The 2013 Illuminate Chardonnay, North Coast, California is a wine that reinforces your confidence that pleasant, varietally correct, Chardonnay can be made for less than $10. In a sector overloaded with industrial-tasting monstrosities the Illuminate Chardonnay displays fresh fruit aromas of pear and melon, bold flavors of melon, pear and guava framed by bright acid and a more refined phenolic grip than you would expect in a wine at this price. All of this leads through to an enjoyable soft finish.
Quaff after a hard day at work or serve with any of the wide variety of food that Chardonnay has been justly associated with. That includes chicken or turkey (hot and roasted or cold), pasta with cream sauce, or white-fleshed fish like T.J.’s excellent Australian barramundi. Continue reading →
In 1964, Joe Jansen bought a 15 by 20 foot Greenville Avenue liquor store named Goo Goo and changed its name to Goody Goody (in order to save the cost of buying a new sign). This month, Goody Goody is celebrating the company’s 50th anniversary at each of its 21 locations throughout Dallas, Houston and Longview. It is the oldest liquor store chain still owned and run by the founder, and has grown to annual revenue of $250 million. In the Dallas market, Goody Goody (including its wholesale business) is the largest liquor store chain.
I have bought a lot of wine at Goody Goody and always regarded them as a great source of bargains. At the same time, I have also found the company idiosyncratic. For example, look at its web site. What a sorry excuse for an e-commerce channel. Or consider the sea change of Dallas (1,3m people), Plano (275,000 people), Lewisville (101,000 people) and Arlington (380,000 people) all going “wet” in the past four years. Why no flurry of new stores? Continue reading →
Religious activities continue this week with another sparkler to turn carpe diem into carp with veggies. The most famous sparkling wine in the world is Champagne. It is distinguished by, among other things, its location, choice of grapes and its method of production. However, of these, the grapes and the production technique (secondary fermentation in the bottle) can be used in other locations. So it is with the three wines here today.
These are all made by Ferrari (no relation to the car maker) in Trento, Italy. All use the Champagne production method, which the Italians call Metodo Classico (classical method). The Ferrari Brut, Trento DOC ($25, Goody Goody) is 100% Chardonnay. This is dry, like Champagne, crisp and yeasty, like Champagne, but the price is a bit lower.
The Ferrari Rosé, Trento DOC ($37) is made from 60% Pinot Noir/40% Chardonnay, like rosé Champagne, and dry and crisp with a hint of Pinot fruit. Continue reading →