Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chardonnay Around the World: Wines that Embody Qualities of Old Hollywood Glamour!

The Chardonnays Lineup
Last month's installment of "The Art of Wine & Food" at The Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale featured a selection of Chardonnays from various winemaking regions around the world. The goal was to showcase the different styles of wine produced from this often misunderstood varietal.

Since we frequently hear wines described using human attributes (i.e. voluptuous, lean, mature), I thought why not tie in my own personal penchant for glamour and compare each wine to an "Old Hollywood" icon based on its descriptors. I have to say, the exercise made for a very fun and interactive evening!

Me & Chef Lenore Nolan-Ryan
Delicious pairings for the array of Chardonnays were created by the very talented and always entertaining Chef Lenore Nolan Ryan. Collaborating with Lenore and her team is always a pleasure. She has such a wonderful understanding of how food and wine work together and her passion and enthusiasm for what she does is always inspiring. Fortunately for Florida foodies, Lenore has a wonderful cooking school where she teaches classes - be sure to check it out!

Without further ado, the Chardonnays for the evening included: 

2009 Joseph Drouhin Chablis Domaine de Vaudon: this wine is a Chardonnay from France's highly acclaimed Burgundy wine region that is best known for its lean, elegant character. It has lively notes of green apple, citrus and elderflower with a crisp acidity and lovely minerality - classic Chablis! Enjoy this selection and other unoaked Chardonnays paired with cheeses, oysters, ceviche, or grilled fish. With its lean, classic and elegant profile, this wine was, by unanimous vote, our Audrey Hepburn Chardonnay of the evening!
Food Pairing: Key Lime and Crab on a Beet Root & Sweet Potato Chip with Fondue Toasts

The Birthday Girls!
2010 Viña MontGras Chardonnay Reserva: this wine hails from Chile's Colchagua Valley, a sub valley of the Rapel Valley, in the Central Region of Chile. It was fermented partially in stainless steel and partially in oak and exhibits aromas of tropical fruit, apricots and honey followed by flavors of citrus, peach and spice. Pair this and other medium-bodied Chards with creamy dishes such as Lobster Bisque, Croque Monsieur or Butternut Squash Risotto. With it's fuller body (relative to the Chablis) and steely elegance, I proposed this wine as our Grace Kelley of the evening. Another suggestion was Brigitte Bardot - a fabulous likeness as well!
Food Pairing: Butternut Squash & Coconut Bisque 

2008 Merryvale Carneros Chardonnay: as the coolest part of Napa County, Carneros is desirable for growing cool-climate grape varieties such as Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. This full-bodied Chardonnay has enticing notes of hazelnut, ripe pear and tropical fruit complemented by a lovely minerality and sweet toasty oak. It also has a delightfully creamy, rich mouthfeel and luscious long, lingering finish. This wine and other full-bodied Chardonnays are ideal for pairing with decadent dishes such as Lobster Gratin, Duck a l'Orange or Indian/Curry dishes. With it's rich, full-bodied, voluptuous qualities, this wine was almost unanimously our Marilyn Monroe of the evening - other suggestions included Mae West and the comment was also made that, "whoever she is, she sure is a busty broad!"
Food Pairing: Curry Chicken with Caramelized Apple, Pink Peppercorn Goat Cheese and Crostini with Fig Relish  

A big thank you to Republic National Distributing Company for their continued support of "The Art of Wine & Food" series and for providing the Chardonnays for the evening. Please join us Thursday, October 27th when our very special guest host, James Beard Award-winning wine writer, art lover, and local celebrity Lyn Farmer will present "A Sense of Place: a tasteful tour showing how wines differ depending on where they are made." To make reservations, please contact Gail Vilone at or (954) 262-0249. Hope to see you there!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails