Defend Oaky White Wines and Hug a Barrel

Lone Oak / Photo by Beverly Crandon via Flickr.

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 .

Defending Oaked White Wines

Lone Oak photo by Beverly Crandon via Flickr.

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