Checking in on chardonnays

I’m a “red” person. I love red wines, or most of them, and just don’t really have much use for whites. On a really hot day in the middle of summer, I enjoy a spry pinot grigio, but it’s not something I’ll pour after a long day at work and just sip.

But for you, dear reader, I’m willing to put my prejudice aside and sample some white varietals. I’d hate to be known as “that red-only gal.” How limiting!

Not one to dive right into a dubious situation, I decided to stick with a winery I know and like. I found a 2008 Montevina chardonnay at Raley’s for $7.49 and decided to give it a go.

Wine-tasting at Montevina in Amador County, Calif.

A couple of summers ago, my friends and I found ourselves on the wine trail in Amador County, a wonderful hamlet of wineries in the Sierra foothills of California (find San Francisco and Sacramento and head east). Montevina was one of the wineries we stopped in to wet our whistles. It’s a beautiful winery, and committed to sustainable agriculture, which scores big points in my book. 

Friends making tasting notes at Montevina in 2008.

OK, back to the wine. At first taste, the 2008 chardonnay is melony and light, in both color and taste/feel. But after a nice swish around the palate, light oak and hints of a nutty vanilla make a brief appearance. It’s good, if you like chardonnay, and I’m learning to. (Oh! Bonus for those of us who can’t drink a whole bottle in one or two nights: Montevina uses a screw-cap rather than cork, so this bottle can stay in the fridge while I get back to my beloved reds.)