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All about chardonnay
What is chardonnay?
Chardonnay is so elegant that you'll want to save it for the most special occasions. Just like a chameleon, the chardonnay grape adapts to a wide variety of climates and environments, so winemakers from many different regions can produce this beloved white wine. Each region supports a slightly different variety of the grape, so chardonnays from different places in the world have different flavor profiles. In other words, each chardonnay reflects the characteristics of its land.
Oak-aged chardonnay white wines tend to have notes of vanilla and coconut. The versions from areas with a colder climate, usually in the Old World, feature crisp notes of green apple and a high acidity. Varieties from areas with warmer climates, typically in the New World, will surprise you with juicy notes of exotic and stone fruits. While most chardonnay producers use dry vinification techniques, some varieties result in flavors that are fairly sweet to the palate.
How to drink chardonnay?
Never, ever forget to serve your chardonnay chilled. The ideal temperature is between 50 and 55 degrees Fahrenheit, so store your bottle in the refrigerator for two hours before opening it, or keep it for at least 30 minutes in an ice-water bath.
Chardonnay is popular as an aperitif, but, just like pinot grigio, it's also surprisingly food-friendly. It pairs well with fresh cheeses, such as goat, Gruyere and Gouda. If you like meat, serve this white wine with pork tenderloin, chicken and game birds. If you want something sophisticated, go for oysters and shellfish.