Santa Cruz Alcohol Appreciation #2: Northern California Chardonnay

BK and I’ve been on a quest to enjoy white wine, so we decided to have our second chapter of Santa Cruz AA focus on that most ubiquitous of Californian whites, Chardonnay.

We ended up with about 15 bottles of wine, although we only listed about 10 of them on our board. I think it was precisely because we had so much wine that we lost track. It may also be why it took me almost two months to write about this event, which was our June edition.

We didn’t take the best of notes this time — but I think we have learned that neither bk nor I really like northern California Chardonnay. We’re better off sticking to dry roses and other whites when we want a chilled wine, it seems. Still, that doesn’t mean we didn’t try our darndest to give it a good, fighting chance. Here are some of the tasting notes I could decipher.

  • Dreyer-Sonoma:candy, tart, ew/ gross, bitter, stomach bile/Sarah doesn’t like
  • The Seeker: not horrid/flat after the alcohol/ nail polish remover/sweet/inconsequential/subtly fruity/ I’d call it dull
  • La Crema: not great/vanilla/aftertaste good/slightly buttery/wish I could place what this smells like/ok wow, maybe I’d have more/ Bermuda grass/didn’t like
  • Donovan-Parke: drinkable/not bad- better than the previous ones/ok/too sweet /amenable taste/leans toward liquor-y; several glasses would be too much
  • Bargetto 2007: I threw it out/plastic/ drunk-can’t tell/ definitely awesome with food but doesn’t quite work alone
  • Bonterra: yes? Not so much?/key lime pie!/A-plus!/like it!/really good! Nice full balance! /Awesome balance between the fruit nd the tannins/perfect stand-alone wine
  • Pelican Ranch: not sure/raisins?
  • Sebastiani: too sweet/ mango?
  • Charles Shaw: sweet but not terrible/ I like! / a little hard to swallow/fruity and fresh/nice aftertaste/long lasting notes but a bit dry/too tanin-y– works but not the best
  • Rex Goliath: too much/ urine/ lost taste right there
  • Loma Prieta: not bad and good price/goodish

I really don’t think we could come up with a consensus on this. The 2-buck Chuck ranked about the same as the more expensive varieties, but that doesn’t say much for any of them. If I had to choose, I’d say the top two favorites were the Charles Shaw and the Bonterra.

We all pretty much gave up after tasting 10 wines. It was just too much in too many ways!

You know what wasn’t too much? The crazy-good al pastor that BK made. Holy mama.


Santa Cruz AA does gin

Albany AA does gin

Albany AA does IPAs

Albany AA does bourbon and scotch

Eds note: There have been other AA’s but these are the only ones we’ve documented.

This entry was posted in barbecue, Bay Area, california, celebrations, friends, gluten-free, home, imbibing, potluck, santa cruz, things that make happy, wine. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Santa Cruz Alcohol Appreciation #2: Northern California Chardonnay

  1. Pingback: Santa Cruz Alcohol Appreciation #3: Tequila » The Life of My Mouth

  2. Pingback: Santa Cruz Alcohol Appreciation #5: Hard Cider » The Life of My Mouth

  3. Pingback: Santa Cruz Alcohol Appreciation #4: Rum » The Life of My Mouth

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