Decorating My New Home And Talkin’ Ventana

Posted in Uncategorized by EVWG on the February 27th, 2007

This is my new home. Like any other new home it has to be re-painted and requires a few customized repairs to make it…just right. What you see surrounding these words is a temporary template that will serve as my colors that get me through the transition process. I will be putting my links back up very soon. I don’t like not having all my links up because I dig and am big on keeping this community on the expanse. So that will be the first thing besides starting to get back to the point of this whole thing and that is the vino.
Speaking of vino. My wife and I recently were able to have a night together in our crazy busy lives to sit down one night and have some din din with a bottle of Ventana 2003 chardonnay from Monterey, California. I did a post on the syrah of the same vintage a couple of weeks a go and was very impressed with the structure Ventana has achieved with American oak. They use Minnesota oak and I am still looking into the different options of American Oak but it seems to work. It also carries through well with the chard (you guys don’t mind if I say chard, do you? I know it is so industry cheese but man is it fun. Yo, you gonna hook up some of the chard?).
I had been marinating some chicken breasts for a couple of hours that I sautéed in a little bit of the Ventana. I took some green beans and de-stemmed them, blanched them and tossed them with some sautéed mushrooms. Simple stuff but great for white wine. We hooked up the first taste and swirled. The color was a nice, dark, straw that, when swirled, showed of its depth. The nose was interesting. The oak was definitely there and it screamed California chard but there was something else going on. Restraint. Either that or it was the result of using Minnesota oak as opposed to another option. It was pleasant and not too aggressive and with the slight yet apparent citrus on the nose that you will always find in a good Chablis, it proved that idea of restraint.
The palate was clean and smooth with a nice, soft acidity indicating some malolactic fermentation. The acidity that was apparent was very well intertwined with the body allowing for a pleasant glass of wine. As this Monterey white came closer to room temperature it held its balance; never buttering out and getting too loaded down with oak residuals. Also at this point it paired very well with the chicken enhancing the flavors of the meat and the marinade. It also went very well with the mushrooms and green beans. Because this chardonnay (I can’t abbreviate this anymore, I thought I could do it but I just can’t. Chard is just too cheese) is well balanced it didn’t overwhelm the flavors of the mixture. It had a nice contrast with the green beans and melted right into the mushrooms.
All in all this was a great bottle of wine. I am not a full-on chardonnay fan but I do dig the varietal. The thing is most of them from Cali are not like this. Instead of restrained balance there is nothing but butter and vanilla and a weird “now and later” finish that takes over your taste buds and attacks your senses to the point of not being able to finish a glass or bottle unless you have some seriously flavorful food to counter act those intense characteristics. I am on the look out for more Cali chardonnay like this one so if anyone out there have any suggestions please let me know. I know Chablis has the balance I am always looking for in chardonnay by I am on a mission to find more from the left coast. This Ventana 2003 chardonnay was sent to me form a wine club that I received as a present from family so I don’t think you can find this wine in stores here in NYC. But you can definitely go online and order it by starting here.
Thank you for bearing with me during this transition by the way. It is going to take a little bit to get the colors right and the format set but I will continue to write and post during the whole thing so I will talk to you guys soon. Cheers!

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