Pear, pear, pear! The 2010 Lucinda & Millie Mendocino County Chardonnay (about $9 at wine-savvy markets) is one of the most luscious lightly oaked and fruit forward chards we've tasted in quite a while.
This wine pressed from organic grapes and fermented 90 percent in stainless steel is an eminently social sipper, although it also will drink well with food. We recommend icing a few bottles if friends are dropping by on a warm weekend afternoon. Every sip will bring a smile, which is a great place to start any gathering.
Big pear flavor pops from the moment you uncork this gregarious chard. As we know, many whites have an extremely understated bouquet, but not this baby. You know a lot about what's coming at first whiff.
On the tongue, rich ripe pear is accented by a bit of ginger up front and abetted by apple and papaya through mid palate with a kick of lime on the short but clean finish. The frisky fruit is enhanced by a silky mouthfeel.
Although a superb solo sipper, you might also enjoy this wine with a grilled white cheddar and sliced pear sandwich or something as muscular as sweet Italian sausage and broccoli rabe over pasta with shaved Parmesan.
By Colette and John Bancroft. She is the Times' book editor, and he is a freelance writer specializing in food, wine and travel.