I'm not a big white wine drinker. I don't dislike it, I just prefer a red. You may have picked up on this theme here on Knives&Corks. I think this preference is a subconscious effort to maximize the health benefits of my indulgence. Antioxidants, you say?! Pour on, sir! 

I find myself cooking with white wine quite often, though. Typically, I select an inexpensive white wine for cooking without much thought as to whether or not I'll enjoy drinking it. But, while preparing to make this dish the other day, I opted to put some heart into my purchase. The logic went like this: Spend $5 on a bottle that you won't like for drinking. Use 1 cup in dish. Said bottle will sit in the fridge for X amount of days. You will pour said bottle out. OR... Spend $10 on what might be a good bottle. Use what's needed in the recipe and (hopefully) enjoy the rest. Low risk.

My dish required a dry white, so I opted for chardonnay and picked the 2013 SIMI Sonoma County Chardonnay. SIMI's website lists this bottle for $18, but I picked it up at H-E-B for $9. Not a very serious investment either way. 

SIMI, established in 1876, has vineyards in the Alexander and Russian River Valleys of Sonoma County. The grapes for this chardonnay were pulled from a few of their vineyards, but selected with great care. The winemaker's notes illustrate just how carefully they considered the microclimates, soil and resulting flavor profiles. They provide excellent descriptions of their various vineyards and soil compositions here

The diligence that went into this wine shines through. First, it is a beautiful, clear, golden color. On the nose, honey and citrus. On the palate it is creamy with notes of pear and more citrus. Too often, a chardonnay kind of goes sour and acidic on the backend, but this one maintains a delicate and dry fruity flavor and buttery mouthfeel from start to finish. I will likely make it a chardonnay go-to and will try SIMI's other wines, too. Well done, SIMI.