2021 Wood Family Vineyards Chardonnay – Perfect Food & Wine Pairing

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Background

After celebrating International Cabernet Franc Day last weekend including tasting some of the worlds and Paso Robles best Cabernet Franc wines at an event in Paso Robles, it was time for a lighter wine.

The Winery

Located in eastern Livermore Valley, Rhonda Wood owner & winemaker, has been a mainstay for over two decades at Wood Family Vineyards. You can read more on her background from airline pilot to award winning winemaker at:

https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2016/02/10/wood-family-vineyards-2/    and

https://californiawinesandwineries.com/2022/11/24/2020-wood-family-vineyards-the-captain-a-red-wine-blend/

Here is a “partial listing” of her current winning wines:

  • 2021 “Pink Pearl” Rose – Best of Class – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2021 Albariño – Best of Class – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 Cabernet Franc – Double Gold – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 LVVC – Gold – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 “Viva” Cabernet Sauvignon – Gold – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 Merlot – Gold – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 “The Captain” Red Blend – Gold – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 “Big Wood” Zinfandel – Gold – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 “Woody’s” Cab Cabernet Sauvignon – Silver – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2018 “Especial” Cabernet Sauvignon – Silver – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2018 Clone 30 Cabernet Sauvignon – Silver – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 “El Loco Rojo” Bordeaux Red Blend – Silver – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 GSM – Silver – SF Chronicle Wine Competition
  • 2019 ‘Muy Bueno” Zinfandel – Silver – SF Chronicle Wine Competition

The Wine

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Rhonda, owner and winemaker, has consistently made award winning wines and truly one of my favorite Chardonnay’s for the last six years. While always delicious and winning awards, with caramel and full secondary malolactic fermentation creating a tinge of buttery finish, each year has a slight change. Her 2021 Chardonnay is 98% of the same “deliciousness” as her 2020. The slight changes were twofold, the first being a more “mouth filling” slightly heavier body due to more stirring of the lees during barrel fermentation. The second was a hint of an ever slight sweetness on the finish. The balance of the wine was almost identical in color (golden yellow), aroma (fresh brioche), taste (pear and apple) and a beautiful finish! This wine was as “comfortable and inviting” as her previous vintages once again. It is like coming home from a hard day at work and collapsing in your favorite recliner! The bottle sells for $32. Just what I was looking for after all those delicious Cabernet Franc’s.

The Food & Wine Pairing

(Photo ©Michael Kelly)

Paired with crispy baked chicken breast with Parmesan cheese. Ingredients included Panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, Italian seasonings, Paprika, Himalayan pink sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder and butter. Accompanied by a baked Russet potato topped with green onions bits and fresh garden salad. This meal was refreshingly light and tasty. It paired exquisitely with the wine, as this meal was spot on after so many exotic and spicy foods in Paso Robles with Cabernet Franc (BTW, those foods were beyond delicious!).

This wine already has made my annual reporting of Best Wines Tasted in 2022 in the under $50/category. That list will be out next week from about 1,500 wines tasted.

Sláinte,

Michael

https://californiawinesandwineries.com

https://woodfamilyvineyards.com/

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