The old saying for chardonnay was ABC – Always Buy Chardonnay. The newer saying was something more like Anything But Chardonnay after it’s gone out of fashion over the years.
English readers might remember a particularly trashy character on Footballer’s Wives named chardonnay while Australia readers will almost definitely remember Kath and Kim’s influence and their left field pronunciation of the word – cardonnay.
Well chardonnay is making it’s way back in to the mainstream drinkers hands again which can only be good news. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we only stuck to easy drinking savvy b (sauvignon blanc) when it comes to white wine drinking?
I’m learning more and more how important it is to try all wine and not pigeon hole one particular grape or region because of one bad glass.
So I’m here to tell you you do like chardonnay and that you shouldn’t write it off.The common perception of chardonnay is that it’s full bodied, fruit forward with creamy buttery flavours. But the grape itself is actually more neutral than you think – and because of that it can produce different tastes dependent on where it’s from.
Cooler climate chardys (yep, I’m calling it that) produce higher acidity, lighter bodies and more paired back fruit flavours. Whereas warmer climates produce big, boozy chardys that can be a bit full on in terms of flavour.
Now, have you tried Chablis before? If you have, I’m almost certain you’ll have liked it. If you haven’t you should. It’s great. And here’s the thing about Chablis – it is chardonnay.So don’t be conned by what you’re told or by the shit chardy your auntie poured you last Christmas. Branch out, have a sip and broaden your horizons a bit. And if you get one that you absolutely hate, chill the fuck out of it and you’ll barely be able to taste a thing.Here are some chardys I’ve tried recently that you should give a go:
1. Pig in the House, Organic Chardonnay – Cowra NSW 2016 Pale in colour, smells of pear, tastes fresh and not oaky at all. Two thumbs up. Tip: The Rose of Australia in Erskineville is a glorious spot to enjoy a glass or two of this beaut.
2. Fat Bastard Chardonnay, California 2016Look, it’s OK to choose a bottle based on the name or label sometimes. Especially when it’s funny. Besides having a giggle at the name, I loved this chardy you know. A full bodied easy drinking vino with hints of tropical and stone fruits. They say pair with fish like salmon but I can also confirm it goes great with a ham and cheese toastie.
3. Wildcard: Domaine de Montbourgeau l’Etoile, Jura 2014I went to an awesome Jura masterclass at P&V Merchants in Newtown (would recommend). This wine is pure chardy and falls under their category, Vin Jaune – meaning yellow wine. This type of wine is matured oxidatively in barrels under a layer of yeast. This is called “sous voile”, meaning “under the veil”. Savoury and dry, it reminds me of sherry which is what they aim for in under the veil maturation. If you fancy something different, give it a red hot go mate (and if you’ve got $60 to gamble with).
Want to read more on wine from Jura? Read my post on a masterclass I attended here.