A light, fresh New Zealand chardonnay
Those who enjoy wine, beer and cocktails are always looking for new things to try.
We asked Kirsten Fox, a Utah wine educator and headmistress at the Fox School of Wine in Park City, to tell us about one of her students' favorite summer discoveries.
Recommendation • 2010/2011 Kim Crawford Unoaked Chardonnay, New Zealand.
Why do you like it? • I've served this in three or four classes and my students consistently give it an A grade. The color is a light soft straw it doesn't have the darker colors that you get with a chardonnay that has been aged in oak barrels. And without the oak, the fresh, fruit-forward aromas can be recognized more easily. You get white peach, grapefruit, melon and maybe even a little bit of pineapple.
This wine also goes through malolactic fermentation, which is a really interesting process where they introduce a bacteria into the wine that turns malic acid into lactic acid. It's like turning the acid of a Granny Smith apple into a creamy acid like milk. By doing this, they turn what could be gripping searing, acidic experience into a wine with a soft, creamy mouth feel
What else makes it interesting? • My students really like the screw cap because it's so easy to take on a picnic or to a concert. There are still people who think screw caps are a sign of a lower quality, but New Zealand wine makers have fully embraced the screw cap as a way to prevent cork taint (which affects 4 to 8 percent of all wines), About 90 percent of the wines coming out New Zealand have screw caps.
Food pairings • Fish or pork with fruit salsa. I like it with a grilled salmon salad with vinaigrette.
Cost • $14.99 in Utah wine stores.
Wine School Yearbook
The Wine School 2011 Yearbook, written by students who have attended classes through the Fox School of Wine, is filled with recommendations for good wine at reasonable prices.
Kirsten Fox, headmistress at the Park City school, compiled the easy-to-use guide using a year's worth of student wine reviews. Fox's classes include tastings of value-priced wines that cost up to $30 a bottle. Students grade the wines before knowing the cost.
The guide is available for $19.99 at foxschoolofwine.com or Amazon.com.