I recently took an unplanned trip to the US, and arrived dazed and confused, having a few things to do before I was driven to the house of people I didn’t know for dinner. I was made to feel hugely welcome and then offered food, lots of food. Several bowls of appetisers were passed around as I tried to stay awake drinking water.
With dinner I was given wine, a McManis Family Vineyards 2005 Chardonnay. It’s never wise to drink when you’re really tired, you have no idea what time it is and you’ve been awake 24 hours, but my hosts were insistent that I ate, drank and laughed with them. More bowls of food were passed around and I felt relaxed as they shared the latest news on family members I didn’t know, dishing the gossip and apologising for the weirdness of their relatives. It’s always comforting to know that other peoples families are just as dysfunctional as your own.
I retreated into the wine. It was a cheery sunshine yellow. It smelled strange and it took me a while to work out why. It smelled like a lumberjack’s dog had fallen in a pond then rolled in woodchips to try off, though not in an entirely unpleasant way. It was dry with a medium acidity. The new oak flavour dominated, but there was lots of cinder toffee and butter. There was fruit too, a sweet fruit salad blend.
It was strange but not unpleasant, by my second glass I’d learned to like it. I had a few more on my trip, it seems Meijer had it on sale so people had stocked up.