GRAY FOX CHARDONNAY (2010)—choice of sociopaths

My Fellow Inebriates,

Last year my mum caused me spasms of horror by pouring a bottle of Henkell Trocken over the roasting Christmas turkey. (Henkell Trocken is really not for that, people—it’s citrusy and dry with good acidity.) I died inside when she did that, so this year she had a little mercy on me and opted for a dirt-cheap bottle of chardonnay instead.

Gobbling up a hand

I did try to persuade her not to do it at all. But my mother can be very cutting. Her eyes narrowed, and she said, “Sometimes I look at you and suspect you’re inanimate.” Then she opened the oven and poured a bottle of GRAY FOX chardonnay all over the bird.

I did get a small glass before the culinary sacrifice. But I wasn’t optimistic; $6.99 is just about as cheap as wine gets at my local booze shop, and at that price I expect a tastebud offensive, a chorus of plonky mismatched notes with manure and hell-knows-what-else in the background.

So it was a relief to find that GRAY FOX chardonnay tastes like…white grape juice. Really.

With orchard fruitiness dominating the nose and very little of the excessive oak that’s typical of a try-hard California chardonnay, GRAY FOX qualifies as mostly harmless. It won’t make you retch, nor will it appeal to you with complexity and butteriness. At 12% alcohol it sure kicks Welch’s Grape Juice’s ass, yet it seems like too much of a kissing cousin to that kid-friendly beverage. Forgive me, but it doesn’t taste done. Now, you guys know I’m an idiot with a furry mouth and not a ghost of an oenophile’s qualifications, but this wine tastes like it needed to ferment a little longer. It’s grapey, and I’m not sure how intentional that was on the part of the vintner.

I told my mum GRAY FOX would make a good gateway wine for children, only to get the obligatory reminder that I mustn’t encourage irresponsible drinking. So I’ll put it this way: Kids would really like this wine, but don’t give it to them.

But don’t throw it all over a turkey either—OMG, what a waste of alcohol. The fact that my mum thought it made good gravy doesn’t make it okay. But when a sociopathic hausfrau covered in giblets and poultry grease seizes a wine bottle, you just have to let her do her thing.