....at our house. Her indoors has gotten over the Pinot Gris craze and rediscovered Chardonnay. This is good news in that I no longer mistakenly pour myself a bloody Pinot gris from that bottle in the fridge but but bad news in that there is rarely any Chardonnay left over to put in the fridge. Fortunately though there are plenty of good wine deals going with Chardonnay at the fore to enable us to 'trade-up' for the everyday drinking version. Over the last couple of years I have waited for the supermarket wine sales to stock up on good wine offerings. I know that this is kind of against my principles in that the same supermarkets are destroying our wine industry (see previous post 'Mea Culpa' , but the bargains (if approached selectively) are there to be had. Now, due to looming wine surpluses, the self-same greedy supermarkets and the number of wine companies desperate to move stock, the bargains can now be found on the wine Internet sites and in wine retailers. Recently I have bought some very good Chardonnays at vastly reduced prices from non-supermarket sources.
(A sideline to this brand is that about 10 years or so ago we went to Iguasu in Parnell for Saturday afternoon tapas and ordered a bottle of Elston. It was corked. We ordered another and this was corked. We ordered a third and this was also corked. I concluded that a poor batch of corks (not Te Mata's fault as they pay top dollar for the best) led to a discrete batch of wine being contaminated. TCA (the chlorine compound that leads to 'corkiness 'in wine) is very pervasive and will contaminate anything surrounding it. If a piece of cork is suspect it will contaminate the other corks in the bag. When wine is bottled the run is done using corks from the one bag or container. This means that it is usual to see 'corked' wines being run off the bottling line close together and often to be in the same carton. Iguasu staff, to give them credit, uncomplainingly replaced each bottle until I called a halt and switched to another brand. This meant that 1. they understood TCA taint, and, 2. they had confidence in Te Mata as a brand. A reliabe wine company guarantees to replace corked or faulty product.)
Second example is Matua Valley Mathesons Chardonnay 2007. I bought this from the internet supplier 'The wine Importer' for about 13 dollars a bottle (normally about 23 dollars). This is a meaty, woody and big Chardonnay that is worth the $20+ tag and a veritable bargain at $13.
Third example is Pencarrow Chardonnay 2007 Chardonnay purchased fom Glengarry at $9.90 a bottle (normally about $19). This is a great bargain. Good Martinborough Chardonnay from a top producer (Palliser) that is fresh, vibrant and very, very drinkable.
The bargains won't last forever as when wineries run out of their expensively produced wine that they are forced to sell at ridiculously cheap prices they will engineer the newer vintages at lesser costs and subsequently at lesser quality. They will do this to meet the demand retail prices.
Buy judiciously (feel free to ask me for advice).