When is a wine bottle not a wine bottle?
When Mer Soleil Silver Unoaked Chardonnay sits on a shelf in a wine store, it immediately grabs attention with its stunning ceramic bottle. Reminiscent of the cement tanks that this wine is made in, the bottle alone caught my eye and inspired me to pick it up. I was intrigued enough by the bottle and the chance to taste an unoaked California Chardonnay that I purchased it and brought it home for a weekend dinner. Luckily, for fans of vibrant, citrusy, food friendly Chardonnays, Mer Soleil Silver is more than just a pretty bottle. It is a great wine, as well.
California Chardonnays are often so over-oaked that they can be reminiscent of chewing on a stick. While that may appeal to some, it ultimately hides some of the Chardonnay grape’s best qualities and can result in a dull, one-dimensional, flabby, and boring wine. Mer Soleil Silver is more like a classic French Chablis, grown in a cooler California climate than most, with bright acidity and lemon and grapefruit notes on the palate that make it a truly special wine.
At almost $30.00 retail, Mer Soleil Silver isn’t a wine that most people can afford to drink every night. However, as a special occasion wine, Mer Soleil Silver is a great choice, and the ceramic bottle makes a nice keepsake to remember whatever occasion was celebrated. The ceramic bottle itself imparts no flavor at all to the wine, is dishwasher-safe, and can be repurposed into an elegant water bottle or flower vase.
Located on the Central Coast of California in the highlands of Monterey County, Mer Soleil Silver is fermented and aged in cement tanks imported from France. On the nose, wet cement and a certain minerality are present. As the wine caresses the palate, lemon, grapefruit and gooseberry keep the wine focused and tight. This wine will pair well with a variety of seafood and chicken dishes, grilled fruit, and cheeses. Try goat cheese wrapped in grape leaves on the barbecue or fresh cracked Dungeness crab for two special pairings.
Overall, this is a classic example of a food friendly, well-made Chardonnay. At a $30 price point, Mer Soleil Silver is not an every night wine, but definitely one to consider purchasing the next time you need a high-quality white wine.