The Wino Hearts Gordon Brothers Chardonnay

Ilustration by Andrew Saeger, tHEARTdept.
Hey, fellow lushes! Can you hear that thump-thump-thumping? Probably not because it's the drumbeat throbbing in my temples. Damn you, cheap Argentine malbec!

I should have stuck with my gut instinct to pull the cork on that Gordon Brothers chardonnay chillin' in the fridge. I picked up a bottle on sale for $8 at Pete's, one of my favorite places to buy wine, a super-packed, old-school grocery store on the shore of Lake Union.

The aisles are impossibly tight because there's wine everywhere, stacked high and sitting on the floor. The excellent collection of wine is like the greatest hits of wines from around the world, but most especially gems from Washington state.

I'm pretty confident you won't find a sucky wine while shopping at Pete's, and the prices are often the lowest, too.

Gordon Brothers have been growing grapes in this state for decades, which is a good sign, and this wine hit The Wino's yum button. Unlike some chardonnays that are butter bombs, the 2009 is lean and clean, its almost citrusy fruit character shining bright. Which makes it a great food wine, especially when that food is a huge, grilled pork chop. Mmm.

I would love to pour this wine for those skeptics who stick with the ABC rule, Anything But Chardonnay--a movement that gained followers back in the 1990s, a reaction to California chardonnays that were over-the-top rich. There's even a new book titled Anything But Chardonnay.

Fortunately, winemakers listened to that anti-buzz and chardonnays lightened up, becoming much more balanced. And--bonus for chardonnay fans--as drinkers explore other whites, the prices dipped, making them a good deal.

The Wino's giving Gordon Brothers Chardonnay a rock-solid four out of four brown paper bags, with an extra thumbs up for no pounding headache.

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