Gallo Café Chardonnay

Gallo Café ChardonnayI have somewhat of an internal debate going on with this website.  Should I focus on small wineries that offer those hidden gems in the wine world, or should I review wines that are massed produced and anyone can find?  While I generally have an sympathy for the independents, I also want this blog to be helpful to readers all over the states… not just to those who have access to the distributors & supplies in my province.  So I’m tiresome to strike a balance…. review some wines that are available anywhere and some that may have more limited distribution.  But when I taste a wine like this one, I want to cast aside the mass producers altogether.
The culprit is Ernest & Julio Gallo Café Chardonnay.  I can’t even remember the last time I tried a Gallo wine previous to this (if I’ve ever had one).  Something about the brand makes me wary and this experience justified all my fears.  This wine is the sweetest Chardonnay on earth.  It tastes like apple juice sweetened by honey… a lot of honey… too much honey.  Did I mention that this wine is too sweet?  Ugh.  I forced down a glas and a half and I had to dump it.
To my surprise my wife was upset when I dumped this wine.  She called it “wasteful” and said that she kind of liked it.  What!?   So is this a gender-specific wine?  Maybe women in fact delight in this, but I know that I didn’t.  I gave it a 77.  I know you may reckon that rating is high, but to be honest there weren’t any terrible flavors in this… it is just too damn sweet.  I could see some folks enjoying it, but I would venture to guess that the majority of them would be 21 year ancient women (because that’s the legal age, right?) who are “new to wine.”
If you like excellent, well balanced wine but are on a budget this is not the wine for you.

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A Dynamite Chardonnay?

A Dynamite Chardonnay?There’s something about a fantastic deal that gets me excited, so I was thrilled when I saw Dynamite Chardonnay marked $7.00 off.  That brings it into my fee range at $9.99, so of course I had to buy a bottle.
I’ve had the Dynamite Zinfandel on a nighttime out to one of my favorite restaurants here in Cincinnati, Bella Luna.  (I was about to link that until I saw how atrocious their website is — I’ll need to talk with Harry about that.  If you want to see it, you’ll need to Google it yourself.  But trust me, the food is awesome.)  Anyway… I loved the Dynamite Zin, and I’ve heard a bit of buzz about Dynamite wines so I was glad to see a bottle in my fee range.
I also loved conception about Dynamite on their website where in one paragraph they talk about how the name was consequential from how they had to use dynamite to blast away the rocky slopes to plant the vinyard.  Then a link paragraphs before long they highlight their “sustainable farming techniques.”  When did dynamite become an ingredient for sustainability? lol
The artwork on the bottle is nice.  They have a local artist design the marks for each vintage.
The Chardonnay was excellent, but not extraordinary.  Minimal fruitiness (apple), slight oak, a bit nutty.  Undynamic and uninspiring.  I gave this wine an 83.
A drinkable wine, but it’s dull and not worth the fee… especially at the original fee.  But even at the discounted fee, I’d take the Veramonte Chardonnay over this one anyday and save a few dollars to boot.

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