This is one of the most popular grapes in the world. Most winelovers adore it, though some come to hate it. It’s grown everywhere, from the Old to the New World. It gives birth to diverse wines that suit a plethora of palates. And today is its day: May, 27th is celebrated as International Chardonnay Day. Let’s celebrate it with a few less known facts about the grape.
Chardonnay means ‘Thistly’
The birthplace of Chardonnay is Burgundy, and this is where the best harvests of the grape are still harvested. The name of the grape comes from the small village of Chardonnay which means ‘overgrown with thistle’.
The best Chardonnays are still from Burgundy
The homeland of the grape still produces ones of the best Chardonnays. Burgundy (terroirs of Chablis, Meursault, Puligny Montrachet, Cote-d’Or etc.) is the province where 90% of its French harvest is grown. Back in the 19th century the famous French writer Alexander Dumas used to say that wines from Montrachet should be drunk kneeled and hat off.
Chardonnay is synonymous to Champagne
Champagne and alike sparkling wines are usually made of Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes. And if you drink ‘Blanc de Blanc’ – you drink Chardonnay. This light, fresh and fruity style of sparkling wine is the perfect accompaniment to fresh oysters.
Chardonnay is a great food wine
What is good, Chardonnay is a great match for a variety of dishes, except of very spicy or acidic foods –its subtle nature can be overwhelmed by the extreme tastes. However, it goes well with subtly flavored, simply seasoned poultry and pork or mild, buttery and creamy pasta with mushrooms. Chardonnay is an ideal addition to a cheese plate. Oakier style wines go well with bolder cheeses like blue and washed rinds, while lean and fruity ones are usually best with cheeses that have buttery or nuttier notes like a Camembert.
Alfred Hitchcock's favorite wine
The famous horror movie director was a big fan of this wine. He only drank Montrachet, brought from France, which costed fifteen dollars a bottle. At the time most wines in America used to cost no more than two or three dollars.