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“Top Chef” Wine and Whine

I dunno about you, but this season’s “Top Chef” on Bravo TV has got to be one of the least engaging and exhilarating ones in the history of the show.

To be sure, it would be hard to beat the sheer excitement and mad skills of last season’s cast, which included the dueling Voltaggio brothers, Bryan and Michael, as well as the likable Kevin Gillespie and the kick-ass Jennifer Carroll.

This season? It’s not only been hard to keep the cast members straight in my head, but none of the food created has really proved memorable, either. What’s up with that?

Sigh. Guess I’ll just have to drown my sorrows in a glass of “Quickfire Chardonnay.”

Yes, indeed, there is a line of “Top Chef” wines, which also includes a Cabernet Sauvignon. But natch!

My bottle of 2008 Chardonnay was a gift from my friend, Barry, who is also a “Top Chef” fan. (Barry, if you’re reading, a big thank you!) He never misses a show. And I can count on a hilariously snarky comment in my email box the next day from him after a particularly “what was he/she thinking” moment on the show the night before.

You’re probably wondering: Just how good could a wine be that was created for a reality TV show, right?

To start, these are both affordable, Napa Valley-made wines ($18.99 each). So, they’ve got that going for them. The Chardonnay, which I tasted, was actually nicely balanced. It was not excessively popcorn-y like so many over-oaked Chardonnays. There was vanilla, but also minerality. It’s a full-bodied wine that holds up well to fish and chicken dishes.

Alas, I think I’m enjoying it much more than this season’s show, too.

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