Monday, December 15, 2008

NBC's Chardonnay Blonde

This weekend a friend and I finished work on attempting to repair a 5 year old Rear Projection HDTV that I have. Repair costs were estimated at around $400 and with the price of LCD/Plasma sets now that didn't seem like a good use of my money. I did some quick research online and found out it was a common problem so I decided I would fix it myself(with some help). I got the parts for $60 online and the schematics for the TV and disassembled the TV, removed the boards and replaced the chips and the solid state fuses that were bad. Well this weekend we finished that up and I had been searching for the right opportunity to savor the Chardonnay Blonde. I had been thinking of planning a great meal with it, sharing it with my homebrew club, drinking it myself, etc. Well, potentially saving a TV from the junk heap and saving myself $400 with no TV knowledge at all seemed like the perfect opportunity.

We were unsure if our efforts would be rewarded with success so we opened the beer and poured it first in hopeful anticipation. I turned the TV on, it looked better than it did before but it did not have a signal, only static so the true test was a picture. Well, we partially failed. The convergence is still off so it is back to looking for soldering mistakes and if that doesn't work, well, to the dump.

Our disappoint was greatly altered however by this wonderful beer. It was bright, fruity and dry. It sounds like I am describing a wine. While that is true it has wine characteristics in mainly name alone though. There were similar fruity characters you get from a Chardonnay but you could tell that that was mostly the beer. It was dry and refreshing like a solid Chardonnay can be but with a great Belgian Blonde character. At 10% we knew we shouldn't down this bottle as we both had things we needed to accomplish that day but we kept going back to the bottle for " more sip." This beer would be great in the summer as a thirst quencher but works equally well in the winter because of the ABV.

We contemplated what food this would go great with. Cheese would be fantastic and some greasy fatty meat sound great while sipping as well. So we concluded a great Cheese steak. I know not your normal expected food pairing but for some reason it made sense. I took this one step further into the realm of ridiculousness and grabbed a Totinos frozen pepperoni pizza and some homemade salsa and chips. Again, fantastic. I guess what I am saying, just go out and get the beer and enjoy it with whatever you want. Be prepared though, it obviously gives you the munchies and doesn't magically make TVs work again.


Anonymous said...

Isn't convergence more an issue of aligning the lasers than having a bad chip? Or have you already tried adjusting the convergence?

Nate B. said...

It used to be about aligning the guns. Now they are aligned electronically and when those chips go bad they don't stay aligned and can't be adjusted until the chips are replaced. Not a big deal anymore because Plasma and LCD have taken off, those have their own problems though.

Brendan said...

Any chance of getting any bit of a review of the beer?

Is there any Funk? - NBC mentioned some sourness a few months ago.
Oak? Carbonation? anything? -

Compared to.. Duvel/Orval etc?

Nate B. said...

Brendan, I thought I did review it? I will answer your questions directly again I guess. I am not a BJCP/beer advocate reviewer. There are plenty of places for that info. I thought an entertaining story with the beer was a better read and different from what you are used to.

No funk, minimal oak that mainly comes from the Chardonnay character. It was highly carbonated. It is nothing like Orval at least what I remember of it. I can't remember Duvel, haven't it had it but once and before I really paid attention to beer. It stays pretty true to what I know of a Belgian Blonde, which is minimal. It is just a darn good drinking beer and sometimes, isn't that enough???

If you want break down of flavors go to Beer Advocate or Rate Beer, I am sure there are reviews out there but more qualified tasters.

Brendan said...


I enjoyed the story, but I thought there'd be a little more about the beer, especially with that title.

Thanks for the info. You should write and talk about beer all you want. Your tastes are your tastes.