Chardonnay Wines

Thursday, June 21st, 2007 at 12:00 am

It is said to be one, if not the most, popular white wines in the world. Rumored to have originated in a small village of Chardonnay in Mâconnais, France, this white wine is also known to the world as Aubaine, Melon Blanc, Beaunois, and Pinot Chardonnay. You should know by now that the wine I’m referring to is Chardonnay.

Chardonnay has a number of characteristics that can be attributed to its success. The wine itself has an exquisite or distinct aroma and a rich, full, delicate taste that at times can be indescribable yet can be quite recognizable. It is smooth in the mouth and the combination of sugar and acid ve It showcases an impressive range of flavors including but not limited to fruit flavors like apple, citrus, pear, and melon.

For wine drinkers, the find the Chardonnay very appealing since the wine can be paired to practically any dishes that involves poultry, seafood or pork. Food or recipes that have been prepared with heavy creams go well with the wine as well. The wine is best served chilled. When serves as an alcohol, Chardonnay should be served is at 12 – 14 °C (53.6 – 57.2 °F) temperature. As a conversation wine, it should be served at 8 – 10 °C (46.4 – 50 °F).

On the other hand, the versatility of the wine does not come after you bottled it. Wineries and vintners like to play around with Chardonnay. Traditionally, Chardonnays are fermented using the malolactic fermentation techniques and then are aged for some time in oak barrels.

Aging Chardonnays do make a difference. When aged in oak barrels, the wine will have a smokey, vanilla, caramel and butter aroma and taste. This, compared to the softer and much fruitier flavored wine created without oak. However, care must be taken when aging the wine in oak since the oak can easily take over the taste of the Chardonnay.

Chardonnay vines relatively adapts well to a variety of climate conditions. Nevertheless, it seems to be at home in soils that have a high concentration of limestone. The variety is well planted around the world. It is a mainstay in the vineyards of California and Australia. It has been observed to be widely planted in Chile and South Africa.

Chardonnay is considered as the most widely planted grape vine in New Zealand. Warmer climates tend to produce berries that have higher levels of sugars at the final stages of ripening. Acidity of the grapes are compromised that’s why late picking of the grapes will produce flabby wines that lack structure and tastes incomplete.

It is common practice by vintners to plant Chardonnay vines together with pinot blanc vines. The berries are small, thin-skinned, and fragile which can cause some problems especially during the harvesting and handling of the grapes.

At one time, the wine became so popular that it was the most sought after white grape in late 1980’s and 1990’s. Even today, the popularity of Chardonnay is undeniable and the brand has actually become synonymous to "dry white wine."

In fact, the wine became so popular that shelves in wine shops and stores are filled with different brands of Chardonnay. In fact, the wine was practically everywhere that some people began to be sick of it and started using the term "Anything but Chardonnay" or ABC.


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