Danville Express

Living - September 18, 2009

A hot day with a Chardonnay

by Don Colman, the Everyday Wine Guy

Sanford Chardonnay

It was a hot night. My wife and I looked at each other and wondered not only what we would eat for dinner, but more importantly what we could drink with it. Since I started writing this column - beer is not nearly as appealing and given the heat, red wine was really out of the question.

My fridge in my garage is kept a couple of degrees too cold. There are two reasons for this: First, I like my cold drinks served cold; and second, the thermostat on the fridge is broken. I decided, given the heat, I would grab one of those icy cold Chardonnays.

The wine of choice was the Sanford Chardonnay ($22). My rule is normally to let white wine warm a bit, otherwise you lose the taste to the cold and are left with alcohol as the only flavor you can decipher. I don't know if it was the heat - or simply that I was craving something refreshing - but the Chardonnay did the trick. What we ended up with was a beautiful wine that would appeal to the masses - read on to find out why.

The wine was a perfect color, yellow with medium depth and was crystal clear. It was very aromatic with plenty of apples and pears that wafted out of the glass with just a hint of citrus and oak flavors following on the scent. This really is an ideal scent for a Chardonnay grape and is complex enough to keep even the most discriminating wine drinkers satisfied.

On the taste, the Sanford Chardonnay was a dry white wine that was medium bodied and packed with flavors. The wine started off sweet and moved to a bitter finish with a crisp acidity that lingered for a medium finish. All in all, a spectacular white wine that hits all of the right notes to make for a very drinkable and well priced Chardonnay.

Try this wine with white meat or fish on a hot night, preferably on a patio with good friends. It is a wine that will impress friends and will not drain the bank account at the same time.

When we moved here, I had no idea how many different wine events there could be. I have subscribed to a bunch of different "wine-mails" so that I could learn about different wines, their characteristics and upcoming events. If you have read this column for a while, you will know that Zinfandels are my favorite and so when I saw this event, I did everything to make sure I could attend. The event is called "Zintopia" and takes place on Sept. 19 in Sonoma. It is a wine festival where you get the chance to taste small lot wines, olive oils and local food. If you are looking for something to do this Saturday - this is worth the drive to wine country. Take a look at for more details.

Until next time, Cheers!

Don Colman, the Everyday Wine Guy lives in Danville and can be reached at


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