In conjunction with the inaugural release of their new Monterey line, La Crema, a producer of good, reasonably priced, cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines (each in the mid-$20 range) also launched a new website to help consumers understand what is behind the flavor and aroma descriptors used on their wines.
The website is www.lacrema.com. The site takes a while to load and, for your own sanity, make sure you are on a high speed connection, but once you are there it is well worth the journey. Winemaker Melissa Stackhouse talks you through a "virtual tasting" of their Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines explaining the various aromas and flavors you can expect from their wines. Another option finds her coaching you on how to host a "tasting party" for friends. The idea being that you can purchase and prepare aroma and flavour components frequently mentioned in wine (examples: cherries, black tea, butterscotch). You buy these components, put them in containers, let your friends sniff everything out then see if you can find that aroma in the wine. It is an excellent idea - is a lot of fun for both a novice and an experienced wino alike.
So, for anyone who is still in front of a computer at work, not yet on official Thanksgiving holiday leave...check it out!