Chardonnay is a white wine grape variety that originated from Burgundy in France but now is one of the most planted varieties in the world.
It has a significantly heavier body than many other white wine grapes and is often oak aged.
The topic of Chardonnay is very vast and deep. There are many styles of this wine and simple division between oaked and unoaked is not enough.
Depending from a climate and location, the aromas can vary from a lemon, unripe pineapple, white fruits in a cooler climate (like France) to peach, ripe pineapple and honeycomb in a warmer climate (Spain).
This grape is commonly used to produce sparkling wines like Champagne, Cava, Franciacorta.
Chardonnay is often oak aged, because wine itself tends to be quite mild, without intense flavours, so it quickly absorbs them from a wood barrel. The aromas that are present in oak aged Chardonnay are mostly vanilla and coconut. This wine often undergoes malolactic fermentation (MLF), which gives it a rich oily texture and buttery aromas. Lees aging is also very common.
This grape has one of the best food pairing capability from all the white wine grapes and personally is my favourite.
Sugested food pairings:
- Unoaked Chardonnay – Salads, Seafood, Herbal Dishes, Light Fish
- Oak aged Chardonnay – Chicken, Butter, Fatty Fish, White Mushrooms, Cream, Turkish bread