The Chardonnay grape variety is a classic white wine grape grown all around the world. It is at the top, as probably the world’s favorite white grape variety.
Where It Grows
The Chardonnay grape grows everywhere. The exact origin of Chardonnay is hard to trace, but its reputation was established in the Burgundy region of France. Winemakers love Chardonnay because the vines are easy to grow, and have a high yield. Chardonnay is one of the few grapes in the world that does not require blending. However, it is also blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to produce Champagne.
It is widely known for producing excellent full-bodied wines. The cooler zoned climate Chardonnay grapes produce an abundance of fruit flavors. You can pick up apple, pineapple, or the hint of peach. The warmer climate Chardonnays may have less of the fruits but develop wonderful honey, vanilla, and roasted flavors that really fill the mouth.
Keep It or Drink It
Chardonnay is ready to serve when it is sold. Many of the top Chardonnays from California, France, and Australia will continue to improve for up to five years from the time it is bottled. Check the label or the producer’s web site for specific recommendations.
The beauty of Chardonnay is that its high acids and full-bodied nature provide it great food matching versatility. It will go very well with most any recipies you serve. It is wonderful with fish, especially salmon.