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Wine Recommendations from a Thrillerchick

Filtering by Category: Chardonnay

Francis Ford Coppola Votre Santé Chardonnay 2013

J.T. Ellison

by Amy

I have to tell you something. And you have to promise that you won't think less of me, ok?

I don't really like Chardonnay that much.

*cue the crickets*

Oh, I know, I know—I like this one. But most of the time, if I see Chardonnay on a wine list, I'm going to skip it. 

I feel like there's something I'm missing, like with truffle oil. Everybody goes ga-ga over truffle oil, practically melting with giddiness anytime it's on a menu. And then there's me:

What's all the fuss about??

I dunno. I wonder if my palate is broken, like the owner of a local eatery told me once. I had inquired if his tarragon chicken salad was actually supposed to taste "that way"—which, I didn't say aloud, "that way" tasted like a rotting corpse (apparently, it was). Oops.

Anyway. After a tasting hosted by the awesome Dan Hutchinson of local wine haven The Wine Shoppe of Green Hills, I had a revelation:

💡 I Don't hate all Chardonnays—
I just dislike oaky Chardonnays. 💡

That, my friends, was a game-changer. Given my affinity for lighter whites, it all makes sense. So now I can go about my merry way and find some lightly-oaked to non-oaked Chardonnays and be pleased with my purchase.

Like with today's recommendation:
Francis Ford Coppola
Votre Santé Chardonnay 2013

Tasting Notes

Light, buttery, and slightly oaky with a lovely pale-gold color, this wine's got a little minerality to it, along with lemon and vanilla notes. Medium-high alcohol content will make this a good accompaniment for rich meals—it lingers a bit on the tongue.

Price Point

Coppola wines give you a lot of bang for your buck. This one clocks in at $15.99.

Pairing Suggestions

Something with a bit of richness or creaminess, like curry, carbonara, or salmon with a buttery sauce.

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Laguna Russian River Valley Chardonnay 2013

J.T. Ellison


by Amy

I started 2016 off as a cliché. I resolved to save money this year.

I know exactly what my problem is, too. Anytime I want something, I start justifying the indulgence. 

"Oh, but I never buy (purchase item here)!"  

"I've worked so hard this week."

Or (my personal favorite) "It's Saturday!!" Unfortunately, many a purchase has been justified by the mere fact that it was Saturday. I'm not proud of this, kids.

And I've decided to kick that thinking to the curb before I start living out of my car.

As I started crunching numbers, I bemoaned that in order to save some cash, I really shouldn't partake in my favorite pastime: finding new restaurants and indulging in multi-course meals (and, because I like red meat, that usually means a big ol' steak—JT can vouch for this).  But, like the sensible man he is, Boyfriend said we shouldn't eliminate my ritual entirely—we should just do it sparingly and on budget.

He's a smart cookie, that one.

So we decided we'd still find new restaurants (or, more accurately, new to us restaurants), but do it only once a month instead of, you know, whenever we felt like it. And our first selection was The Southern Steak & Oyster, which skirts the edge of downtown Nashville. 

Y'all. Despite the bar-like atmosphere and noise level, the food is on point. As is the Laguna Chardonnay on the wine list.

This Chardonnay has ample bunches of honeysuckle and citrus on the nose. The palate boasts delightful notes of pear and lemon, and the tannins are pronounced, but not overpowering, and long on the finish. This was deliciously paired with slightly sweet-and-salty oysters from the outer banks of North Carolina. I can't wait to try this with some melon and strawberries in the spring.

Good news: you can find this vintage for less than $20! Get a bottle here for $19.74.

Wanna share? Here's a ready-made Tweet just waiting for you.

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Gnarly Head Chardonnay

J.T. Ellison

By Amy

Sometimes I just want an old reliable, a solid standby I can order just about anywhere with just about anything. In recent years, chardonnay has fit that bill for most white wine lovers (for good reason--its balanced flavors can go with everything), and yours truly is not excluded.

So what's my nice, economical go-to?

I'm a fan of Gnarly Head. This chardonnay offers heady flavors of citrus and pear and a touch of vanilla. I can cook with it and pour myself a glass to drink while I prep, knowing I'll be fully satisfied with the results of each experience.

Pick up a bottle for only $9.99! (though, PS, I can usually find it on sale at my local wine merchant)

Spread the word: everybody needs to have a go-to white wine!

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