Good Vino: 2006 Pietra Santa Chardonnay Central Coast

We have been drinking this fruity, slightly sparkly Chardonnay lately; it's become a favorite summer white wine. Wine is one area that we've been working on diligently since we are just learning what we prefer - with food and without. Of course, it's not too difficult to "work hard" on wine, especially when it's as nice as this bottle...

Pietra Santa is a California estate in the Cienaga Valley, 25 miles east of the Monterey Bay. Several wines are produced in their state-of-the-art facilities, and they also produce olive oil from their own groves.

We first had Pietra Santa Chardonnay in New York last spring, and we were blown away by the taste of apricot and apple - our favorite fruit flavors in wine. The winery also says that they find flavors of pear and lemongrass. There's a fresh crispness to this wine that makes it very easy to drink. It's really fabulous with light summer food, especially grilled chicken and herbed pasta dishes.

We especially like it as an aperitif; the refreshing tanginess and hint of a sparkle make it a great wine to wake up the tastebuds. It's also very inexpensive; we buy it directly from Pietra Santa, although we're looking for a local source too. It retails for $12-$15 which is a steal for this quality.

• 2006 Pietra Santa Chardonnay Central Coast
Appellation: California
Blend: 100% Chardonnay

Buy Pietra Santa Chardonnay directly through Pietra Santa, $15

What are you drinking right now? Any white wine recommendations?

Related: In Defense of Chardonnay
(Images: Pietra Santa Winery and Faith Hopler for The Kitchn)

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Faith is the executive editor of The Kitchn and the author of three cookbooks. They include Bakeless Sweets (Spring 2013) as well as The Kitchn's first cookbook, which will be published in Fall 2014. She lives in Columbus, Ohio with her husband Mike.

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