I was reading a recipe the other day that called for a Far Niente chardonnay and I imagined chefs scurrying around town in a fruitless search for the wine. How silly. There is more than one chardonnay that would do well with a recipe.
And that got me to thinking of rules. Guidelines in the wine world are appreciated, but rules are not because they are so absolute. Take, for example, white wine with fish and red wine with meat. Good guideline, but I can come up with many exceptions. Tuna and salmon do better with red wines.
And then there is the rule that cheap wines on restaurant wine lists are terrible. I had a Boutari wine from Greece the other night for $34 and it was great, despite being the cheapest white wine on the list. With markups as high as 400 percent, you can't afford to order the most expensive wine.
What about the rule of serving white wine in narrow, tapered glasses? I've recently discovered that a full-body chardonnay tastes better when poured in a wide mouth glass generally reserved for red wines. A complex chardonnay needs to breathe before you pick up its subtleties.
I can go on and on about rules.. But I won't.