Wine is my drink of choice. Over the years my palate has changed a lot. I started out with Bartles and Jaymes wine coolers and then quickly moved to White Zinfandel. Hard to admit, but I loved Sutter Home White Zinfandel for many years. In my social circle, it was very popular. That changed for me one evening at a wedding. They did not have White Zin, but offered me Chardonnay instead.

My love affair with Chardonnay has been ongoing since then. I have tried dozens of different Chardonnays from producers around the world. My favorites are from vineyards in the Russian River valley.

My problem now is that I have become a wine snob. I like what I like and I don’t want to drink a glass of wine just because it says “Chardonnay” on the label. Worse yet, all white wine does not taste the same. My non-white wine drinking friends have offered me Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, thinking all white wine is created equally.

My husband, family and most of my friends are red wine drinkers. My husband is also a wine snob (probably more than me). He tries different wines when dining with customers and colleagues. He has a larger wine palate and has been trying to get me to drink red wine for years.

Last night I tried one of his favorite wines, a Nero D ‘Avola. We get a lot of wine from Trader Joe’s and I think this bottle cost about $7.00. (FYI – Good wine is not based on cost of the bottle) This wine is made from Sicilian grapes, has sweet tannins (not heavy like a Cab) and plum flavors.

Although I think wine pairing is a personal choice, it went great with Cabot’s Extra Sharp cheddar cheese and later, with the homemade marinara and meatballs I made for dinner. Give it a try!