Chardonnay is kind of the Coke of wines. It’s popular. It’s easy to drink. And it goes with a lot of great foods.
That popularity, however, has led some to look down on Chardonnay. I think the logic is that if it’s that popular, it couldn’t possibly be cool.
But I think Chardonnay is totally cool. Because I love Brie and roasted garlic and roast chicken and crab—and similarly rich and weighty foods. And a rich, weighty wine like Chardonnay is perfect for pairing with them.
That said, styles of Chardonnay can vary widely, from crisp and refreshing to buttery, sometimes oaky or toasty, and soft—plus everything in between.
When you pick up a bottle at the store, it’s hard to know which kind you might be holding in your hand. If you have something in mind, talk to your retailer.
But my experience is that as long as you match Chardonnay’s weight with richness in your food, it doesn’t matter what style of Chardonnay you serve. The buttery ones will complement creamy flavors while the crisper ones will provide contrast and help cleanse your palate between bites.
Some recipes not from my books that’d also pair well with Chardonnay:
Michael Ruhlman’s Roast Chicken (read the post, which is awesome, then scroll down for the recipe)
Smitten Kitchen’s French Onion Soup
Simply Recipes’s Crab Dip
Gourmet’s Fettuccine Alfredo