Brand Name: Santa Barbara Winery
Vineyard: Santa Barbara Winery
Appellation: Central Coast AVA (Santa Barbara County)
Upon return to Los Angeles after spending a week in the cold, grey, and rainy winter of Bogota, Colombia, I met up with a friend to enjoy an evening of travel stories, sunset, and a meal in Santa Monica Beach. My trip had experience a diet of steaks and thus when Salmon was suggested as the main ingredient for the meal I was excited to explore culinary and wine alternatives. A trip to the store resulted in the following ingredients: Wild Alaskan salmon, blue cheese, Portobello mushrooms, potatoes, and yellow and red peppers which would add some color to the plate. To accompany the soft and oily texture of the salmon and the sharp, creamy and salty consistency of the blue cheese, which were the main ingredients, we selected a reasonable priced 2010 Santa Barbara Winery Chardonnay ($14+tax). The wine was selected for 2 reasons: (1) an early vintage chardonnay typically lends brightness to the fruit intensity in the wine and (2) I wanted to complement the creaminess of the dish with a wine offering a similar silky and creamy consistency, a texture typically found in an oaked California wine which developed more body than unoaked versions.
In the glass the chardonnay displayed a light golden tint which indicated some oak barrel fermentation. Bright fruit notes of apricot, peach, green apple, and nuances of pineapple and vanilla emerged from the glass providing an aromatic and perfumed experience. On the palate, the wine was a dry, moderately flavored wine with a ripe fruit profile and lingering warmth. The ripe flavors of tropical fruit such as apricot and pineapple and the warmth caused by the alcohol level were characteristic expected from a wine native of Santa Barbara County which is a wine growing area with abundant sunshine and warm weather conditions. The wine was moderately creamy unlike other California big buttery Chardonnays indicating that the Santa Barbara Winery wine probably had not gone through malolactic fermentation which typically yields diacetyl, a compound responsible for providing wine a buttery consistency and the scent of butter used in baked goods or pop-corn.
Picture by KdD
The wine proved to be a good selection for the meal due to the nose and the flavor profile offered at $14/bottle; its moderately oaked profile and gentle viscosity did not overpower the characteristics of the blue cheese and the creaminess of the salmon but rather it provided a silky bond to connect the creamy qualities of the ingredients. Furthermore the young ripe apricot and light nuances of pineapple and vanilla added another dimension of flavors to the meal. The meal and wine were enjoyed while listening to Little Dragon. Here is one of the tunes that accompanied the evening: