Francis Ford Coppola Votre Santé Chardonnay 2013

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.

McWilliam's Hanwood Estate Shiraz 2013

by J.T.

I love good wine. Especially good wine with a great value.

Which is why I've been a fan of McWilliam's Shiraz for years. Dry and fruit-forward, with raspberry, black cherry, plums, vanilla, and a touch of oak, this wine is a flavor powerhouse at a great value. Pair this with a nice gluten-free pizza from Publix (a discovery that has transformed my weekends... and maybe a few weeknights), and you've got a delicious Friday night ahead of you!

Pick up a bottle for only $7.99, and you'll see what I mean. If you've got a hankering for a meat-lovers pizza, this would pair just divinely.


Tell your pizza-loving friends about this Shiraz.

The Crusher Cabernet Sauvignon

By Amy

What's Amy doing, posting a red? you may be thinking. Isn't she treading on JT's turf?!

Your concerns are valid. But. The great thing about my boss is that she's pretty flexible. And this is a good story. So there.

I have a friend who exaggerates a lot. You know the type: the hyperbole-loving person who views the world in two extremes: they either loooooove something, or they haaaaate it. And as well-meaning as these folks can be (and they are good for carrying the small talk at parties, let me tell you), they can be somewhat "the friend who cried 'Wolf!'" when it comes to any sort of recommendation they give you. 

Which is why I was very skeptical when my Exaggeration Friend recommended The Crusher Cabernet Sauvignon to me. 

"Amy," he began to rave. "I can't begin to tell you how good this is. Once you have it, I promise you won't want to drink any other wine. Like, EVER." 

Well. Ok, then.

So the stars aligned, and it was pure happenstance that I saw this very Cab on a wine list the next day. Naturally, I had to order it. Wouldn't you?

I'll admit: the bar was set pretty high, and after a few sips, I still (shockingly) my desire to try other wines did not evaporate. But The Crusher Cab was better than I thought it was going to be, given the recommendation source! Vibrant and a little smoky, with hints of blackberry, cherries, and a touch of oak, this was a delightful accompaniment to a ribeye.

And perhaps the most delightful bit of news: you can get it for under $20! (Its MSRP is $18, but this seller is running a special on the 2012 vintage for $12.50)

Tell your friends that they, too, can be crushin' it with The Crusher.