Chardonnay Wines – An Introduction
The most popular white wine in the world, Chardonnay, like any varietal, is produced using a grape variety of the same name. With its unmatched popularity, it goes without saying that this green-skinned grape is the highest grown white wine grape on the planet. It is used for several sparkling wines, including the most planet’s favourite celebratory drink, the Champagne. The fruit is very neutral by itself, and hence the resulting drink is greatly influenced by characteristics from the terroir & oak. This makes them very variable, and wine from one region might be very different from that coming from another.
Just Wines Simplifies Chardonnay’s Flavour Profile For You!
Let us broadly divide these wines into the following two categories based upon the climate that they are grown in –
1. Cool Climate Chardonnay – Drinks from Chablis in the globally-renowned Burgundy region of France, and Los Carneros AVA in California, are light to medium-bodied. They are crisp and bright, famous for their pleasing flinty notes. Like any wine, varied brands would offer a few different flavours & aromas, but you should mostly expect apple and pear. The acidity is medium-high.
The Great Southern wine region in Australia produces this style.
2. Warm Climate Chardonnay – These come from locations like Adelaide Hills in Australia, and Marlborough in New Zealand. While cool climate Chardonnays are known for their minerality, warm climate wines are usually shaped by influence from oak. The oak ageing results in fuller bodied wines. They are rich, as opposed to the ones from cool climates. Also a lot more fruity, they are full of peach, melon and tropical characters. This style shows medium-low acidity.
Bear in mind that this is a broad classification and while most oaked Chardonnays come from warm locations, not every Chardonnay from these regions is oaked.
Now that we have decided the flavour profile of this varietal, we can have a better understanding of the art of pairing it with food.
Chardonnay Food Pairing
1. Like always, let us first discuss which foods do not match this wine. Indian, Pakistani, Chinese and Thai preparations will not go well with a vast majority of Chardonnays, with their red chilli seasonings and spices. This is because such dishes overwhelm the subtle character of the varietal. The only exception to this is wines that are heavily oaked.
2. Turmeric, in particular, would make your drink taste sour and unpleasant.
3. We truly believe that this is a wine for Aussies and Kiwis alike since it understands their love for seafood! While it beautifully matches almost all seafood, it makes for a particularly heavenly match with scallops and crabs. We highly recommend bay scallop chowder. Crab cakes taste lovely with it too!
4. Tarragon-flavoured preparations become tastier when enjoyed with the unoaked style of Chardonnay! Just thinking about drinking it with a creamy mustard and tarragon chicken makes our mouth water! If the chicken is hot off the grill, even better!
5. Are you a foodie who hates cooking? Get a pizza Margherita take away! The mild milkiness and clean finish of the mozzarella cheese taste incredible with this wine!