, however, crisp, refreshing and fruity - a great summer or easing-into-fall wine (or if you're me, an all-year wine!).

Pairing: I have (honestly) paired this with anything. From macaroni and cheese to hamburger helper, this wine just hangs back and stays refreshing - it doesn't presume to "go" with anything. Just buy it to keep in your house for dinner parties... no one needs to know that it's got a silly label!

Wine: Herding Cats Chenin Blanc/Chardonnay, Vintage 2010

Price: $7.99
Purchased: Harris Teeter, Alexandria VA

La Cappuccina Soave, Vintage 2010

This wine was pretty snappy considering it only cost $10! The nose was very floral, but also had a lot of stone fruits (maybe peach or apricot?) and the palate very bright with a hint of herbal or nutty complexity. I got some ripe vegetables on the first sip, but then some nuts and a hint of vanilla (oak-aged, maybe? I can't find anything to confirm this suspicion...) on the second round. The finish didn't linger, but it wasn't abrupt either, and for a white wine, had a surprisingly satisfying medium body.

Verdict: This was a fairly complex white at this price point, but ultimately, l would still deem it "porch wine". Being a bit unfamiliar with both the region and the varietal, I may have to revise this post later once I've had a bit more education on them, but from what I read, my notes are fairly consistent with typical Soaves that are young and from less reputable (but still respected) wineries.

Teachable Moment:
This wine is made predominantly (70%) of a grape that I have *literally* never heard of: Garganega. It took a little bit of research to educate myself on it enough to share with you - so this teachable moment is for you AND me:
Garganega is a variety of white Italian wine grape widely grown in the Veneto region of North East Italy, particularly in the provinces of Verona and Vicenza. It is Italy's 6th most widely planted white grape. It forms the basis of Venetian white wine Soave and is also a major portion of the blend used to make Gambellara.[1]
DNA typing studies in 2003 and 2008 have confirmed that the Grecanico Dorato (Grecanio) grape of Sicily is identical to Garganega.[2] Already before these studies, ampelographers believed the grapes to be related due to the similarities of clusters, berries and leaf characteristics.[3]
-Taken from the Wikipedia page on Garganega.
Pairing: Being an Italian wine of fairly acidic character, I'd be amiss not to recommend it with pasta. I imagine, if I liked seafood, that this would be a great wine for some linguini in clam sauce or other such dish with a thicker sauce and a heady aroma... but, if you're like me, chicken Alfredo is the way to go! 

Wine: La Cappuccina Soave, Vintage 2010
Price: $9.99
Purchased: Whole Foods Market, Alexandria VA

Friday, October 21, 2011

Whoa whoa whoa... where did I go?

Darling blog follower-type people,

I just wanted to send an apologetic note to you (even if you probably didn't notice my lack of posting), because you are no-doubt long overdue for some inexpensive recommendations! The sad thing is that I have 4 draft posts in here, another 3 sets of tasting notes to compile, and a stack of notes from an extensive tasting in Baltimore I did 3 weekends ago, so it hasn't been for lack of drinking ...err..."material".

I'm shooting to get the 4 draft posts pushed out by tomorrow afternoon, and then I'm putting myself on a regular schedule! Since the possibility of my having to go completely gluten free looms large and in-charge, I'm glad that wine is the one thing I truly won't have to think about before I consume. Whether this change in my diet will increases my wine consumption or just allows me to enjoy it that much more, I guess we'll just have to see...!

With love,

Your (very) skint sommelier