The Wino Club Logo

The Wino Club Logo


Chardonnay: The Queen of Whites

When it comes to white wine, there is no white grape grown as much as Chardonnay. Therefore it is the most well sold grape varietal in the whites as well. It has a reputation for it's big yellow buttery oakey impact and can be temperamental to pair with food because of its big pow.

But guess what? Chardonnay does not have to have that big oakey flavor. You see, New World vintners make it so because the American palettes have asked for it. I guess it's a 'Bigger is Better' mentality (which applies to a lot with the exception of gift boxes right ladies out there?). In reality, Chardonnay is all about the winemaker. Many wine makers consider Chardonnay a blank slate capable of becoming anything the winemaker wants, from crisp and cool steely dryness to huge oak and butter.

So when you pull down a bottle of Chardonnay, what can you expect? Well, if it's a typical New World Chardonnay (which means everywhere but Europe), then expect that big bold flavor. It's like the Cabernet of whites. The exception would be a naked Chardonnay, meaning it was made in Steel rather than Oak. Then we're getting closer to the crisp dry wines found in Chablis, France where Chardonnay is made in steel or used oak barrels. Yum, let's talk about French Chardonnay now.

White Burgundy, not to be confused with any other label with white in it (like White Zinfandel) is not a blush wine. It is 100% Chardonnay and is worth every drop that comes from the bottle. By far Stacy's favorite white wine to drink, it can be quite a shocking taste experience for a Chardonnay drinker for it has a crisp richness instead of the heavy flavors of the oakey Chardonnays. They have a zing to them with nice toffee and honey at the end.

I would like to encourage you to taste a New World Chardonnay, most likely a California one and then taste a Premier Cru (meaning top quality and it will be listed as such on the bottle) Burgundy, preferably from Chablis and taste the difference. Email us your results please or post your comments on our blog under Chardonnay at because we'd love to hear from you!

Happy tasting and we'll see you at!


Darcy & Stacy

P.S. to show our commitment to the cause, this post was written with a cold glass of Chablis in our hand!

1 comment:

Alastair Bathgate said...

Hi Stacy

I love Chablis and other Chardonnays from Burgundy, mainly because of the lack of oak, although they can be pricey.
So I went one step further and compared a Premier Cru vs a Grand Cru from the same stable (you will have to translate the sterling values into dollars).