Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's the coldest day in 10 years...

...& we're drinking white wine. A Chardonnay, even.


Crazy, huh?

Well, sort of, but not really. You see, we went to Time For Dinner last night with some friends, & the meal that Doug put in the refrigerator to thaw was the Crab Stuffed Chicken. Yum. However, our wine supply is almost all red right now, & I just couldn't think of any that would even minimally work with the dish.

(As an aside, the Time For Dinner thing is fun! The food is awesome, too. While we assemble the food, it's sort of cheating, not really cooking...but I don't care!)

Luckily, we visited our very dear friend Robin on Sunday, & she sent us home with 2 bottle of wine, 1 of which was white! The Hahn SLH 2006 Chardonnay, to be exact. While we realized it might not be the greatest pairing - I think that the Hahn SLH 2007 Pinot Gris would've been fabulous - we were confident enough.

We were right. No, not the best pairing, but it certainly didn't offend! Honestly, it was quite good. Both the dish & the wine were lovely on their own (yes, I did just say that a Chardonnay was lovely), the pairing was just ok. As predicted. But the fact that I'm sitting here - in 6° of freakin' St. Louis - still drinking not only a chilled wine but a Chardonnay after the chicken is gone should really tell you something. We love Hahn wines. Good stuff, people, good stuff.

The Hahn SLH Pinot Gris would've really made me happy, though. I've had it before, & I absolutely love it. Ah, never look a gift horse in the mouth.

Not that our friend Robin is a horse...but if she were a horse, she'd be a mighty fine one.

With damn good wine.


Sydney said...

Wow that Time for Dinner sounds really cool! Do you do that often? It's too expensive for me right now, but maybe some day I can check that out.

LucyinStLou said...

It's not cheating if you cook it at home! That's my story, anyway, and I'm sticking to it.

I think you made a smart pairing. I've heard crab and chard are considered a really good combination. Not being a chard person, I haven't tried it, but I'm sure it was great.

Claire said...

Sydney, I was a TFD virgin, but I think we'll be back once every month or so.

Lucy, I like your story! The pairing was ok, but not as good as we'd hoped. Oh well. It's a Chard, & like you, I'm not a fan.

Danny said...

Chardonnay is a blank slate for a winemaker. There are many styles and interpretations. Most that I have tasted are overmade and overoaked IMHO. There are some good ones out there that manage to retain enough fruit and acidity to be food-friendly, but they are few and far between.

Claire said...

Danny, as you know, I share your opinion on most Chardonnays. While this Chard was oaked, I felt it was well done & that the wine was balanced. We enjoyed it & would probably buy it again if we "needed" an oaked Chardonnay.

Mary said...

I always forget about Time for Dinner. My sister gets food from them a lot and it is such a great idea. I really should go check it out sometime because my usual dinner of veggie burgers and salad can get old.

Danny said...

I am not against "oaked" Chardonnay. Barrel fermented examples from Burgundy are perhaps the greatest expression of the Chardonnay grape. As with all grapes, Chardonnay is a product of where it grows. Chardonnay is the most widely planted white grape in the world. There are more plantings in California than all other white varietals combined. It grows well in all temperate regions, but fruit quality from regions that are too hot rob the fruit of its acidity and fruit flavors which winemakers try to adulterate by malolactic fermentation (which even makes the wine less crisp) and with copious amounts of oak aging. Incidentally, there are more un-oaked or lightly oaked Chards out there now, using the "Chablis" model. In the US, they are coming from the cool Northern coastal regions of California for the most part.