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by Fred McMillin
for August 2005

Wine

 

Chardonnay Lovers...Can You Trust Your Palate?

Prologue

"More than 43 million cases of California Chardonnay are sold in America every year."
     —Wall Street Journal

California Chardonnays have too much oak and too much alcohol. Our tasting panel of professionals don't like 'em. The San Francisco Chronicle's

So it looks to us like the professionals don't like California Chardonnays as much as the general public.

 

My Professionals

To check this, I had my students represent the public and rate the same wines tasted by my professionals from WINE WORKS INC. (David P. Jones, Skip Hanson, Dr. Linus Hollis, et al.) Sure enough, even though the Chardonnays had plenty of oak and alcohol, the pros liked them more than the students in every case. That is, the pros rated every wine higher than the students did. Here are the bottles; the best is listed last.

• Rex Goliath, $9, 2003
• J. Lynne, $22, 2002
• Acacia, $20, 2003
• Kenwood, $15, 2003
• Flora Springs, $25, 2003

And the big enchilada...

• Hanzell, $50, 2001

 

Conclusion

There is nothing wrong with your taste buds if you like a Chardonnay that was trashed by some experts. No doubt, there are other experts who like the wine as much or more than you do.

 

Epilogue

Why do we call 'em taste BUDS??? Well, nineteenth-century German scientists Georg Meissner and Rudolf Wagner discovered the tiny mounds of taste cells in man's mouth. Because the cells in a mound overlap like petals of a flower, they were named "buds." (from A Natural History of the Senses by Dr. Diane Ackerman)

 
 
About the Writer

Fred McMillin, a veteran wine writer, has taught wine history for 30 years on three continents. For information about the wine courses he teaches every month at either San Francisco State University or San Francisco City College (Fort Mason Division), please fax him at (415) 567-4468.

 


 

 
 

This page created August 2005

Copyright © 2005
electronic Gourmet Guide, Inc.

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