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On Chardonnay and How It Tastes
Chardonnay is the world's most popular white wine varietal. Modern winemaking techniques combined with chardonnay's natural versatility have resulted in an incredible variety of styles from around the globe. Chardonnays from warmer climates tend to offer ripe orchard and tropical fruit notes. Time fermenting and aging in oak casks can give chardonnay a creamy texture and candied flavors of vanilla or caramel. Chardonnay grown in cooler climates show more citrus and herbal flavors, sometimes offering a mineral note on the finish.
Where is chardonnay grown?
The world’s most famous chardonnays are from Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune, the Macon, and Chablis. Producers in Champagne will bottle cuvees made entirely of chardonnay as Blanc de Blancs. California’s chardonnays deserve serious attention. The Margaret River as well as other locations throughout Western Australia have yielded first-rate examples. Those from Oregon and New Zealand are also excellent.
Some popular chardonnay producers:
What food pairs well with chardonnay?
The key to successfully pairing chardonnay with food is knowing what style of chardonnay you are pouring. Crisp, cool climate chardonnay such as Chablis calls for raw oysters or shellfish. Pair a ripe, oak aged chardonnay with rich chicken or fish dishes prepared with a cream or butter sauce. Barrel fermented chardonnay pairs excellently with extravagant seafood dishes like lobster or scallops or an elegantly prepared, high-quality chicken roasted to perfection.