No-Guilt Wednesday Wine: Laetitia Chardonnay   Leave a comment

This little guy doesn’t have a guilty bone in his body.  Neither should you.  Every Wednesday (though it could be Tuesday or Thursday) I will write-up a wine that I feel delivers good value for drinking in the middle of the week.  Aside from quality, my only other criteria is price.  To start, less than $15, but ideally less than $10, for a 750 ml bottle. 

I will also add any recipes that I paired with the wine.  I hope to leave you with a recipe that you can use to match up with a wine of your choice if you can’t locate the one I recommend.

No-Guilt Wednesday is not about compromising on quality.  It’s about all about drinking good wine that does not break the bank, eating good food and of course, it’s about sharing with the ones you love.  

Another No-Guilt Wednesday and still more of Ms. R’s relatives and a friend to feed.  Dinner parties can take place in the middle of the week– though usually at some cost.  In this case, my daily workout at the gym.  But it was worth it.  Tonight we ate cuisine tonight for which I owe a debt of gratitude to my foodie pen-pal, Melissa Clark.   I refer you to her adaptation of Sake Steamed Chicken which was published in the New York Times on March 4, 2011:

Don’t hesitate– you should make this.  If you want to see more about what she is about, check out the link to her blog on the left side of this page. 

Picture, if you will, the image of elderly Puerto Rican relatives, sitting down to this Asian dish.  At first they were a bit suspicious.  Steaming is not a favored Puerto Rican cooking technique.  Frying, boiling, roasting, grilling– OK.  Add to that the fact that I used a bamboo steamer to make this dish and they were completely befuddled.  A recipe for lots of leftovers?  Perhaps.  Ms. R took one look at the chicken and assumed that being as pallid as it was, it had to be undercooked.  She would be so very wrong.  And what leftovers we had were taken home for tomorrow’s lunch by Ms. R’s relations.  Now that is what I call a ringing endorsement.

The only variations that I made from Melissa’s recipe is that I used cut up chicken prices instead of cooking the whole bird and I used a little more mirin and ginger as well as fresh orange juice and grated orange rind in my dipping sauce, but that’s just the way I like it.  Results?  This was melt-in-your-mouth good– the sauce that accompanies the chicken providing just the right amount of pop to have everyone digging into the serving platter for seconds and thirds.  I served this with a steamed acorn squash and sushi rice sprinkled with black sesame seeds.  Honestly, I can’t wait to make this again.  And because it was steamed, the fact that I missed a workout tonight is of little consequence. 

Laetitia Estate Chardonnay 2009Laetitia Arroyo Grande Valley Estate Chardonnay 2009  ($15).   Initially, this screamed out NEW WORLD to me.  On the nose, soft and oaky, almost popcorn-buttery in style.  A mélange of tropical fruits dominated by mango and papaya and a barely perceptible hint of allspice on the almost viscous finish.  And it does have just enough acidity to keep it interesting.  If you like this style, you will enjoy this wine.  Although it is more attractive than the Santa Ema Chardonnay I have rate previously, it gets the same rating.  Rated **


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Posted August 24, 2011 by Sybarite Sauvage in No-Guilt Wednesday

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