Chardonnays boast an impressive range of flavors from the expected buttered, oak influences to the fresh, fruit flavors of apple, pear, tropical, citrus and melon, leaving a lasting palate impression.
Chardonnay will pair well with poultry dishes, pork, seafood or recipes that have a heavy cream or butter base. Also consider pairing the fresh flavor profile of an unoaked Chardonnay with guacamole, garlic, salads, grilled shrimp or even curry dishes.
With a long and distinguished following, Chardonnay enjoys a very versatile image, with vintners offering a broad range of styles and structures. From rich, buttery Chardonnays that boast power and presence to the unoaked fruit-forward Chardonnays that allow the varietal character and expression to be in the spotlight, this white wine is capable of accomodating most palates and just as many food pairing combinations.
If you prefer a big buttery Chardonnay then look for ones that have been through malolactic fermentation, as they will yield the compound diacetyl, which makes up the dominant scent of fake butter used in microwave popcorn and imitation butter flavorings used in baked goods.
Chardonnay is an international grape variety that grows well in a number of regions. Keep an eye out for Chardonnay from California, Chile, Australia, Burgundy, and South Africa to get a glimpse of the range of styles and flavors across a wide array of price points.
Bouchard Aine & Fils
Chateau St. Jean
Clos du Bois
Clos Du Val
Francis Ford Coppola
Louis Jadot Marcassin