Permit me to rattle my saber a bit and come out and say I am tired of all the criticism of oaky white wines. I love ’em. Especially this time of year, when they are like a warm hug. And you want something that pairs exceptionally well with rich seafood dishes, creamy soups, and even (gasp!) a steak? Boom.
I really like Chardonnay with oak. Over four years ago, I wrote about meeting the winemaker from Frank Family Vineyards in Napa, Todd Graff. When talking about the world’s most famous white wine grape, he shared three words with me:
“Chardonnay needs oak.”
For those who ask if Graff does a stainless steel version? “We do unoaked Chardonnay; it just happens to have bubbles in it,” he mischievously explained. (They make a sparkling wine.)
(Full story about my visit on Foodista.)
The Diverse World of Oaky White Wines
So when I had the opportunity to profess my love for the barrel in the February issue of Wine Enthusiast, I jumped at the chance. Now it’s online with a really fantastic illustration. Read all about it and discover four recommended white wines that benefit from the barrel but don’t have you pulling splinters out of your teeth .
Lone Oak photo by Beverly Crandon via Flickr.