Welcome to Second Ferment! Wine pairs well with life ... and food, travel, people, work and play. Grab a glass and join me as I explore the wine scene in Ottawa, Canada, and beyond. Love hearing from my readers, so please leave a comment. Cheers! - Bethany

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Quaff this: Cakebread Cellars 2006 Chardonnay (Napa, California)

Valentine's Day is so five minutes ago. I walk down the card aisle in Shoppers Drug Mart and think they've spilled Pepto Bismol everywhere; no, it's just a massive wall of pink greeting cards for everybody from your mom to your partner to the dog. (And from the dog, too.)

Being the shmoopy hydra we are every day of the year, hubby and I don't need an official day for romance. But an excuse for a divine meal and good wine? We'll take it. Hallmark overkill or no.

After the Doodle was tucked in, we sat down for a quiet dinner for two, featuring hubby's specialty, fettucine alfredo. We're talking to-die-for, OMG, so-not-WW-friendly-but-who-cares, orgasmic deliciousness here. (Mom's even loudly proclaimed how much better his fettucine is than that of any restaurant ... while we were in a restaurant.) In case you didn't catch that, it's damn good. He tops it with spicy grilled shrimp and serves it with garlic toast and extra grated parmigiano reggiano. Molto bene.

Of course, a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine, so we pulled out one of two bottles he brought back from Vegas: a Cakebread Cellars Chardonnay.

We'd heard about Cakebread from a friend of mine (thanks, Hen!) but couldn't fit it into our tour of the Napa Valley in '06, much to our disappointment. Given that it doesn't tend to travel far from the winery (due to really dumb exporting laws), I was thrilled when hubby brought a bottle home last month. Deep straw in colour, clear and polished with a tight rim. Nose was all about tropical fruit and floral notes. On the palate was where it showed best - lemon pie filling with soft hints of apple, oak and butter. Light bodied, with medium to high acid - I'm going to bet this spent most of its life in steel tanks. Unfortunately, the fruit fades too quickly on the finish, leaving just the acid lingering in the mouth. Still, it's a pretty stellar Chardonnay for someone who doesn't like the stuff (hi!)

It cut through the creamy sauce on the pasta, and the strong cheese was softened by the fruit. It opened up even more afterwards, nestled in my hand while I drooled over the fine gentlemen from Lost, making for a succulent mouthful. No need for chocolates; this was treat enough for me.

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