Maker: Meridian Vineyards, Santa Barbara County
Packaging: 750 ml bottle, natural cork
Our Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Meridian’s motto is that life can be complicated, and that wine doesn’t have to be. Their Meridian Chardonnay 2004 fits the motto well. It’s nose hints at pear and cantaloupe, and these same notes continue onto the palate, along with a bit of grapefruit. The texture is a bit syrupy, and the finish has a nice twinge of acidity that makes this a refreshing and pleasant wine. Like the slogan, it’s uncomplicated… but it’s also quite good.
The Meridian website suggests pairing it with “a seaside picnic lunch of turkey burgers, a Sunday brunch omelet, or a lazy afternoon sitting on the patio with friend.” We’d forego the turkey burgers (blech!), but the other two suggestions sound fine. This is indeed an accessible and fun wine that would be fine for hot weather entertaining or serving with lighter dishes at any time of the year.
One interesting recipe on the Meridian site is for Chicken Caesar Pizza. (Not to be confused with Little Caesar’s Pizza. ;)) Though devoid of anchovies (we expect anchovies in any recipe claiming to relate to Caesar), the combination of a tangy Caesar sauce and Fontina cheese sounds tasty, and a fine pairing with this Chardonnay. We didn’t try the recipe, but the Meridian Chardonnay worked well with a Chicken Alfredo pizza from a local pizzeria.