As the 21st of May is International Chardonnay Day I wanted to discuss the versatility of the wonderful product that is one of my personal favourite wines.
This wonderfully versatile grape is one that grows in cool, moderate and warm climates. This produces a plethora of different styles. From the elegant styles of Chablis through to the rich, full bodied California wines and everything in between. Not only is chardonnay versatile in a climate sense but also in the wine making process. The most obvious of these examples of this is the treatment of oak and the fermentation process.
Chardonnay in Australia has been through an identity challenge for quite a while now however the resurgence over the past decade is just fantastic. No longer do we consider chardonnay to be the over oaked and unbalanced product that flooded the Australian market in recent times.
Being based in the Adelaide Hills Wine Region we are blessed to have an abundance of cool climate chardonnay. These range from elegant lighter bodied wines all the way through to fuller bodied, creamy and toasty examples. The Adelaide Hills exhibits true passion for the grape and we are fast becoming international known for it.
Often when I am talking to people about what wines they enjoy, many times the response is “White in summer and red in winter”. Now this is very logical. We don’t often feel like a cold refreshing beverage in the cooler weather. So lets talk service temperature… Chardonnay just doesn’t need to be served cold out of the fridge. Personally in the winter months I take my chard off the wine rack, give it a quick chill and then pour myself a glass before its cold. Being a full bodied wine compared to other whites such as Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, that are always crowd pleasers in the warmer weather, Chardonnay is ideally served at a higher temperature. This allows the full characteristics to shine through. The cooler the wine is then the flavour of the grape will diminish and the acidity will generally take hold. So if you have been drinking all your Chardonnay ‘crispy cold’, do yourself a favour and try a few different ones with less chill on the bottle. You may be very happy with the result.
And with all that said, wine doesn’t need to full of rules. In the end do what you enjoy and if that means you like a chilled bottle, then go right ahead.
Time to pick a glass and toast to my favourite white wine, Chardonnay.