Be forewarned. I’m trying to provoke you here. If you’re reading this, it worked.We’ve got a lot to be proud of in the United States but I wouldn’t say it’s our white wines. *Gasp!* Where is he headed with this one? Don’t make me blow more stuff up on the 4th!
Sure, we’re seeing promising developments in the Finger Lakes as American riesling becomes more of a desired commodity, and there are unmistakably delicious wines being grown and bottled all upon and down the West Coast. In fact, we’ve got some terrific whites here right here in our backyard of the Willamette Valley. But for the most part, these wines still feel like they’re being market incubated. When I’m told that an American winery makes a fantastic chenin (1 of 10 different grapes they’re testing) or that I really shouldn’t miss out on the Chardonnay from an estate that specializes in reds, I can’t help but shrug. Aren’t there more fascinating examples of those same varieties overseas? Does this wine have a story to tell that hasn’t already been written? This is not the same internal dialogue I have when it comes to the syrahs, pinots, and cabernets which have made the West Coast famous.
To tell you the truth, when I purchase white wine I like to place my bets and my energies into wineries where that’s their specialty. Where white wines are the premier focus and the terroir commands it. When I drink white wine I want an experience that’s markedly mineral, where fruitiness is actually the copilot in a vehicle driven by tension, acidity and texture. And for me, Schaller Chablis
is the defining answer to these desires.
I hope I don’t need to persuade you on the merits of Chablis as a wine. There’s a reason that the sheer mention of this region in a room full of wine nerds will elicit dramatic sighs of past pleasures and immediate comradery. Camille & Laurent Schaller of the eponymous winery in this region are masters of overdelivering on what we’re all seeking with this style. They’re also perfectly positioned to satisfy the unique needs you’re going to have on this upcoming holiday.Fact #1
: It’s going to be hot. You’re going to want a wine that is bright, expressive, and leads with acidity. Schaller’s bottlings are made to satisfy. Open up the entry level Chablis when the heat picks up, you’ll need the fortitude. Open up the single vineyard bottlings when the sun begins to have mercy and you’ve got time to sit and think.Fact #2
: You’re going to need more wine than you think you will. Thirsty cousins coming over to celebrate in the backyard? 3 bottles will evaporate in minutes. Schaller chablis is one of the greatest values in the entire region and we’ve got plenty.Fact #3
: Because I’m assuming you’re much more into wine than your guests, you’ll want something that can impress, but is also familiar. Like I said before, your wine nerd guests will see Chablis and melt immediately, but your play it safe relatives and friends might be comforted when you tell them it’s chardonnay.
At the end of the day, I want you to be drinking wine that’s worthy of blowing stuff up over. That’s what this is all about right? Just because you’re American doesn’t mean you can’t drink the good stuff. Cheers my friends!