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01.september: world wide wine blogging wednesday (# 1)

While I'm certain everyone has heard of and at least read if not participated in Alberto's luscious IMBB events over the past few months, I don't know that everyone has heard of the newly created wine-lover's IMBB event, aptly named World Wide Wine Blogging Wednesday, or WWWBW (I love it!). This is the first of many, I'm sure and even now as I sip my wine and continue to taste and ponder I am enjoying it very very much. Thanks to Lenndevours for this great idea -- and for forcing me to drink more wine!

I wasn't sure how to set up my tasting so I just decided to wing it. I broke my tasting down into appearance, aroma and taste and then I described what I paired my wine with. Enjoy -- and here's to wine!

The theme: Inexpensive New World Merlot that is not from the United States. I choose a dry, white, South-Eastern Australian Chardonnay. Lindemans Cawarra Semillon, for $8.90 CAD$ at the LCBO. You might be thinking to yourself, "I never knew a Chardonnay was a Merlot!" Well you heard it here first: The Domestic Goddess never said she was the goddess of intellect. Nope. I don't know why...perhaps I have been tired..or maybe it's time to get my eyes checked again...or it's possible that my brain went on vacation again, but I read "New World Merlot" as "New World Wine", thinking the emphasis was on the country of origin, not the type of grape. So...to make an already painful story about how ditzy I am short, I chose a Chardonnay BY MISTAKE to review. I only hope Lenn forgives me and allows me to partake next time...of course when he picks Chardonnay as the wine du jour I'll have to, of course, review a Merlot. Duh. On with the review...!

I began by looking at the wine in a clear glass, up against a white piece of paper: clear, not cloudy and a beautiful lemon-straw colour. Not too exciting but a nice, pale colour...the sort of colour you might paint a baby's nursery...heh. Well, I might paint a nursery that colour; YOU might not paint your child's nursery the colour of wine.

Swirling this wine in the glass revealed what I didn't smell while the wine sat still; an extremely mild but definitely existent lemon scent floated off the surface and tickled my nose delicately. The after-scent was fruity with a slightly melon-ish chaser that I only detected as I went to put the glass down on the table.

I took a very small amount of the wine into my mouth and breathed a little bit of air in as well to try to release the flavour and let it sit in my mouth for 10 - 15 seconds. My tongue detected lemon, as my nose had hinted at. Melon as well, which I had been expecting. But then there was this "ping" on my tongue...something I hadn't actually expected in a wine -- pepper. The rich, tannic palate-searing taste of pepper...freshly cracked and absolutely delicious. Also the obvious oaky taste that all Chardonnay's have from the barrels they are aged in and the full-bodied, creamy taste that lingers on your tongue and throat for full minutes after swallowing.

This wine was light and creamy, delicious and perfect for summer drinking and for serving with light dishes...I do think it might even manage to hold it's own next to a steak or heavy and/or creamy dish because of it's full-bodiedness and peppery flavours.

I served this light but zingy Chardonnay with a delicious creamy crab and corn chowder, with lots of pepper (which worked extremely well with the taste of the wine). I had a glass while cooking and added some lemon zest to the soup (as well as a half a cup of the wine to the broth) while it cooked to complement the flavours I was tasting in the wine. The next day I had a glass of it paired with a large bowl of freshly popped popcorn, slathered in butter and salt and pepper (yes, I put pepper on my pop corn!). Both "meals" met the wine half-way in taste and both wine and food got along extremely well on my palate.

 Official Lindeman's tasting note (PDF File)