What an interesting name to choose – Pancake Cellars. And that label! The giant anthropomorphized flapjack* hearkens back to the over-the-top marketing of the 1950’s when icons like the Jolly Green Giant and Kool-Aid Pitcher Man (later to become Kool-Aid Man) roamed our billboards and TVs. I appreciate very much that some winemakers – especially those who are working at less expensive price points – recognize many folks want to have fun and drink wine at the same time. Let’s face it; anyone who is purchasing a white blend at this price is not expecting to have a religious experience when they sip it. This is not the wine of formal dining rooms with crystal goblets, white table linens, and utensils laid out in a tightly-regimented pattern around dinner plates. Thanks primarily to the humorous label, I was definitely of a mind to have a good time when I opened this bottle.
Winemaker: Pancake Cellars
Wine: Big Day White
Varietal: White Blend
Appellation: Paso Robles, CA
Price: $5.99 at Trader Joes
Notes: According to the label this California white was made from 37% Chardonnay, 23% Sauvignon Blanc, 15% Vioigier, 15% Pinot Blanc, and 10% Muscat Canelli. As I poured this inexpensive blend into my glass, it’s color was a pretty, light lemon. On the nose I caught whiffs of peach, melon and citrus. Acidity was good, pricking the tongue lightly to give it a sense of gentle effervescence. It was light-bodied with a slightly viscous mouth feel, and alcohol was at 13.5%. On the palate I tasted peach, melon, citrus, some honey, and a bitter note on the finish which was reminiscent of citrus zest. Unfortunately, that final note lingered sufficiently that it began to overwhelm the rest of the flavors as I sipped. So the overall experience became mostly bitter rather than balanced between the zip of the finish and the fruit at the fore. If you are looking for an inexpensive white with a zing in it’s step, this could be your blend.
* Or is that a grape? Considering the shape and coloring, it could be either. Maybe that’s by design.