Chardonnay became popular in the 1990s and today is the third most widely planted grape in New Zealand.
Cold climate Chardonnays: Citrus. Lemon. Lime. Orange. White Fruit. Green Apple. Pear. White Peach. Honeydew Melon. Mineral.
Warm climate Chardonnays: Citrus. Orange. Tangerine. Yellow Fruit. Yellow Apple. Peach. Apricot. Tropical Fruit. Melon. Pineapple. Banana. Mango.
Oak Aged Chardonnays: Butter (Malolactic Fermentation). Vanilla. Toast. Nuts. Coconut. Wood.
Cold climate Chardonnays tend to be light bodied with crispy acidity.
Warm climate Chardonnays tend to be medium to full bodied.
Oak Aged Chardonnays tend to be full bodied with high alcohol.
Chardonnay is very food friendly.
Italian. Spanish. International. Asian. Mexcican. Vegetarian.
Unoaked Chardonnay pairs best with:
Oysters. Shrimps. Scallops. Crab. Fish.
Creamy cheeses: Brie. Camembert. Chèvre.
Oaked Chardonnay pairs best with:
Anything with Creamy or Buttery Sauce.
Lobster or Salmon with Drawn Butter.
Pasta in Creamy Sauce. Risotto.
Lobster. Salmon. Tuna. Fish Cakes.
Chicken. Poultry. Pork.
Roasted Veggies. Pumpkin. Mushroom. Onion. Garlic.
Dried Fruit. Hazelnuts. Cashew. Pecans. Coconut.
Aged, Salty, or Nutty Cheeses.
Cheddar. Comté. Gruyère. Manchego. Parmigiano. Pecorino.
Chardonnay is village in South Burgundy, and Chardonnay is the most popular white wine grape in the world.
Chardonnay is a grape with a limited (not very aromatic) taste. It produces neutral wines that need help to become interesting.
This can be done in several ways. One common way is to ferment or store the wine in oak barrels.
Chardonnay also easily absorbs the taste of the soil (terroir), and this is consciously used to complement Chardonnay's taste profile in Europe.
Quality Chardonnay wines always have a round character, a great length, and a rich after-taste, but Chardonnay shows a multitude of styles all over the world, from totally uninteresting, strong alcoholic wines with artificial fruit aromas, to the world's most sublime, perfect balanced wines.
In cool climates, Chardonnay can have a light body with noticeable acidity and flavors of citrus, green apple, and pear.
In warmer locations the flavors are more yellow apple, peach, melon, and tropical fruit such as pinapple and mango.
Chablis in France and California in USA are good examples of two very different expressions of the same grape.
Chablis is best known for producing excellent, fresh, and light wines with appealing apple and citrus aromas
California is best known for power, heavy oak, and tropical aromas.
People who like Californian Chardonnay with low acid and high alcohol, may say that a young Chablis is too acidic, and some people may say that they don't like the taste of Chardonnay, because they don't like the taste of oak.
Chardonnay is popular for 3 important reasons:
Chardonnay wines have no sharp edges and no high acid content. The grape produces large crops and it is not picky about soil and climate. The fact that the wines are easy to sell, also contributes to the grape's popularity among the wine producers.
New Zealand Chardonnay is known to be fruit-driven with concentrated citrus and tropical fruit, but a wide range of styles are produced in New Zealand, from fruit-driven and unoaked, complex examples with elegance, and a touch of oak.
Cool climate regions like Marlborough produce medium to light bodied wines with citrus and savoury flavours, minerality, and great acidity
These Chardonnays get first prize for French imitations. They often holds good quality, with an elegant balance of citrus, minerals, and tropical fruit.
Warmer climates produce wines with full to medium body, rounder and richer flavours, and softer acidity.
Chardonnay is the most popular white wine grape in the world.
You can read more about the grape at Chardonnay Grapes.
You can read more about the world wide production at Chardonnay Regions.
There are 2 types of Chardonnay glasses.
One for un-oaked, steel fermented, crispy, and young Chardonney (like Chablis).
One for oaked Chardonnay like Meursault, Montrachet, and most Americans.
A Tulip Shaped glass is the best choice for dry white wines.
It guides the wine to the center of your mouth, avoiding the sides, where acidity is less pleasant.
A smaller bowl also helps to serve smaller quantities, and keep the wine cold. Remember to hold the glass by the stem!
The Montrachet glass is perfect for full-bodied white wines such as:
The wide bowl steers the wine to the sensitive parts of the tongue, ensuring that the acidity creates a harmonious balance with the sweet aromas of aged wines.
The wide bowl allows the full bouquet of aromas to develop, and minimise the risk for it to be over-concentrated.