Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make white wine that originated in the Burgundy wine region of eastern France. It is one of the most widely-planted grape varieties, with over 400,000 acres worldwide. Chardonnay is typically grown in cooler wine growing regions that are affected by morning fog and wind.
Chardonnay has a light natural flavor resembling stone fruit and lime with low to heavy minerals, depending on where it is grown. In cool climates, Chardonnay tends to have flavors of green apple and pear. In more moderate climates, the flavors of citrus, peach, and melon become more prominant. In warmer locations, notes of fig, tropical fruit, banana and mango are common.
When placed in oak barrels, the wine will undergo malolactic fermentation, and will have softer more balanced acidity transitioning the fruit flavors to more oak and hazelnut and creating a buttery mouthfeel.
Light and crisp with good acidity, Chardonnay should be paired with roast vegetables, roast chicken, and other white meats such as turkey. Heavily oak influenced Chardonnays, tend to go better with smokey and spicy foods such as barbecue, Thai, and Indian foods.
Oaked Chardonnay pairs very well with aged gouda and smoked cheddar. Unoaked Chardonnay pairs well with tangy cheeses like goat cheese and Morbier.