Betty's Wine Musings

A WINEderful Wine and Cheese Tasting

In honor of National Wine and Cheese Day, which was on July 25, we did a really fun wine and cheese tasting last night that I’m excited to tell you about. My apologies to those of you who aren’t near Trader Joe’s, because our two cheeses came from Trader Joe’s.

National Wine and Cheese Day
National Wine and Cheese Day

The Cheeses

We tasted two Trader Joe’s cheeses. The first was their Green Goddess cheese, which is a gouda with parsley, basil and garlic. The second was an olive oil/rosemary cheese. The Green Goddess one was milder on the cheese front but had beautiful herb notes to it. The second was more cheesy and rich. Both cheeses were great.

The Wines

Last month, WineShop At Home introduced two American-made Burgundy wines: a Pinot Noir and a Chardonnay. Here are the tasting notes for the two wines.


Elance Pinot Noir and Chardonnay
Elance Pinot Noir and Chardonnay


Our Elance 2021 Pinot Noir displays floral and red fruit characters like raspberry, strawberry and gooseberry. There are also notes of lightly toasted oak. This wine, made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes, offers balance among fruit, tannin and acidity. This medium-intensity wine has a warm finish due to its alcohol precentage (14.2%) and elegant, silky tannins.

Our Elance 2021 Chardonnay was produced in central Lodi from a sustainable vineyard that we’ve used for the past five vintages. The grower’s dedication to detail shines through in this Chardonnay. The nose offers a combination of floral and fruity aromas, as well as daffodil, honeysuckle, and ripe pear, apple and cherry. This crisp wine was fermented in stainless steel tanks with some oak influence toward the end of aging. The mouth has citrus notes of lemon and grapefruit, as well as a mineral component in the mid-palate. This is a medium-intensity wine with a smooth finish.

Our take on the two wines:

  • The Pinot Noir had great fruit notes but tasted like it needed a little more time in the bottle before it would be ready to drink. It was bottled very recently. I want to try it again in another few months. Our winemaker Alex says this wine can be laid down for four to five years. So I’ll probably buy a few bottles that I’ll lie down for at least a few years.
  • The Chardonnay’s light oakiness and its wonderful citrus notes made it taste more like a cross between a Chardonnay and a Sauvignon Blanc. The more it opened up, the more citrus notes we got. Several of us aren’t big Chardonnay fans, but we really liked this wine.

The Pairings

Hands down, the Pinot went perfectly with the olive oil/rosemary cheese and not so well with the Green Goddess cheese. The Chardonnay went perfectly with the Green Goddess cheese and not so well with the olive oil rosemary cheese. We believe that the olive oil/rosemary cheese’s big boldness made it an ideal pairing for the Pinot, while the Green Goddess’s mellowness made it brilliant for the Chardonnay.

I’d love to hear any wine and cheese pairing stories you have for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, seek a special personalized wine gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!

Cheers, Betty Kaufman
WineShop At Home

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