OK, score one for California Chardonnay. Here's a beauty from Brewer-Clifton that combines the juice from five vineyard sites in the Santa Rita Hills, each one contributing a different expression of Chardonnay to the blend. The result is an elegant, food-friendly Chardonnay with aromas of melon and orange blossom. It's lean and focused, yet complex and long in the finish. This is a terrific entry-level Chardonnay at a great price for the quality.
Drink it with seared scallops or steamed Santa Barbara spot prawns. It does nicely as an aperitif, too, with olives and toasted almonds or a little smoked trout.
Region: Central Coast, California
Price: $25 to $31.
Style: Zesty and elegant
What it goes with: Scallops, spot prawns, smoked trout
Where to find it: BestWinesOnline.com, (888) 817-8880, http://www.bestwinesonline.com; K&L Wine Merchants in Hollywood, (323) 464-9463, http://www.klwines.com; Mission Wines in South Pasadena, (626) 403-9463, http://www.missionwines.com; Wally's Wine & Spirits in West Los Angeles, (310) 475-0606, http://www.wallywine.com; the Wine Club in Santa Ana, (714) 835-6485, http://www.thewineclub.com; Wine Exchange in Orange, (714) 974-1454, http://www.winex.com; the Wine House in West Los Angeles, (310) 479-3731, http://www.winehouse.com; and Woodland Hills Wine Co. in Woodland Hills, (800) 678-9463, http://www.whwc.com.