CHARDONNAY

      YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE A CHANEL-CLAD CLUBHOUSE MEMBER TO LOVE CHARDONNAY.  WHY?  BECAUSE CHARDONNAY IS THE MOST DIVERSE - AND MOST PLANTED- WHITE WINE GRAPE IN THE WORLD.

 

      CHARDONNAY VARIES GREATLY WITH CLIMATE, SOIL AND WINEMAKING, BUT IT ADAPTS JUST ABOUT ANYWHERE, WHICH IS WHAT MAKES IT SO POPULAR. COOLER CLIMATES LIKE NEW ZEALAND AND CHABLIS LEAD TO CRISP, ACID-PRONE WINES, WHILE WARMER CLIMATES LIKE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA AND AUSTRALIA FOSTER RIPER GRAPES THAT CREATE HEAVIER WINE LEANING TOWARDS TROPICAL FRUIT FLAVORS. SO SPECIFIC ARE THE SOILS OF BURGUNDY, THE WINES OF THE REGION SHOW SUBTLE NOTES OF MINERAL AND CHALK THAT BELIE THEIR ORIGIN.

 

      IF YOU LIKE THE IDEA OF CREAMY, RICH WHITE WINE IN YOUR GLASS, YOU’LL LOVE THE CLASSIC STYLE OF OAK-AGED CHARDONNAY WINE.  OAKED CHARDONNAYS ARE RICH, FULL-BODIED AND OFTEN HAVE ADDITIONAL OAK-AGED FLAVORS OF VANILLA, BAKING SPICES, OR BUTTER. FLAVORS RANGE FROM TROPICAL (THINK PINEAPPLE OR MANGO) IN WARM CLIMATE REGIONS, TO LEANER, GREEN APPLE AND CITRUS IN COOLER CLIMATES.

 

      ON THE OTHER HAND, IF YOU PREFER YOUR WINES TO BE LEAN, MINERALLY AND DRY, THEN YOUR PERFECT CHARDONNAY IS THE UN-OAKED KIND. UNOAKED CHARDONNAY ARE NOT WHAT YOU MIGHT EXPECT! THE TASTE IS SIMILAR TO ZIPPY STYLES OF PINOT GRIGIO OR SAUVIGNON BLANC, BUT WITHOUT “GREEN” FLAVORS.

POULTRY

CHICKEN, TURKEY

SEAFOOD

HALIBUT, TROUT, COD, STURGEON, OILY FLAKY FISH, ATLANTIC SALMON, LOBSTER, CRAB, SCALLOPS, SHRIMP, CLAMS, OYSTERS 

CHEESE

SOFT – SEMI SOFT COW’S MILK CHEESE AND GOAT CHEESE

HERBS/SPICES

TARRAGON, PARSLEY, THYME, LEMON ZEST, MARJORAM, WHITE PEPPER, SHALLOTS, POULTRY SEASONING

VEGETABLES

YELLOW SQUASH, PEAS, ZUCCHINI, ASPARAGUS, SUN CHOKES, SEITAN, WHITE MUSHROOMS, TRUFFLES, CHANTERELLES, ALMONDS

NEED SOME IDEAS?

     BAY SCALLOP CHOWDER.  SCALLOPS LOVE CHARDONNAY. BACON LOVES CHARDONNAY. CREAM,          OF COURSE, LOVES TO LOVE IT. POTATOES, SAME STORY. 

 

     CRAB CAKES.  CRAB MEAT, LIGHTLY BREADED AND FRIED -- IT'S ONE FOR THE LEAN, FRESH, FLINTY      CHARDONNAYS THAT ARE BRIGHT WITH ACIDITY, LIKE A CHABLIS OR AN ITALIAN CHARDONNAY.

 

     AVOCADO AND TUNA TAPAS.  THE TUNA, MAYO, AND BUTTERY AVOCADO WORK GREAT WITH RICH        CHARDONNAY, BUT YOU WOULDN'T MISS A BEAT WITH A CLEAN, BRIGHT WHITE BURGUNDY                    EITHER. ANY LEFTOVERS? FRY UP SOME BACON AND MAKE THIS SANDWICH. 

 

     DIJON-TARRAGON CREAM CHICKEN.  CHICKEN HAS A LOVE-LOVE RELATIONSHIP WITH                              CHARDONNAY. SO WHAT MAKES THIS PARTICULAR RECIPE SPECIAL? ONE WORD, TARRAGON.                ANOTHER WORD, DIJON. TWO VERY CHARDONNAY-FRIENDLY INGREDIENTS.

     

     SALMON.  FATTY SALMON IS A FRIEND OF CHARDONNAY. AND THIS RECIPE PROVES THAT THE                PREPARATION DOESN'T NEED TO BE COMPLICATED TO BE DELICIOUS. TOSS SOME SALMON FILLETS      ON THE GRILL AND FINISH WITH A LITTLE BUTTER AND A BRIGHT SPLASH OF LEMON, THEN PAIR IT        UP WITH A RICH CHARDONNAY.

     CHICKEN KIEV.  THERE IS BUTTER AND PARSLEY SAUCE INSIDE THE LIGHTLY BREADED AND ROLLED      CHICKEN BREASTS! THIS WAS BUILT FOR CHARDONNAY. BUT OK, IF THIS RECIPE'S TOO WORKY, A          SUPER-SIMPLE ROAST CHICKEN IS ALSO CHARDONNAY'S PERFECT PARTNER.

     GRILLED MARINATED SHRIMP.  A CRISP, FRESH CHABLIS WOULD BE A GENIUS MOVE HERE. BUT              YOU'RE GRILLING THEM, SO AN OAKY CHARDONNAY COULD WORK, TOO.

     CHICKEN FRIED CHICKEN.  WITH FRIED FOODS, A NICE BRIGHT CHARDONNAY, LIKE A CHABLIS, IS          DELICIOUS. BUT LAY OFF THE HEAVILY OAKED CHARDONNAY. OR GO WITH A COLD, COLD LAGER            BEER.