Sunday, December 10, 2006

2004 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay Indian Wells

Tonight's wine choice started with my craving for fried chicken--but not any fried chicken. With the holidays coming up it had to be fried chicken I wouldn't hate myself for eating in 2 hours. Too many cookies lying around this time of year to be eating fried chicken! Saved by Cooking Light I put together a menu of oven-fried chicken (pretty amazing stuff dredged in a glue of egg white and buttermilk, rolled in seasoned flour, and then browned in a pan in a little oil before it's finished off in the oven), with some nifty little couscous salad cups with pomegranate dressing. (note: I fudged the dressing, since I couldn't find pomegranate molasses. I did find pomegranate vinegar at Trader Joe's and simply omitted the lemon juice, vinegar, and molasses and substituted 3 Tbs of the pomegranate vinegar).

Fried chicken says chardonnay to me, but one that retains its varietal zing of tree fruits and citrus. For dinner tonight, I picked out the 2004 Chateau Ste. Michelle Chardonnay Indian Wells (Costco, $12.99), and it was a perfect choice. While this chardonnay had been processed using oak, it was very well balanced--much more so than many chardonnays at this price which can have a nasty, artificial oak and vanilla taste. This straw-colored wine had aromas of toast and apple. When you sipped it, it revealed apples, pear, and a suggestion of tropical fruit accompanied by a rich vanilla taste. There was a hazelnutty edge at the very end, just as you put your glass down to reach for another bite of chicken. Excellent QPR.

Chateau Ste. Michelle deserves kudos for consistently and reliably producing wines with good varietal characteristics at a consumer-friendly price. They are my go-to label when I'm in supermarket and have to buy something since I know that their wines will combine great taste and great value.


Unknown said...

I'm with you when it comes to Chateau Ste. Michelle. I am constantly stunned by their QPR. I was at a tasting recently and tasted the Indian Wells Cab. It stood head-and-shoulders with wines that were twice the price.

Dr. Debs said...

Hi John! I've go the '03 Indian Wells Cab in the rack--looking forward to having it this winter. I don't think I've ever had one of their wines that I didn't like, but glad to hear straight from you that it was a good cab!

glen b said...

I liked the La Crema Chardonnay @ costco. Nice balance for an inexpensive ($12) wine.

Free Credit Score said...

Wow! $12 for La Crema Chardonnay? Thanks for letting us know!