In name only



Sometimes a name plays right into the hands of those who would render judgment. Ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner, for example.

This reflection was occasioned by the wine we had with dinner Sunday night. With its nice-looking label, this new-to-the-shelf, pricey ($16.49, Hannaford) chardonnay from the Russian River Valley held promise. The region of its origin, just off the Pacific Coast, is renowned for its vineyards. A chardonnay from the Russian River Valley in the heart of Sonoma County is like a watch from Switzerland or a perfume from Paris.

au-contraire-chardonnayGood chardonnays often are complex. They can variously be floral, spicy, fruity, buttery, oaked, lemony, grassy, crisp, unoaked, light-bodied, rich or minerally. What they can’t be is thin and smacking of pineapple, if not grapefruit. But … Au Contraire.

This alleged chardonnay would be a little over the top as a sauvignon blanc, a vintage that is merrily — and sometimes annoyingly — big on citrus. Au Contraire is not a bad wine, despite all our whining, but if you are in the mood for a chardonnay, you are in for a surprise. Possibly a shock.

The moment cried out for action. Swiftly, we retired our glass, got a new one and opened a bottle of Carpe Diem chardonnay from the Anderson Valley vineyards of Mendocino County. Ahhhhh. Lightly oaked, accents of pear, a fine, medium-bodied chardonnay. Carpe Diem! Sometimes a name plays right into the hands of those who would render judgment.

Stephen Fay

Stephen Fay

Managing Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Fay, managing editor of The Ellsworth American since 1996, is a third-generation Californian. Starting out as a news reporter in 1974, he has been an editor since 1976, working in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont before settling in Ellsworth with his wife and two daughters. [email protected]
Stephen Fay

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