Chardonnay is popular worldwide and is the basis for some of the world’s finest white wine. Depending on the location and the winemaker’s decisions, this impressionable grape provides a range of taste possibilities that contribute to its wide appeal. Chardonnay can be heavy and rich, light and crisp, very dry and steely, or semi-sweet and fruity.
Chardonnay grown in a cooler climate will have a flavour profile that’s often associated with tree fruit such as apples, pears, peaches and apricots, as well as minerality or flintiness. A different profile becomes evident when the grape is grown in a warmer climate. There are often tropical fruit nuances like pineapple, banana, mango and kiwi.
Sonoma and Napa in California have become famous for their Chardonnays. White Burgundies are made exclusively from this versatile grape and are often terroir-driven, with much less oak influence than New World Chardonnays.
Chardonnay is best served at 50–60 degrees, and pairs well with baked chicken, crab, cream or butter sauces, grilled pork and sautéed seafood. Try white Burgundies with steamed lobster or white fish.