Cheers: Old School

We have long admired the classic definition of a mixed blessing: When your 17-year-old daughter comes home at 3 in the morning bearing a Gideon Bible.

Then we happened upon a display at Hannaford and discovered a whole new presentation of the mixed blessing phenomenon: When a wine you really like is discontinued and the last few bottles are marked down and placed in the bargain cart.

Yes, we were happy to acquire yet another bottle of Liberty School for a mere $8. No, we were not pleased to see that the product was being dropped.

Liberty School 2007 Chardonnay is that rare, affordable Chardonnay that has barrel-fermented character. Lightly oaked, balanced and dry with apple accents and nice acidity, Liberty School need not be chilled in order to be enjoyed. Lesser Chardonnays, such as the Yellow Tail reviewed last week, require serious chillage; at room temperature, it’s like drinking Crisco.

Liberty School comes from California’s Central Coast — John Steinbeck country and the source of California’s best Chardonnays. When not on close-out sale, it goes for better than $13, which is not cheap (to us). Maybe it wasn’t moving at Hannaford and the shelf space was allocated to a more likely candidate.

Anyway, before Liberty School left town we managed to snag a couple. It was a blessing. Nothing mixed about it.

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