Blind Chardonnay tasting at Webster’s – the Results!

Truth be told, the point of this blind tasting was to outfox some of our friends.  Why not? As noted in our previous post, those of you with less experience are often more likely to guess what’s what than those of us who “know.” So we had our guests pick the French chardonnay from the two Californians.

When it comes to learning about wine, the important thing to remember is that it’s about accumulating knowledge for the sheer joy and interest of it. It’s not about showing off to your friends how much better a palate you have than they do. It’s not about how much you pay. In fact, there are some very tasty wines that don’t cost much at all, which is why you see that bottle of Charles Shaw Chardonnay to the left there.

We asked everyone to pick a favorite, but we also asked if everyone liked what they were tasting. Now, admittedly, somebody may have been being nice, but everyone said they liked all the wines. Which means they liked the Two-Buck Chuck. As we have said many times before and will say again, if you didn’t know you were drinking Charles Shaw, you’d probably like it. You wouldn’t say it’s the best wine you’ve ever drunk – and we’ve tasted some chards that blow Two-Buck out of the water and then some. But you would like it a lot more than you’d think and would probably find it a perfectly acceptable table wine for everyday drinking.

It was the wine in the bag labeled Number One that most of you picked as French. It wasn’t, but you did pick up on a couple characteristics that would normally point you in that direction, so pat yourself on the back if you did. It was one of the lighter wines (one of our guests said it had a rather flat taste), and it also had a bit of a funk on it that Anne often associates with French wines.

It was….

Gen 5 2010 Chardonnay:

This one is from Lodi, California. The thing about chardonnays from Lodi is they tend to made in that very French style and can have a distinctive funk about them, which this one did.  Mike also got peach and melon flavors, some nice acids and moderate oak influence, with a touch of lemon at the back. Very good finish, which means it didn’t bite back at all as we swallowed.

The Two-Buck was hiding in the Number Two bag. Almost no one picked it as the French – which means its Californian style stands out, but it was certainly the most popular, with about half our guests tagging it as their fave..

Charles Shaw 2010 Chardonnay:

The nose was very fruity and has some oak. The mouthfeel was rich and fat – good for a sipping wine. The flavors were white grape, melon and a little apple, with a slight touch of sweetness at the end. The finish was decent – and it’s pretty typically where Two-Buck falls down as a wine.

And lastly, the 2009 Emile Chandesais Bourgogne Chardonnay

The nose was very subtle not fruity. The acids were crisp. The mouthfeel was medium and balanced. There was some citrus and a hint of minerals or salinity in the flavor. It is one of those wines that would go well with some unusual sounding pairings such as salted caramel.

The Charles Shaw chardonnay can be found at Trader Joe’s. The Gen5 and the Emile Chandesais can be purchased at BevMo are part of their 5 cent sale right now.


Please tell us what you think.