Chardonnay's relatively neutral flavour means winemakers can produce a wide range of styles depending on which winemaking technique they use. For example, oak ageing which adds flavours of vanilla, toast, and spice to the wine as well as a complexity and a creamy texture. Un-oaked or lightly oaked chardonnay wines on the other hand, showcase the grape's natural fruit flavours and acidity. This creates a lighter, crisper and more full-bodied drinking experience.
Is chardonnay dry or sweet?
Chardonnay is known as one of the driest whites, although it can offer some sweetness if the grapes are picked particularly late. It should be noted, however, that dry wines can still be perfectly fruity, as the dry-sweet scale, which focuses on levels of residual sugar, is entirely different to the earthy-fruity scale, which focuses on flavour. In this way chardonnay can still be a fantastic choice for sweet tooths, as a wealth of fruit flavours are often present – particularly in unaged wines.
What food pairs best with chardonnay?
When it comes to food pairings, chardonnay's versatility shines. Its rich, buttery flavours and moderate acidity make it a great match for a wide range of dishes including seafood such as lobster, prawns, and scallops; as well as poultry such as chicken and turkey. It can even work with some lighter red meats, like pork or veal. Chardonnay can also be enjoyed with a range of cheeses, including Brie, Gruyère, and aged Cheddar.
How should chardonnay be served?
Once again, the ideal serving temperature of chardonnay will depend on the type of wine you’ve purchased. Unoaked chardonnay, with its higher levels of acidity, is best served at around 9C. Oaked chardonnay, with its more complex character, can be served at up to 14C, almost the temperature at which you’d serve light- to medium-bodied reds. As a rule, the ideal serving temperature goes up with the wine’s age and quality.
Best chardonnay brands at Qantas Wine
Whichever style of chardonnay pleases your palate and your menu choice, you’ll find one to suit at Qantas Wine. We offer a selection of top chardonnay wine brands, including Fetherston Wines, Sidewood Estate, d'Arenberg, St Huberts, and Allegiance – our range of chardonnay wines offer something for every wine enthusiast.