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Fried Chicken and Maenad Wine Skin Fermented Chardonnay!

In the planning of Spring Into Spice, I've had the chance to deep dive into wines and producers that we'll be working with at the festival. Some I have great familiarity with, and some I have just started experimenting with by doing food and wine pairings. Either way, I am excited to share some of these experiences with you! So, let's begin by sitting back and talking about all things Maenad Wine Co.!


In Greek mythology, a Maenad was a name given to female followers of the god Bacchus. With Bacchus being known as the god of wine and pleasure, you understand why and how the name Maenad translates to the 'raving ones'. When you meet the Maenad Wine Co. owner and winemaker, Yvonne Irvine, you see that light and whimsical side to a Maenad in her, but you also see someone taking ownership of their space. All of these things are Maenad in quality. Don't believe me? If you get a chance to join one of Yvonne's dance parties in the kitchen, it will make you a believer in everything we've just said.

I have recently had the chance to taste through Maenad Wine Co.'s Chardonnay, Piquette, and Vidal Pet Nat. All great expressions of the company's footprint and thoughtful positioning. We enjoyed them all, but the delicious complexity of the Skin Fermented Chardonnay drove us to take it to the food and wine pairing level.

Maenad Wine Co. 2020 Skin Fermented Chardonnay

This Chardonnay was hand-picked and fermented on skins for 14 days. Fermentation took place in both neutral oak and stainless steel, and the wine was then aged for seven months before bottling. The winemaking process adds so much complexity yet still leaves the tree and citrus fruits you minimally expect from Chardonnay. Let's talk about that complexity, though. In addition to the nose mentioned above, you get ripe pear and mango. The tree fruit and citrus continue on the palate, but herbaceous notes and lavender water add layers to this wine. All of which can be strongly attributed to the winemaking process, particularly the extended skin contact.

We paired the Maenad Wine Co. 2020 Skin Fermented Chardonnay with some well seasoned fried chicken. In such contrast to the fruit, the seasoning propelled the fruit profile of the wine. The acidity in the wine helped to lighten the 'friedness' (note, this is not a real word) of the chicken. A more than acceptable experience!

Maenad Wine Co. will be at the spring outdoor food & wine festival on May 28th. You must come out, meet them, and taste their incredible wines.


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