Chardonnay originates from the Burgundy wine region of France. Chardonnay comes in a wide variety of styles and most importantly, it loves the bubbly! It’s usually the main component of your favourite champagnes and sparkling wines! New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and northern California are the world’s leading producers of Chardonnay.
For Chardonnay grapes to grow perfectly, the soil needs high concentrations of chalk, clay and limestone. Because of their versatilely, these grapes can be used as blending grapes for other wine blends. It’s important to know the regional differences of Chardonnay and identify the 3 styles so you can make the most out of your Chardonnay experience! Happy National Chardonnay Day, it’s time to learn!
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Picking out the right Chardonnay is important, especially when it comes to pairing it with food. Whether it being a buttery lobster tail or delicious cheesy dishes, here is the perfect guide to finding which style is best for you and your meal!
Creamy, Oak Chardonnay
This is for my full-bodied white wine lovers! For this style of Chardonnay, oak aging is used as it sits in the oak barrels to increases the richness of textures, giving it that oily, buttery and creamy taste!
- Mushroom Risotto
- Lobster Bisque
- Steak Béarnaise
- Grilled Veal Chops w/ Mushrooms
- Cheddar Cheese
When searching for the right oaked Chardonnay, look out for taste descriptors that include, vanilla, baked apple, coconut, toasty oak, brioche, butter, cream and butterscotch. The best Chardonnay is typically 3-5 years in age, but some of the wines can age up to 10 years.
Recommended Oak Chardonnay
Featherstone Canadian Oak Chardonnay 2018
This bone-dry Chardonnay has compelling aromas and flavours of baked apple with butter and brown sugar.
Citrusy, Unoaked Chardonnay
This type of Chardonnay is for those people who struggling with the bone-dry wines, but prefer the lighter, fruiter ones. This style of Chardonnay is known to be more pure and authentic since it doesn’t rely on any flavours from the oak. To get the light, citrusy and floral flavour, winemakers ensure there is less oxygen exposure during the process.
- Shellfish – Langoustines, Clams and Mussels
- Flaky White Fish
- Garrotxa – Spanish Goat Cheese
- Camembert Cheese
When searching for the right unoaked Chardonnay look for taste descriptors that include, no oak, have lean, mineral, fresh, white flowers, and citrus blossom. The best unoaked Chardonnay should be consumed young.
Recommended Unoaked Chardonnay
Kacaba Unoaked Chardonnay VQA
This light, fruity Chardonnay has aromas of nuts, citrus fruit, lees, with hints of green apple.
Also referred to as, “Blanc de Blancs” which means “White or Whites”, this type of sparkling Chardonnay is made from grapes that are not ready to be picked. When the grapes are picked too early they are high in acidity. The wine then undergoes fermentation which determines what the final flavour profile will be.
- Brie Cheese
- Buttered Popcorn
- Fried Calamari
- Fruit-Based Deserts – Tarts, Crepes
- Shortbread Cookies
To find the right sparkling Chardonnay make sure the label indicates 100% Chardonnay Blanc de Blancs sparkling wines.
Recommended Sparkling Chardonnay
Vollereaux Brut Blanc de Blancs
This Blanc de Blancs is from Champagne, France and has subtle lemon, green apple and pear notes with firm acidity softened just a little by a light creamy texture.