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Chardonnay $10-$20 Wine Reviews
Tasted in 2004



Chardonnay is perhaps the best known white wine in the world. It is much loved because depending on where you get it from, it can be fruity, oaky, minerally, light, heavy, fresh, dense. You can find a chardonnay to please just about any palate. Learn More about Chardonnay.

When you're drinking chardonnay at home, perhaps the most important thing to know is that it should NOT be served at fridge temperature. That is way too cold. If you have a wine fridge, that 55F temperature is just about perfect for chardonnay. If you only have a regular fridge, then make sure you let your wine sit out for 10-20 minutes to warm up before serving it.

The critical thing to know here (or at ANY tasting) is that there is no "best" or "worst" wine. We had 7 people at this tasting, with 7 wines, and ended up with 5 "bests". It all depends on your personal taste buds and point of view.

2002 Deakin Estate - Australia $7.99
This was the least expensive of the bunch. It had a slightly tangy, fruity flavor, hints of peach and melon, but not much of either and not a long finish either. Certainly harmless enough!

2002 Sebastiani - California $11.99
Smooth, mellow oaky flavors of spice including cinnamon and nutmeg. At least one person pegged this as her favorite.

2002 Estancia - California $11.99
Juicy and tart, with fruity pear and buttery flavors. This was another favorite wine.

2002 Santa Margherita - Italy - $11.99
This didn't really taste like a 'typical Chardonnay' at all. If anything it tasted more like a pinot grigio and was much lighter in color than the other samples. It was minerally, delicate and tangy.

2002 Mad Fish - Australia - $12.99
We loved the label on this one. It was sweet and fruity, with berry flavors almost. One person loved this one, but others found it too sweet. Again, it all depends on your taste buds! This one went very well with the mango dessert.

2002 Toasted Head - California - $14.99
Another great label, this one was smooth and oaky, with a gentle finish and a hint of bitterness. This was tagged as a favorite by one person.

2002 Cambria - California - $17.99
From Katherine's Vineyards, this went very well with food. It's oaky, buttery, with mouth-tingling vanilla flavors.

We also tried a homemade Chardonnay that a friend made from a kit. This was not very aromatic, and not very flavorful, but it was certainly a fine easy drinking wine. So if you want to save money, kit wines are well worth a look! You can make quite drinkable Chardonnay for about $2 a bottle.

Chardonnay Wine Food Pairings
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