What wine is the same as "Mommy Juice" white?
January 13, 2014 12:10 PM   Subscribe

A friend's wife enjoyed some Mommy Juice white wine. But when he went back to the liquor store where he bought it, they were out. Does anyone know what ordinarily-available brand might be the same or similar (here in Rhode Island)?

The site says it's 100% Chardonnay grapes from Monterey. The title of their shopping cart software mentions the Clos LaChance vineyard, which is where the Mommy Juice site's About page says the founder worked/works, which is also a California vineyard. So, uh, that's a clue?

I just don't want them to be out of luck if someone could point to another bottle and say "if you like this then you should also like that." (It seems self-evident that he should also maybe suck up to the liquor store staff a little. A lot.)

I know nothing about wine and just want to do him a favor.
posted by wenestvedt to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think any Chardonnay from the Monterey area is going to be similar enough to make them happy. (Am I a wine Philistine? Maybe.) Wine Library lists several options from that subregion.
posted by sonic meat machine at 12:16 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

It seems self-evident that he should also maybe suck up to the liquor store staff a little.

If it's a wine store or a decent liquor store, there is no sucking up needed - the staff should be semi-informed and happy to suggest similar wines.
posted by filthy light thief at 12:20 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Any Chardonnay from the Central Coast will be close enough. It is noted that this wine is aged in stainless steel, not oak. So if you get an oaked one, it will not taste the same. That should be a question that is asked where you buy it.
posted by Danf at 12:26 PM on January 13, 2014 [3 favorites]

Poking around a bit online, I see that Mommy Juice is unoaked -- that's a crucial data point. Aging in oak barrels gives white wines a buttery flavor. California chardonnays stored in steel tanks, on the other hand, lean more towards tropical fruit notes (the Mommy Juice description mentions kiwi and lime flavors).

So, I think asking in any decent wine store for an inexpensive, unoaked California chard should get you something at least in the same ballpark.
posted by neroli at 12:28 PM on January 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

Clos LaChance made an inexpensive unoaked Chardonnay, apparently part of their "Hummingbird Series". So, that one if it can be found.

Another unoaked (unoaked is important for your friend) Chardonnay from the same county is Estancia Estates Unoaked Chardonnay. I've not tried their Chardonnay, but I like their wines in general.

An unoaked Chardonnay from a different county but that you are sure to find (it's in all our grocery stores here, for example) is Toad Hollow Unoaked Chardonnay.

The Mommy Juice description mentions "grassiness" which is usually a descriptor applied to Sauvignon Blanc, not Chardonnay. So, those varietal wines are worth investigating, too.
posted by Houstonian at 12:30 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'd just try to find another store that carries that specific wine. Their Rhode Island wholesaler is Johnson Brothers: 401.583.0050. Call and ask for customer service. They'll be able to tell you other retailers that stock it.
posted by something something at 12:31 PM on January 13, 2014

I thought of another one -- for tropical fruit and grassy aromas (as described on the Mommy Juice website), and no oak: Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc.
posted by Houstonian at 12:45 PM on January 13, 2014

A local option would be "In the Buff" - Newport Vinyards' un-oaked Chardonnay.
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:17 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

The site says it's 100% Chardonnay grapes from Monterey

So you're looking for a Chardonnay.

Yay, case closed!

But, probably case un-closed, because in my opinion, Chardonnays can be wildly variable. I feel like if you enjoy Chardonnay in general, and you enjoyed what is most likely a cheap and undistinguished entry level Chardonnay, you might as well just go to the store and grab a couple bottles of other California Chardonnays at similar price ranges and see what you think.

You're probably looking for Beringer, Mondavi, Kendall Jackson, Estancia, something like that. I had a nice Coppola Sonoma County Chardonnay over the holidays, but that's in the $20/bottle range and likely fancier than you're really looking for. But if you're looking for something a bit more serious it would definitely be worth your while.

It can often be hard to know whether a Chardonnay is oaked or unoaked. I feel like I know a little bit about wine, and I can't tell by looking at the packaging alone. You may want to ask at the store. But considering your reference point is a product called "Mommy Juice", you could always just buy a few different bottles and see what you like.

I would not waste your time with Yellowtail, Barefoot, Cupcake, or any of that stuff.

(Geyser Peak Sauvignon Blanc is my cheapo summer white of choice. Is it fancy? No. But it's pretty delicious if you like a lighter, crisper white.)
posted by Sara C. at 1:39 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I agree with others that you are looking for a general low-to-mid range California Chardonnay aged in steel rather than oak. I wouldn't worry too much about geographic origin; Monterey is nothing special, but your friend seems to like it, and most other appellations will be more expensive. You may also specifically look at labels to avoid wine that have been through "malolactic fermentation," since that also conveys buttery flavors that seem to be absent from this wine.

I will slightly disagree with Sara C. in that I think Cupcake is substantially better than Yellowtail and Barefoot. However, their Chardonnay appears to be oaked so it probably isn't suitable for your needs anyway. Or, may not be. If it's under $10 where you are you could still give it a try.
posted by Joey Buttafoucault at 2:08 PM on January 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

Unoaked Chardonnay is what is in a $10-15 bottle from Macon Villages, France. Easy to find makers are Louis Jadot and Cave de Lugny. So you get French wine without the pejorative drunk mom description!
posted by bensherman at 2:20 PM on January 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Your friends may also enjoy Naked Grape Unoaked Chardonnay. It's a fairly common wine that is readily available.
posted by valoius at 3:33 PM on January 13, 2014

Awesome answers, everyone; many thanks to all of you. I will raise a glass (of beer) to your health tonight!
posted by wenestvedt at 9:20 AM on January 17, 2014

« Older More attractive alternative to zip ties?   |   Explain zoom lens specs please? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.