Chardonnay is one of the most popular and versatile wine varieties in the world. It shares a soulmate connection with many dishes be it cooked or uncooked. This classic white wine never fails to grace famous restaurant wine lists and dinner tables irrespective of the occasion and has therefore become irresistible over time.
Although a dry white wine, the green-skinned grapes offer a different flavour profile to Chardonnay. This grape variety can be designed into endless wine styles ranging from unoaked to heavily oaked and all in-between. Every style mends with different dishes but the important point to note here is that there are numerous factors that determine the success of a Chardonnay food pairing. These include alcohol levels, acidity, tannins and even the amount of oak aging.
These factors break the age-old myth of “white meat, white wine” and give way to a large number of interesting food pairings. Experiencing a great Chardonnay food pairing is a thing of absolute joy, and it can take your meal experience from “pretty content” to “telling all your pals to try this combination”.
Here are 5 of the best food pairings with your Chardonnay selection that can help you when hosting elegant dinner parties or dessert outings:
1. Chardonnay & Cheese Sounds Similar. Isn’t it?
The universal pair “Wine and Cheese” can frequently be found in the same place at the same time, but it’s important to note that not all wines go well with all types of cheese. There are certain unavoidable things to be considered when pairing Chardonnay with cheese. For a heavily oaked wine, go for bolder cheeses like Blue cheese, English hard cheddar, or Camembert. However, if you’re looking at an unoaked chardonnay food pairing, then something like a Brie or a Goat cheese can be your ideal option. No cheesy decision making here.
2. The Classic Chicken Calling
Another classic Chardonnay food pairing is with roast chicken. However, it will go equally well with chicken prepared in spices and a creamy sauce. A decent glass of Chardonnay goes incredibly well with a light, delicious chicken dish. The natural acid present in Chardonnay cuts through the richness of the curry while the nutty flavors of oak-aged Chardonnay complement the spices and fragrances. Of course, we’re not talking about your local fried chicken place, but more of a pleasantly grilled or barbequed chicken breast with a savory cream sauce.
Also Read: Top 5 Most Nutritious Foods You Should Try
3. Dive into the Scrumptious Seafood
After chicken, seafood is always a go-to food pairing when it comes to Chardonnay. It pairs well with seafood dishes based on shellfish like Crab, Lobster, Shrimp, and Mussels. One of the more traditional pairings on this list is the fish. If you’re enjoying a very oaky bottle of Chardonnay, then a nice pan-seared Salmon would compliment the wine pleasantly. The texture of rich and oily Salmon harmonizes with a full-bodied Chardonnay showing ripe peach & caramel flavours to dig in at the first go. You’ll also find Chardonnay pairs very well with flaky white fish like Halibut.
4. Brunch Ready with Appetizers & Salads
As white wine is a match for lighter fare, appetisers and salads are ideal companions for your glass of Chardonnay, which also makes an excellent brunch wine. So pairing Chardonnay with appetisers is exceptionally natural. They tend to encourage the appetite, and unoaked Chardonnay sparkles here. You must definitely try fresh tomatoes as an appetiser to pair with an unoaked Chardonnay, especially during the prime-time summer season. If you’re in the mood for something extravagant, oaked Chardonnays pair nicely with cooked appetisers like Pumpkin, Ricotta & Arugula Bruschetta or Caramelized Onion, Apple & Brie Flatbread.
5. Love-It or Hate-it With Herbs & Spices
Chardonnay marries well with herbs and can be effortlessly accommodating toward spices unless the spices are hot. In any case, herbs and spices can pair well with Chardonnay for everyone’s palate. Herbs have a subtlety to maintain and they tend to work better with unoaked rather than oaked Chardonnay. However, spices pair best with unoaked Chardonnay while baking spices go best with oaked Chardonnay. A herb that’s used in a variety of recipes, from Italian dishes such as Calves Liver to Pumpkin Ravioli – a light Chardonnay goes well with these dishes.
If the food is light, keep the wine light too. Make sure to have your Chardonnay chilled and ready to be served with appetisers and salads when hosting a dinner party. If the main dish is a heavier offering, keep your reds ready. Indulge in the meal freely the way that tastes right to you. Wine is subjective, that’s why some people prefer to stick with white wine throughout the course of their meal despite the changing tastes of the food.
Which Chardonnay food pairings did you like? Share with us in the comments below! You can explore the best Chardonnay across 6000+ wines and order from the comfort of your home only from Just Wines. Avail heavy discounts and free home delivery by becoming a member today.