It's no secret I frequently taste and write about wine. In fact, if you've read my blog or followed me on social media for awhile, you might know I've been writing about wine since about 2012—although I've been blogging for about 3 years longer than that, just not all on this site.
Headed to Wine School
In 2012, I decided to go to wine school. I signed up to take the Wine & Spirit Education and Trust (WSET) Level 2 Award in Wines and Spirits. Why would I do that you might ask? For years, I disliked certain wines—or at least I thought I did. I was continually going to dinner with friends or entertaining friends and trying wines and finding that I just didn't like them, and not in the way that I simply didn't appreciate red wine in France at the ripe age of 16 (that's a story for another day).
In 2009, my best friend was married in France, and we spent a week drinking French wine, and what I discovered was that I didn't like certain poorly made styles of wine (go figure, poorly made cheap wine isn't great!). Enter wine school where I learned about wine regions, varietals, winemaking and what you can glean from simply reading a wine label. I learned that there are plenty of California Chardonnays I ADORE and the more you know, the more you can enjoy. I don't write about wine because I have to, I do it because I want to. Wente feels the same way about making wine. As they say, “We don’t make wine because we have to, we do it because we love to.”
Love of the Journey
I've always loved to learn. It's one of the reasons I'm always on the go, always traveling, always learning, always moving on to the next things. I can't sit still and have to be doing something to grow my mind.
As a newbie wine drinker I learned so many things, such as there are certain wines that are created for the sole purpose of pairing and consuming with food. That's right. When you drink those wines alone, they just don't taste great. Period. On the converse, there are plenty of wines produced that can be enjoyed as a glass all unto themselves or paired with a nice meal. It's all about knowing what you're getting. Did you know that nearly 80% of all Chardonnay clones planted in the U.S. came from the original Wente family clones?
Wente Wine has some great offerings such as their Morning Fog Chardonnay. Affordably priced at about $15/bottle, you can enjoy it on its own or with a meal. This Wente Wine from the Livermore Valley Appellation is fermented in 50% neutral American oak and 50% stainless steel barrels, so it's got a light oak and vanilla note on the palate and soft mouthfeel—none of that crazy over-oaking that makes me run. It's a fan favorite for American-made Chardonnays in our house. Crisp melon, pear, green apple, and a touch of grapefruit on the nose and palate make this so refreshing.
About Wente Vineyards
The Wente family’s story begins in 1883, when German immigrant, C.H. Wente immigrated to America with the dream of creating a better life. After studying winemaking under Charles Krug in Napa Valley, he moved to Livermore with his wife to pursue his new career. Five generations later Wente is still the oldest continuously operated, family-owned winery in the country. Their Livermore wines are 100% estate grown and sustainably farmed in the Livermore Valley, San Francisco Bay and Arroyo Secco. Over the past 130 years Wente Vineyards’ Chardonnay is consistently recognized as being the best-selling varietal in the country. The Wente Family is proud to be recognized as “California’s First Family of Chardonnay.”