WHY THE WORLD’S MOST POPULAR WINE DESERVES A MOMENT
Think about it, when someone says the words, white wine, what’s the first varietal that comes to mind? Ok, that totally backfired if you answered Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc, but chances are, you probably thought of Chardonnay – even if you belong to the ABC (Anything but Chardonnay) club, which probably only means you have oak issues. The fact is, Chardonnay is the world’s most planted white wine grape, and continues to be the heartthrob of the white wine world. And here’s why…
IT’S THAT BLONDE, HANDSOME STRANGER
There’s a reason why Steve McQueen and Robert Redford continue to top the rankings in both the “Most Handsome Men of All Time” charts and on the more gentlemanly side of the popular media spectrum, “Most Stylish Men of All Time”. They had swagger (or still have in Redford’s case). Chardonnay is the ultimate summer crush, whose name even gets you to crack a smile when you say it.
IT’S SUPER POPULAR
In a romantic comedy, this attribute usually puts the heroine off… until she finds herself in a pickle and the popular guy comes to her rescue, urging her to see him in a whole new light. The thing with Chardonnay is that it’s easy-going and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Sure, it might not be the thinking woman’s Brad Pitt, but it’s well travelled, and knows how to flex its best attributes.
IT’S MORE COMPLEX THAN IT LETS ON
But then, it surprises you by revealing another layer of intrigue – and something to sink your teeth into. Like red wine, Chardonnay usually goes through two fermentation processes. If it’s not fermented in a stainless-steel barrel, it often gets fermented in a new oak barrel, picking up flavours of toast and subtle spices like vanilla and nutmeg. During a second fermentation in an older oak barrel, those flavours mellow and become softer. Think fresh slice of toast with a lashing of creamy butter.
And that’s sexy. Chardonnay loves talking about itself, but somehow never comes across as narcissistic. It knows how to tell a story. If you surrender to its charms, it will whisk you away to sun-dappled hills and faraway valleys serenaded with cool breezes, revealing why you’re picking up hints of pineapple and mango (if it hailed from a warmer climate), or peach and apricot (if it journeyed from cooler climes). If you’re not picturing a holiday on a tropical isle, then perhaps a retreat in the French countryside is more your style.
IT’S THE LIFE OF THE PARTY
Chardonnay is famously one of the main grapes used in most bubblies across the globe. When imbued with a fine fizz, it becomes the Jay Gatsby of the wine world, when its flavours really come into their own. But it’s a lot less exclusive. No matter what your budget or lifestyle, Chardonnay is worthy of a lifelong crush.