Wine is as much about fashion and trend as any other consumer good and the saying ABC: Anything but Chardonnay is proof of that. At one point people got tired of heavily oaked, flabby Chard and a rebellion began. Sadly for some that meant walking away altogether but for others it was just embracing the style of Chardonnay they liked. Whether you are on or off the bandwagon, Chardonnay remains the #1 most planted grape in the world so it shows the difference in perception and reality. Chardonnay grapes are especially affected by oak and winemaking technique so this means the varietal has quite a range. From the elegant judiciously-oaked white Burgundies to flinty, oak-free Chablis or a warm California style which is full bodied with hints of tropical fruit, there are many options. Each of these wines is just different enough that its food match can run a wide range too. Classic Chardonnay pairings include: Cool-climate, un-oaked with oysters and other shellfish; Fuller-bodied cool-climate oak-aged with rich fish or risotto; or warmer climate, like California, oaked style with buttered lobster or chicken, pork or pasta in a cream sauce. There are too many options to list, part of the fun is coming up with your own pairing. So, if you haven’t had a Chardonnay in a while, find the right style for you, give it a try and see what inspires you in the kitchen!
CHATEAU ST. JEAN - CHARDONNAY, SONOMA, CA - $18.95
Toasty oak and apple on the nose with hints of vanilla. Supple, round mouthfeel- slight butterscotch finish.
2009 FLAT ROCK - CHARDONNAY , NIAGARA PENINSULA, ON $16.95
Very well priced for the quality, Mineral, vanilla and citrus on nose and palate.
2010 WILLIAM FEVRE CHAMPS ROYAUX - CHABLIS, FRANCE- $21.95
Crisp wine - apple, citrus, and a focused minerality. Long finish.