One of the most common grape varieties in the world, Chardonnay is produced in various ways, from slim, sparkling Blanc de Blancs to rich, creamy white wines matured in oak.
- Yellow apple
Profile of taste:
- Dry Body Medium No Tannins
- Average acidity
- 5 to 15% ABV
How to serve:
45 to 55°F / 7 to 12°C
5 to 10 years
Food & wine pairing:
Chardonnay wine goes perfectly with Brie cheese. Reduce the intensity of spices while accentuating creamy and buttery flavors and textures; it is a wine worthy of lobster. Bolder Chardonnay wines call for crab fritters, linguini vongole (clams), halibut, or apple pork tenderloin.
For vegetarians, choose rich or starchy vegetables such as corn, pumpkin, or squash. Plus, mushrooms are a must!
Fun facts about Chardonnay wine
- Chardonnay is the most planted white grape variety in the world today. It surpasses that of Spain Airén and the grape vinegar of Italy, Trebbiano.
- Chardonnay is a key grape type in Champagne and other sparkling wines, such as Crémant, Franciacorta, and Trento.
- The grape originates from a small village in Chardonnay in France. The name originally meant “place of thistles” or “place covered with thistles.”
- By law, if a sticker says “Chablis,” it must be Chardonnay.
- If you see “Blanc de Blancs” on a Champagne label, it usually means you are drinking 100% Chardonnay.
- Chardonnay is said to be “made in the cellar” because it derives most of its characteristic butter-tasting notes from winemaking methods.
- Even though Chablis and regions with a cool climate tend to show wines with vivid acidity, the grapes’ natural acidity is moderately low.
- Wente in California is renowned for cloning Burgundy Chardonnay in 1912. Named the Wente clone, it is the foundation for nearly 80% of American Chardonnay vineyards today.
- Chardonnay became a baby name in the UK around 2002 because of a character in ‘Footballer’s Wives.’
Here are some of the types of Chardonnays:
- These are high-end wines from California, Burgundy, and Australia, among others. Chardonnay wines are often gold in color due to oxidative vinification that increases color. The bolder Chardonnay wines call for richer seafood and meat dishes.
- Chablis and basic wines from Chile, New Zealand, and other regions of France.
- Lean, oak-free Chardonnay is exceptional with fresh seafood like oysters, sushi, sautéed fish, pâté, vegetable or mushroom risotto, or mussels. Its crispness, minerality, and soft aromas need crisp and soft foods.
What to look for in Chardonnay wine:
- Oiled Chardonnays are rich, and full-bodied, and often have additional flavors of oak-aged vanilla, pastry spices, or butter. Tastes range from tropical (consider pineapple or mango) in warm environments to green apples and thinner citrus fruits in colder climates.
- Unoaked Chardonnay is not what you’d expect. The flavor is comparable to the lively tastes of Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, but with no “green” flavors. Chardonnay differs in flavor depending on the climate in which it grows. Depending on the maturity of the grapes, the flavor varies from citrus fruits and green apples to overripe peach and canned pineapple.
How much should you expect to spend?
The average price per bottle of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru is $10,729. Aside from second mortgage wines, expect to spend around $10 to $40 for a good bottle of Chardonnay.
Date for your diary:
May 26th is Chardonnay Day!
Want to learn more about wine? Try out these books!
Wine. Years. People. Events. Massandra Wine Collection 2010