Last weekend, the high school musical I direct ended, and in the relieved, exhausted, blissful state that exists in the moments after the final bow is taken and the stage is cleared, I set off to pick up pizzas and a bottle of champagne on the way home.
But a funny and strange thing happens post-daylight savings time when you spend your evenings in the theater. While it was bright and sunny in the afternoon when we first went in to start the show, by the time we came out again a little after 5:00pm, it was dark as night, and thus any sense of what time it really was seemingly evaporated. Knowing it wasn’t really as late as it felt, I misjudged how early it must be, and so into the liquor store I walked at 5:58…without any sense of how ridiculous I looked.
Minnesota only very recently extended liquor sales to Sundays at all…let alone Sunday nights. Nevertheless, up to the clearance cart I went, armed with my wine scanning app as I methodically started to look at every. single. bottle. in the cart with great scrutiny. I scanned. I Googled. I found a great Chardonnay that was marked down 80% and immediately started digging through the cart to find if they had more bottles. I was in the middle of reading notes on a $1 rosé when I was approached by the manager.
“Can I help you find anything?” she asked politely.
“No, no.” I insisted. “I just like going through your wine cart and digging for the really good deals. This Chardonnay looks great, what can you tell me about this rosé?”
She looked at me in confusion.
“Um, it’s nice. But, um, we’re not actually allowed to sell liquor after 6:00pm, so….”
I looked at my watch. 6:10. Duh!
Feeling like the biggest dork in the world, I hurriedly offered an apology, and they graciously let me check out despite the time. However, two minutes later sitting in my car, the embarrassing reality of situation set in. I hadn’t even gotten my bottle of champagne!
For half a second I wondered what the skeleton crew at Andy’s liquor must have thought at 5:58 when I walked in the door. Did I look that desperate for wine that I’d shut down a liquor store on a Sunday night? No I decided. No alcoholic was walking up to the clearance cart scanning the discount bottles looking for quality deals. I just looked like “that” wino. 🙄
Nevertheless, back to the Chardonnay I bought.
Imagery Chardonnay 2016 is a lightly oak, pleasantly acidic 95% Chardonnay 5% Chenin Blanc blend that highlights the “other side” of Chardonnay. That is to say, this is not the plush, buttery Chardonnay that feels like you could drizzle it over popcorn. Rather, the wine is citrusy, bright, and crisp showcasing fruit flavors like lime and pear. There is nothing overbearing about this wine, and it’d certainly pair well with fish, appetizers, salads, and savory dishes that need a lift of acidity to cut the spice and/or fat. That’d something not every Chardonnay can accomplish!
Wine enthusiast gave the 2016 89 points and wine.com 91 points, so it’s relatively well acclaimed, and as the 2017 vintage is now available, you may be able to score a great deal like I did on the 2016. Normally priced around $20, I bought mine for $6. At that price it’s certainly worth a try! If unavailable, you might try the similar Pomelo Chardonnay 2016, a previous wine for your weekend recommendation, that normally rings up about $12.