Thursday, March 10, 2016

Wine Review: Vindie Sonoma Coast 2014 Chardonnay

Vindie Sonoma Coast 2014 Chardonnay

I had the pleasure of meeting Jeff Bundschu of the Gundlach Bundshu Winery during an east coast trip he made probably about ten years ago. I was just some kid that worked in a liquor store here on Cape Cod so the dude wouldn't remember me. What I remember is 1) his wines are fucking delicious 2) he's a total California dude with the "woooah" surfer accent, hemp-rope necklace and long, blonde hair. Gundlach is still one of my favorite wineries out of Cali.

Jeff got together with Music Nomad's Rand Rognlien to create Vindie Wines and they hired Alison Crowe as their winemaker. But there's something truly unique about this wine of the likes I have never seen: they did a shit ton of research in wine tasting and music, and then talent scouting to pair their wines with emerging artists. This is wine that is meant to be paired with music.

On a regular basis you see me talk about what music I'm listening to while I review a wine. And I have a wide taste in music so you've seen me talk about everything from blues to ska to hair bands to heavy metal, and I've expressed my dislike of country music at least once. So who would be a better reviewer than me for a wine that pairs its own damn self with music? Alright, probably a whole bunch of other reviewers would be better but too bad. I'm the one reviewing it today. Deal with it.

I'm reviewing two of Vindie's wines this week. First it's the Sonoma Coast 2014 Chardonnay and then the California 2014 Red Blend.

Jeff Bundschu of Gundlach Bundschu
So the music thing goes like this: You're given a code on the bottle that you use to access the music off of their website at VINDIEWINE.COM. There's 8 songs by 4 different artist that have been carefully picked to go with the style of wine that you have. All the music is from independent artists and all the grapes are from independent vineyards. Some of the proceeds go to charities such as Sweet Relief, an organization that provides health care to artists.

I think all of this is very cool. I always felt drinking wine was better with some good music as opposed to the boob tube or even a book. Jeff and Rand came up with a very cool concept here. And helping out struggling people that write and perform music, one of the things that makes the world so beautiful, is something I can get behind 100%.

So just a quick run-down of the 2014 Chardonnay because I really want to get into the music and the wine: It's entirely from Chardonnay. It's from Sonoma County (mostly Russian River). 20% was aged in new French oak. Let's rock!

I'm going to start off by answering the first question that popped into my mind when receiving this wine. It's perhaps the most important thing about this operation when all is said and done: does the music work on mobile devices? Because really, it doesn't matter whether I like the music or the wine. Somebody else is going to. But if you have to access the music through a desktop or laptop then you can consider the entire concept of this label useless. You need to be able to bring this up on the patio at a friends house.

Opening my browser.. going to VINDIEWINE.COM... selecting "GET MUSIC"... aaaand it's telling me I need to login to redeem a code. Alright... "log in"... register... and in, like, 15 seconds I'm registered. It tells me the optimal way to listen is to "turn off sleep mode" on your mobile device. So that's a good sign. Back to "GET MUSIC", put in the code...

It kept telling me my code was unavailable so I emailed them. They got back to me in just a little over 10 minutes, which is pretty damn impressive, and said to keep scrolling down and it should show "2014 Chardonnay Volume 1" which it did and it totally works on mobile. They gotta get that fake error fixed and make it more obvious that your code worked.

The first song up is "Sedona" by Houndmouth. I've heard it often on Sirus XM. So bright and pink! Saturday night kind of pink! ;) Digging it. Uncrack the screwcap and pour. The color of the wine is classic Chardonnay gold. Up front on the nose I get a lot of vanilla and musk. Then there's pears and peaches. Love the nose.

Until The Ribbon BreaksNext up on the music list is "A Taste of Silver" by Until The Ribbon Breaks. I have never heard this song before and I gotta tell ya... I love it. A little blues and a little industrial. Perfect. I'll be buying it off of iTunes. It also goes great with this wine!

In the mouth it's full bodied and has a slight touch of sweetness. It tastes like somebody took pear juice, pineapple juice and peach juice out of each of their individual cans and mixed them together with a little pinch of clay.

This is a crowd-pleaser Chardonnay. There's not a lot of complexity or elegance. It's a straight forward, juicy Chardonnay that's not bad. It's made for getting together with friends, goofing around, drinking some wine and listening to some good music.

I'm not going to get more into exactly what music was on the playlist because you'll have to find out for yourself, but it was ALL much better than I was expecting. And it ALL went extremely well with the wine.

So overall I'm giving the wine a 3 out of 5 in price vs quality for Satisfying at $16. But as an overall experience I'm giving it a 4.5 out of 5. I have to take half a point away because of the error confusion that they need to fix, but I really do highly recommend that you check out Vindie. What they're doing is outstanding and I can't wait until they really get the ball rolling.

And better labels, guys. You hear that, Vindie? Please get better labels. What you've got right now is not going to attract anybody. Simplify.

Come back to see what I think of their Red Blend on Sunday.


Price: $16
Rating: 3/5 = Satisfying (what does that mean?)


Price: $16
Rating: 4.5/5 = Recommended / Highly Recommended (what does that mean?)

The bottle used was supplied free of charge for the purpose of this unpaid review. To have your wine reviewed follow this link.


  1. Glad to read your honest review. I just received mine and will be tasting it soon!



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