Chardonnay: Not a footballer’s wife. The king of white grapes

Story by Naked Wines

Made the world over, Chardonnay is the planet's most popular white grape variety. And you might think we're mad for saying it, but it's one of the world's most delicious grape varieties at that…

Recently it has become fashionable to say “Ooh I don't like Chardonnay, I prefer Chablis”.

Well here's the thing. Chablis is Chardonnay. As is white burgundy. Plus, it's is a key ingredient in Champagne. And we all love a nice, refreshing glass of bubbly.

Chardonnay, on its own, has a clean, crisp, lemony lime taste, with enough richness to make it a brilliant food wine.

What many people confuse for the taste of Chardonnay is the taste of OAK…

Traditionally many white burgundies were matured and fermented in oak barrels, which imparted a smooth caramel/vanilla flavour to the wine. An additive if you like, but a nice one.

Then a bunch of Aussie marketeers went “jeez mate, if we chopped up oak barrels into little chips and made big tea bags, we could get that flavour for peanuts. So they did. And they also worked out that adding sugar made the wine taste richer and more full bodied. So they did.

The problem was, nobody told them when to stop. Until they had created wines with so much vanilla, and so much sweetness, that they tasted more like a chocolate sundae than anything Moses would recognise.

And we all got nauseated.

Well, all that has pretty much gone out of the window. The market moved away from that flavour, the winemakers re-asserted their taste over the marketers, and you now have a generation of Chardonnays that taste like they should.

And the great news is… Chardonnay is one of the cheapest wine varieties available in the world today.

So get over those old prejudices, dip your toe back in the water, and try some delicious, un-oaked Chardonnays!


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