Taste Live! Tuesday: California Chardonnay

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California ChardonnayThe Judgement of Paris put California Chardonnay on the map. In 1976, British wine merchant Steven Spurrier organized a wine competition that pitted top-quality Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay wines from France and California in a blind tasting. Wine geeks and those who saw the film Bottleshock know the story. Convinced they were tasting French wines, the judges rated California wines over France in each category.

The film tells the story of Napa winery Chateau Montelena, whose 1973 Chardonnay ranked above all the white wines tasted. But what many do not know is that although the wine was made in Napa, most of the grapes used actually came from Sonoma County (Here’s the story from Bacigalupi Vineyards.)

The top-selling white wine in America, and a favorite of burlesque and film star Little Miss Risk, Chardonnay comes from a green-skinned grape that can adapt to numerous climates. Winemakers create a number of styles from the heavily-oaked, buttery, 100% malolactic, to the primarily unoaked Chablis.

Tonight we’ll join the esteemed panelists of TasteLive! as we sample three different California Chardonnays. We’ll taste a 2008 Gloria Ferrer from Carneros, and a 2009 Sonoma County Chalk Hill from Rodney Strong Vineyards. We’ll also taste a 2008 Krutz Family Cellars Chardonnay from the Santa Lucia Highlands in Mendocino Country that Wine Enthusiast rated 92.

Perfect for foods like chicken, pork, and seafood from the Summer Grill, Chef Josh Silvers and the folks at TasteLive! will be pairing Grilled Wild King Salmon and Joe will be cooking up something fabulous to pair as well.

Check out the panel over at TasteLive! or follow #tl_wine on Twitter to catch the lively discussion. Tasting starts at 6:00 p.m. Pacific (8:00 p.m. for us here Houston’s Central Time Zone).

Cheers!

The WineWonkette