So this is one of those “cart before the horse” kind of posts.
What I mean is that dinner, or more specifically the sauce for the dinner, became the impetuous for the wine. You see, I had come down to the last tidbit of Parmesan cheese in my fridge; really, it was so small when I tried to grate the piece I was afraid I would shave off a nice bit of my fingernails. That’s small! So on my trip to the grocer I knew I had to finally replenish my allotment of this wonderful cheese.
Once accomplished, I figured that I might as well use my newly found piece of wonderfulness with my dinner for the evening; that being a previously planned salmon filet. A quick check revealed that I had some broccoli in the veggie bin of my fridge as well. A quick search on the internet about Parmesan cheese sauce for fish and it was done!
So there I am, salmon for dinner, broccoli for the side dish and a Parmesan sauce for the whole thing. What to do about the wine. It’s Saturday night and I’m not in the mood to go whole hog (or whole salmon as the case may be), so a simple prep and an easy drinking wine are called for. I should mention it’s over 90 degrees outside and I’m in no mood to sweat through dinner. White wine it is! Chardonnay to be exact. Coming across in my cellar:
Chalone Estate Chardonnay 2015
I had just poured the wine at a tasting and was once again confounded by the fact that I’m staring at wine from a winery that is the oldest producing winery in Monterey County. From its first wine produced under the Chalone label and made in 1960 by Philip Togni to the first wine introduced in 1966 under the winemaking skills of Dick Graff, this winery is now led by Bill Foley, Chairman, CEO and Governor of the National Hockey League’s 31st franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights. Man card violation coming here; I don’t watch hockey. But I do drink wine, and this one is a “Hat-Trick.” Do I get points for trying?? Chalone is another label whose history needs to be told in that its Chardonnay was the third-place white in the 1976 Judgment of Paris.
Dinner was one of the easiest to plan and prepare. A quick steaming of the broccoli, the sauce is no more than a rue with cream and that oh so famous Parmesan and a sauté of the salmon. Maybe 10 minutes max!
Cool climate Chardonnay from Monterey, nice oak maturation, just enough to give the wine exceptional balance and nuance. This isn’t one of those powerful chardonnays with loads of body and gradations that bowl you over (for the record, I like that type as well). No, this has balance and flavors that seduce you and call you back for more. Darn, I told myself to stop making these wines sound so seductive. I need a life!
So once again I am finding myself being drawn to wines from producers with many years of experience and can trace their history back many a year. There must be something to it all I’m sure.
Check it out for yourself and pick up a bottle if you see it around, I think you’ll find it very enjoyable.