Does cheap but good Chardonnay exist?

Buckley’s 2005 Chardonnay (Australia) $13 –Ghetto Hooch 😐

The one good thing about that Chardonnay I tried last night – I didn’t pay $13 for it. I’d bought it at the Tasting Room on a whim; it was stacked by the checkout counter, and marked down to $8. What the hell, I thought, might as well get a cheap bottle to try on those stay-in and eat nights. After all, I can’t really afford delicious bottles every other day, and that would defeat the whole purpose of my trying to save money by staying in and cooking. Plus, I was curious to see whether my disdain for cheap chardonnay was misplaced. Maybe my palate hasn’t really grown all that sensitive; maybe I’ve just become a lot pickier, and with no good reason.

But I couldn’t help but be suspicious of the bottle when I tried to open it. The darn cork (plastic) wouldn’t give, and I actually chipped the glass bottle in my frustrated attempts. The wine, when it was finally open, had a bland sort of sweet aroma – none too distinctive, nor frankly, inspiring. It’s like that girl, whom, if you saw on the street, you’d describe as pleasant. Not hot, sexy, but not butt-ugly either. Erm, is that a good enough sensory description for you? The taste itself was pretty disappointing; the first sip was like a sharp punch to the stomach, and then nothing. Oomph…ok, now what? The label on the bottle had advertised the wine as having flavors of “kiwi, melon, peach,” but I got none of those; just one big vague sour-ish flavor. It only has 13.0% alcohol, but frankly it felt a lot more with its high acidity. I’d like to taste test it again though, if only just to see how it matches up to Yellow Tail, my de facto base standard for wines

Sniff: Sharp and sour

Sip: Insipid sweet scent

Eat: I had it with chicken cacciatore, but that was quite a lousy pairing. The peppery chicken would have been better served with a Piedmontese red.

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4 responses to “Does cheap but good Chardonnay exist?

  1. I’ll have to agree, overall lack of flavor. It basically served to calm my tongue from all of the red pepper I put in the chicken cacciatore. It’s funny that you, not me came up with the analogy to a bland woman.

    And I really hate those plastic corks. Chipped the bottle some more myself before finally getting it out.

  2. Pingback: Does cheap but good Chardonnay exist?

  3. Wow, sounds dreadful. I am glad I did not insist on trying some of your impulse buy, which I had mentally planned when I saw you grab it. He he….I am starting to think the answer is no for cheap chardonnays and no to cheap burgundies…sigh. 😦

  4. wendy: i know right – i was going to open it up to let you try, but then i wanted a white for dinner and it’s about the only one i have on the rack… i do have another one i see now, not sure what it is though… and im too lazy to go up to check. oh well.

    i think, the best way to answer this question would be to hold a cheap chardonnay night, where the ultimate aim of the evening is to get drunk. that way, it’ll just be a plus if we do manage to sniff out some nice bottles. if we don’t, well, we get drunk. 😉

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