Welcome to Swill or Swell, a weekly series where I taste grocery store wines and let you know if they’re worth the buck or just meant for the drain!
CAVEAT! As you read this, please keep in mind that wine is subjective! This means that everyone enjoys different things and something I like might not be something you like and vice versa. I’ll be as objective as I can with facts about the wine’s quality, but in the end if your opinion differs from mine...that’s perfectly fine! Wine is only worth drinking if YOU like drinking it!
LET’S INTRODUCE THE WINE
Today we’ll be tasting the Quercus Chardonnay from Victoria, Australia.
I purchased this from Trader Joe’s for only $8! Other than the price, it really stuck out to me because I don’t normally drink Australian wine, and when I do it’s typically a Shiraz. So to try a Chardonnay from Australia is going to be interesting!
QUERECUS CHARDONNAY FUN FACTS
Let’s start by talking about the Victoria, Australia region.
- In the 1880s Victoria was Australia’s largest wine producing state
- Ebb and flow of prosperity due to gold mining and the eventual outbreaks of Phylloxera put a temporary halt to production in many areas, but had a resurgence in the 1970’s
- This region is the most diverse wine growing state in its country
- With 21 wine regions, Victoria is home to more regions, innovative wineries and distinct climates than any other state in Australia
- The most popular region is Yarra Valley. Yara Valley has a cool climate, which allows it to produce world-class Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz, plus alternative varieties like Nebbiolo.
I also want to make a quick note about why this Chardonnay comes with a screwcap. Interestingly enough, many bottles from Australia & New Zealand are screw caps because Australia was sick of getting bad corks from Portugal. I had no idea!
WINE TASTING NOTES
Look: Medium straw
Smell: Butter popcorn, lemon, canned peaches, almond
Taste: Super high acidity, medium bodied, grippiness from phenols (not tannin, but from the oak)
Food Pairing - Soft cheeses with crackers
Occasion - Holiday party
Rating - One thumb up...but be careful not to over chill it. And give it a second to open up in the glass. I almost thought I had my first swill wine (had a bit of a stale taste, not a lot of fruit). But I’ll give this one a swell!
Want to learn more? Check out my Instagram every Thursday at 5PM PST for a new episode of Swill or Swell! Have a wine you’d like me to taste? Write your request in the comments below or send me a message on Instagram!