Archive for the Whites Category

2007 CNW Chenin Blanc

Posted in Whites on January 28, 2009 by Brad


This bottle was $10.99 at Nugget Markets (a local Northern California grocery store).  The brand hails from Clarksburg, California (about 5 miles from my home apparently, who knew?) and the wine expert that sold me on it did so by saying that the Berringers and other big name brand Chenin Blanc’s add sugar water to their wines to make them sweet.  Not so here he claims.  This is Chenin in the more tradition French mold.  It comes with a screw top… something which I am warming to more and more.  I really love my corkscrew though and the ritual of opening a bottle.  But the screw cap is a close second, and really beats the annoying rubber stopper hands-down.

Typical white on the nose… pear and apple.  But in taste it is much more tart than I expected.  Still the typical Chenin flavors, but not nearly as sweet, but not quite dry either.  Tart apple and maybe melon.  A hint of honey?

Sorry I have little else to say, my pallet for white wine is still an insolent child.  Not up to the lofty levels of “angsty teen” that my red wine tastes have grown to be.  Nevertheless I don’t mind this wine.  I was pleasantly surprised considering all the other Chenin’s were borderline undrinkable for me.  It’s got a strong flavor though so be careful it doesn’t overpower what you’re eating (like say fish).  But impossible to justify for me at $10.99 a bottle.

*** (3 stars)


2007 Bear’s Lair Chardonnay

Posted in Whites on January 3, 2009 by Brad

p1010935Second in our journey to the dark side with white wines, it’s the Bair’s Lair Chardonnay, also from Trader Joes.  Chardonnay is more of my idea of a decent white as it is the only one I can identify as “dry”.  I’m also familiar with the Bear’s Lair label as their Cabernet is the first good bargain wine I ever found (once I wandered out of the valley of 2 buck chuck).

The smell on this one is almost non-existent, but it does have just a hint of that typical chardonnay butteriness.  In tasting it is exactly as I expected… dry, pear, buttery… a touch flowery.  And without so much as a tip of the hat,  it’s gone.  Clean.  Just the way I like a white.  If I have to have a white.  And on this occasion, I do.

Dawn managed to polish it off, but she prefers the Chenin Blanc.

*** (3 stars)  Tipping in at a mere $3.99, I could imagine this might actually be tasty with a spicy shellfish dish.

2007 J.W. Morris Chenin Blanc

Posted in Whites on January 3, 2009 by Brad

p1010936I like white wines like I like Barbra Streisand… that is to say I don’t.  While red wines are warm, dark and mysterious, white wines for me are like taking a bite out of Punky Bewster… sweet, bright, and unbearably cheerful.  While you can fully expect this blog to be 99% Red wines, I have recently been forced to buy some whites to appease my wife.  And so as not to completely waste the experience I am going to review some of them here.

When I do drink a white, it’s usually at gunpoint… and it always is something on the dry side.  My wife, Dawn, has the opposite taste unfortunately.  She says her favorite is Chenin Blanc, and since I don’t know one from the other, I bought four different sub $5 whites from Trader Joe’s and another from a local grocery store, two of which are Chenin Blanc.

The first is a JW Morris Chenin Blanc.  It’s pale… smells vaguely of apples and honey… and tastes like if you made a syrup out of a Granny Smith and sweet tarts, then chased it down with a blast of Binacca.  I really wanted no more than a couple of sips.  Diabetics beware.

** (2 stars)  It’s not vile, it’s just too sweet for me.