Kendall Jackson Chardonnay and Notre Dame French Brie

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Kendall Jackson Chardonnay and Notre Dame French Brie 1

During Columbus Day weekend, in order to practice wine tasting before heading to Raven Hollow Winery, we paired Chardonnay and Brie. ( This was an introduction to wine tasting for Jackie and Karen and a refresher course for Betty. Although Karen had only gone to one other wine tasting, she knew that she liked the flavor of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay so we figured it would be a fun way for her to get acquainted with the techniques of wine tasting. Neil and I taught them about the 5S’s of wine tasting and how to take your time with the wine to really notice the dominant flavors and aromas. Karen also decided to read the back label to see what flavor hints they might offer.

This was the first time Karen ever swirled the wine to look for aromas. She was delighted to find the mango that the label suggested. Neil and I both picked up apple and I identified butter too. Jackie, also being new to looking for flavors, was surprised to find white grapes. Unfortunately Betty was just getting over a cold so she couldn’t find a dominant aroma. Once we tasted the wine, Karen or Jackie didn’t notice any additional flavors but Neil and I both made note of that famous butter flavor. Neil also thought he might be able to taste the yeast and I tasted a lingering finish that I didn’t really like. Although I didn’t like the finish, I’m happy to have finally tasted such a well-known wine. Thanks for suggesting it Karen!

It’s been a little while since Neil and I used Brie in a tasting so we figured we’d bring it back this week. This cheese was a French Brie, which specifically made note of it’s origin on the package, so I was happy to try it. From everyone’s descriptions, the underlying flavor was butter. I was a little more specific to pick up aromas of light funk and salt, a slippery texture and a lingering aftertaste of funk. Jackie felt that it wasn’t very strong though and described the flavor as mild.

If the Chardonnay and Brie both taste like butter, this seems like a pretty good set up for pairing. Karen tasted butter in the cheese, once they were paired, but thought the wine stayed the same. Jackie found the cheese to taste creamier after the pairing. Neil and I noticed an increase in the flavor of alcohol in the wine, although the wine also tasted more crisp. Maybe the flavors of wine and cheese were too similar so they didn’t end up matching. I liked that both of them had a lingering flavor, I just wasn’t a fan of either of their flavors.

It’s always so much fun to lead “Wine Tasting 101 with Maria and Neil” and the next day when we went tasting everyone knew what to do. They seemed really into it at the winery and we even came up with some pretty in depth tasting notes. It’s really funny too because now they are all texting me with their current tasting notes, on wines and foods, so they must have enjoyed the process of it too.

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