Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Versatile, Stylish Wine

My wife tells me that a little black dress is perfect for any occasion. That’s something you learn in Girl School, I guess. I took shop class and learned how to make an ugly key rack that looks like an oversized wooden key, walnut stain.  Perfect for no occasions. I grew up to wear my shirttail out whenever possible and comfortable shoes with all outfits. I think girls were probably given much more useful information in their youth.

Little Black Dress wine is intended to be the booze equivalent of that garment, a no-brainer, easy choice that solves problems on the spot. As they say, "Good taste is your call. It's something you wear proudly and pour boldly. It's your own personal flavor. And it looks amazing."

Margaret Leonardi is the winemaker in Mendocino County. I don't know if she wears a little black dress or a pair of old jeans, but she certainly knows how to make a wine that’s right for all occasions.

The winery likes to say that "a good bottle of wine is the best accessory," and I will concur. It's certainly a much better accessory than a tiny black purse that only holds a couple of credit cards. It's better than a belt that's six inches wide and shiny. It's better than shoes that hurt your feet. Of course, pretty much everything is better than shoes that hurt your feet.

California is the region, shown on the label, which doesn't narrow it down much. I'm guessing that either there were several regions from which the grapes gathered, or one rather undesirable region. A multitude of sins can be obscured with just the word "California" on a wine label.  This Chardonnay has no need to hide its upbringing in shame, though.

It sits at 13.5% abv and sells for around ten bucks. The Chardonnay grapes make up the bulk of the wine, with the rest noted only as "complementary white wine grapes."

It looks yellow-gold in the glass and smells of citrus, mainly. Meyer lemon, grapefruit and tangerine mix in with tropical stuff like guava and pineapple. Mmm. On the palate, we have a fairly delicious wine here. There is maybe a touch too much oak for me, but that's just me. Those austere, naked Chardonnays are good in the summer, but they're like white slacks. November is way past time to give them a rest.  A little extra wood fits in nicely with the holiday season.

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