This weeks wine tasting includes a comparison of the big three white wines: Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling. The post follows a lesson in the book Drink This Now by John Boyer, the professor of my Geography of Wine class. So open up one of these big three white wines (or all three, no judgment) and follow along with me.
For this tasting, I grabbed a bottle of 2016 Chardonnay from Butterfield Station in California. I first poured a glass of the wine before I put it in the refrigerator to chill. The thing I noticed first about the wine was that it seemed to look like it had a little bit of sparkle prechill. The initial smell of the wine was very heavy. The aroma and tastes I got from the Chardonnay were acid, butter and popcorn.
After I let the wine chill, I had the same initial heavy smell. The hint of sparkle seemed to be completely gone. The same aromas and flavors were present in the wine prechill, but the butter taste was incredibly stronger and it exploded in my mouth.
For this tasting, I grabbed a bottle of 2017 Sauvignon Blanc from Kim Crawford in New Zeland. I first poured a glass of the wine before I put it in the refrigerator to chill. The first thing I noticed was that the wine looked pretty clear from the glass. The initial smell was very light and airy. I thought Professor Boyer was joking when I first read the chapter and he said this wine tasted like freshly cut grass, but he definitely was not joking. The aroma and tastes I got from the Sauvignon Blanc were grass and lemon. It felt like I was drinking a room temperature herbal tea.
After I let the wine chill, the initial smell was a strong sense of freshly cut grass. The same aroma and flavors were present in the wine prechill, but it tasted less like an herbal tea and more like straight grass. I was honestly not a huge fan of this wine.
For this tasting, I grabbed a bottle of 2016 late harvest Riesling from Hogue in Columbia Valley in Washington. I first poured a glass of the wine before I put it in the refrigerator to chill. The first thing I noticed about the wine was that it had the darkest color of the three whites I was trying out. The initial smell I noticed was gasoline. The aromas and flavors I got from the wine were honey and melon. It was definitely the sweetest of the three big white wines I was trying out.
After I let the wine chill, the Riesling seemed to be even sweeter than before I chilled it. The same flavors and aromas were present as prechill, but I tasted more of honeysuckle and the gasoline aftertaste was a lot stronger. The Riesling was my favorite of the three big white wines.
For dinner, my roommate and I had a well-balanced college meal of barbeque chicken pizza and breadsticks. The only wine that I liked paired with the wine was the Chardonnay. I thought the butter flavors brought out the taste of the pizza. I was already not a huge fan of the Sauvignon Blanc, but let me tell you grass flavor does not pair well with pizza in case you were wondering. Finally, the Riesling was my favorite of the three wines, but its sweetness did not make it pair well with the pizza. It was super yummy to drink after dinner though.