Chardonnay is a super versatile, medium-bodied white wine, made using a green-skinned grape variety. It’s one of the most popular wines in the world, but if you’re new to this grape, we’ll hedge our bets that questions like, “What does Chardonnay taste like?”, “Is Chardonnay dry?”, and “Is Chardonnay sweet?” are gonna be the first few on your lips. And while we’d love to hand you a cold, crisp glass of the good stuff through the screen so you can taste our Chardonnay for yourself, this blog post is the next best thing! Read on for all you need to know…
Is Chardonnay sweet or dry?
Let’s get the most common question out of the way: Chardonnay is a dry white wine. The Chardonnay grapes are fermented for longer, so the natural sugars in the grapes are eaten by the yeast. This leaves the wine with less residual sugar, and hence making it a dry wine.
But just because it’s classified as a dry wine, it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have any sweetness at all. “Sweetness” is a term used by wine professionals to describe how much residual sugar is in a wine, but a sweet taste can still be perceived by the other different elements of the Chardonnay - such as its fruitiness and oak-derived flavours.
Chardonnay tastes slightly different depending on where the grapes have been grown and the aging process used. Tasting notes can range from crisp apple, pear and citrus to more tropical tones like pineapple or stone fruit. If the wine has been aged using oak, vanilla notes can also pop up too.
What does Barefoot Chardonnay taste like?
Here at Barefoot, we love Chardonnay so much that we’ve made it twice! Take your pick between our traditional Californian Chardonnay and our newer kid on the block, the Buttery Chardonnay. And if you’re wondering if Barefoot Chardonnay is oaked or unoaked, or if Barefoot Chardonnay is sweet, there’s no need to look any further. Both varieties of Barefoot Chardonnay are oaked and more dry than sweet, but they’re deliciously different. Think of them as sister wines, not twins – we’re all for embracing individuality.
Still want more intel on the difference between Buttery Chardonnay and traditional Chardonnay? This article will tell you everything there is to know, and also covers what makes Chardonnay buttery. And if you’re looking for details on more general Chardonnay tasting notes, this video from The Grape Explorer on YouTube does a fab job.
Where is Chardonnay from?
Chardonnay is appropriately named after the small village of Chardonnay in France, where the grapes are originally from. It is one of the most widely planted white grapes in world, surpassing Airén grapes from Spain and Trebbiano from Italy.
How should Chardonnay be served?
Should Chardonnay be chilled? Absolutely! If you don’t chill your Chardonnay, the flavours are prone to becoming a bit muddled and confused – a bit like us humans when we’re overheating. However, you don’t want to serve it too cold either, as it’ll alter the tasting notes.
Chardonnay is best served chilled to just over 10 degrees Celsius – an hour or two in the fridge should do the trick, then leave it on the side for 10 minutes before pouring. If you’re short on time, pop the bottle in a bucket of ice with some table salt. Yes, table salt – it works as a heat absorber, which helps bring down the temperature far quicker.
How long does Chardonnay last opened?
They say all good things must come to an end, and sadly the same has to be said for wine – it goes bad if left open for too long. This happens as a result of oxygen sneaking into the bottle and mingling with the wine, which causes a chemical reaction that makes it taste sharp or like bruised fruit. But worry not, you won’t waste a drop if you follow the below steps.
To get the best out of your bottle of Chardonnay, make sure you screw the cap back on after each pour, or use a well-sealed bottle stopper – this will reduce the amount of oxygen getting into the bottle. It’s also a good idea to store your bottle of wine upright, as this reduces the surface area exposed to the air. You’ll want to pop the bottle back in the fridge after pouring, too, as the cooler the temperature, the slower the chemical reaction. For more tips on how to make your wine last longer, The Wine Folly has a great post on that.
Chardonnay is a medium to full-bodied wine, and due to the pre-bottling ageing process, it doesn’t last quite as long as light-bodied whites and sweet rosés. That said, resealed bottles of opened Chardonnay will last up to five days in the fridge and still taste fab! If you’re after info on how long other wines last once opened, we’ve got all the answers covered in this blog.
What do you eat with Chardonnay?
If you’ve bagged the perfect bottle of Chardonnay wine and can’t wait to crack it open, but want to pair it with some food to amp up the flavours even more, we’ve got your back. We’re often asked, “what does Chardonnay pair well with?”, so we’ve come up with a whole host of great options. We’ve even written an entire post dedicated to the ultimate food and wine pairings.
But let’s not get sidetracked. Chardonnay white wine is light and easy drinking, so it’s a perfect match for fish. Think plates featuring fresh white fish, scallops, prawns, or crab. Chardonnay is also perfect for special occasions – or simple treat yo’self vibes – when teamed up with oysters. If you’re a pasta lover, try a crisp glass of Chardonnay with creamy dishes like spaghetti carbonara – our guide to pairing wine with pasta has all the details. But can you use Chardonnay for cooking? Uh, yeah! Try it in a creamy pasta sauce to give it a bit of pzazz. For something even more indulgent, this fresh-take on mac n’ cheese is just the ticket when washed down with a glass of Chardonnay.
You didn’t think we’d forgotten about the sweet stuff, did you? Chardonnay is a match made in heaven for white chocolate – the vanilla aromas and fruity nature of Chardonnay mean it blends perfectly with the sweet, smooth flavours of white chocolate. You can find out which wines pair with your favourite chocolates here.
If it sounds like Chardonnay might be your cup of tea – sorry, glass of wine – you can’t go wrong with our Barefoot Chardonnay or Barefoot Buttery Chardonnay. Fancy something a bit different? Check out our full range of white wines and start making some space in the fridge…