well i’m too lazy and arrogant to check if i’ve mentioned Gray Fox Chardonnay before, probably i have, because i was pretty taken with it, at first and some subsequent tastings -because it’s cheap and it’s cute (has a cute fox on it) and it really was pretty delicious- but as it happens, whatever recommendation i may once have made comes now with a pretty significant qualification. make sure you drink it cold. i think this made and shall continue to make the difference.
for it went thusly: on a gamble (attracted by the abovementioned price [8.90$ SAQ listing], fox, and the likelihood that even a -bad- chardonnay will have been browbeaten into drinkability, if not laudability)
i bought a bottle of the stuff and brought it home and loved it and said “Lo, Here Is The Wine that shall replace the cheap whites Toro Loco and Christophe D’albray to which i have always turned in a pinch and been pleasantly surprised, given that they are affordable and findable in deps!”
and this went on for some time, or rather, a couple of times at least. often enough, it seems, for me to say things like “Oh For A Good Cheap Reliable Red (that is not Fuzion)…If Only It Were SOO Easy To Find A Such A Red, When I Have Affordable, Sufficiently Delicious Whites Just Pouring Out My Ears.”
until which time as i got tired of señor crazy bull and christopher whatever, and then had these few unpleasant experiences with the Gray Fox. “What Is Going On,” i thought, with his little rapscallion star in ascendence and all, “Why Is This Wine So Foul All Of A Sudden?” because i was all of a sudden very disappointed.
not knowing quite what to do (particularly having just read the above-linked review on http://www.nosnob.com, otherwise a pretty handy resource for wine-drinkers of our economic stratum), i put the case to my coworker Peter X who, while still but an amateur, is inarguably scads better-versed in the world of vitiwhatever than i, and always open to the prospect of opening his arms/heart/maw to a cheap and drinkable white.
upon our next meeting, he had this to say (loosely): that the wine was “…borderline disgusting.” which he further qualified by saying that his first glass or two was delicious and impressive (for the price) and very drinkable, but that upon his third, effectively the moment the wine had a chance to warm up, it betrayed its shoddy manufacture and pitiably over-sulfured character. further, he stated, as is often the case with wines so treated, even while one does not initially taste it, one is more likely to experience an attendant bout of heartburn, which, given a little time and temperature, will become wholly unavoidable.
not that i can recall with total clarity, but i do believe that my less favourable experiences with the wine have corresponded to drinking it unchilled, or insufficiently chilled, or the day after, which also maybe (?) makes a difference?
in any case, i shan’t stop buying it, but i shall certainly bear all this in mind when i do, and all the more when i am making any sort of recommendation.
such as this: “Buy it (maybe?), but watch out! Drink it cold (and fast, i guess.)”