10/24/05 – Chardonnay

By Jesse on October 24, 2005

Ed. (03/08): Finally, some new people showed up! Early wino stalwarts Rob and Hillary made their auspicious debuts. Also, this is the week in which my e-mails started getting cutesy and obnoxious.


Tonight’s meeting is going to be crazy for several reasons. First of all, we have several new members showing up tonight, so we’ll all have to be on decent behavior… not necessarily our best, per se, but decent at the very least. So leave the scatological humor at the door, please. Or just leave it right outside my room, and then I can pick it up and laugh at it once everyone is gone.

The grape du jour is Chardonnay, one of the most popular white varietals in the world, and particularly widely grown here in California (other important regions include Australia, where it is the most highly-planted grape; New Zealand; Italy; South Africa; and, of course, France, its country of origin). It became so popular during the premium wine explosion of the 70s and 80s that some serious wine snobs consider it too pedestrian to drink….. in that sense it’s kind of the white wine equivalent to Merlot (“No, if anybody orders Merlot, I’m leaving — I am NOT drinking any fucking Merlot”). Fortunately, we’re lowbrow enough to recognize that Chardonnay is one of the most varied and enjoyable grape varieties in the world. If any serious wine snobs show up, don’t worry, we’ll ask them to leave.

As in past weeks, the meeting will be held at 9 PM at our apartment, (not today!), #4 in Sherman Oaks. For all you newcomers, the location is sandwiched between Ventura and Moorpark on Dixie Canyon, which is one street west of Fulton. There’s plenty of parking on the street.

I’ll be buying a bottle or two of white Burgundy so that we can get a taste of a classic French Chardonnay (although French wine labels are confusing, one rule of thumb is that if you ever see a bottle of white Burgundy, or Bourgogne as they say, there’s about a 95% chance that it’s made almost exclusively from Chardonnay… it’s one of a minority French wines you can typically depend on to be made from a single grape). Everyone else — please either bring a bottle of Chardonnay or a little bit of cash for reimbursement. When selecting your bottle, be creative, because the possibilities with Chardonnay are pretty wide. Go California if you want, or go New World… whatever looks good.

Any questions, let me know. Otherwise, we’ll see all of you tonight.


Ed (03/08): I like that “if you ever see a bottle of white Burgundy, or Bourgogne as they say, there’s about a 95% chance that it’s made almost exclusively from Chardonnay.” Oh really, Jesse? Is that the figure? A good 95% of them are made “almost exclusively” from Chardonnay? Ahhh, for those days…