On the Hunt for the Perfect Chardonnay: Staycation

EDITOR’S NOTE: While we love to travel to discover new wines, sometimes there’s nothing better than that discovery at your own local grocery store. Pamela Baker shares with us her great Tale of Two Chardys, which you can explore too, on your next Staycation…like this weekend, or how about today?


Trader Joe’s Chardonnay – Side by Side Comparison of Two Chardonnays

Today we stopped in to Trader Joe’s and picked up several wines to try. Two chardonnays that were advertised in their latest flyer and intrigued me were the Big Churn, described as a big, buttery chardonnay, and the Eris Vineyards Chardonnay, described as buttery and rich. Although the prices were different, I decided to do a side by side comparison of the two. Here’s what I found:

trader-joesBig Churn – 2014 California Chardonnay sells for $6.99. This is a big wine that opens up with oak in the nose and hints of vanilla. Malolactic fermentation is in full swing here and is, perhaps, a bit overdone.  Appearance is honey yellow and the wine is 14.5% in alcohol. The wine does display fruit notes of pear with a smooth, lingering finish, but the wine is just too overpowering for my taste. This wine is vinted and bottled by Big Churn in Napa.

Eris Chardonnay – 2014 Carneros Estate Napa Valley, is bright yellow in color, made from 100% chardonnay grapes from a single estate on the Napa side of Carneros. This is a much more refined chardonnay than the Big Churn and at $12.99 a bottle, a pretty decently priced wine. The nose is faint but the wine is …(for complete article, click here)

About the Author:

I love chardonnay. I love the old fashioned, oaky, creamy, buttery chardonnay that California was known for years ago. Not so easy to find anymore, but I’m on a quest.

141-Edit-EditMy name is Pam Baker, or “Pammy” as our Australian friends like to call me.  My husband and I are travel writers and live in Sacramento, California. A few years ago, we were in Sydney, Australia sitting in an outdoor café. A glass of wine seemed like the perfect thing to order on a sunny, lazy afternoon. My husband commented to the waitress that I loved chardonnay and she replied that she was a “chardy girl” too. The nickname has stuck ever since.

My goal is to hunt down those chardonnays that will hopefully delight my palate but not cost a small fortune. And, when I do find them, I will post them on my blog and let you know all about them, too!

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About the author

Pamela Baker

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