Oy, you may be saying to yourself. How can I possibly say yay for Chardonnay?
Well, I sort of get it. 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.
And that popularity has led some to think Chardonnay is, well, uncool. It’s boring. Obvious. It’s what everyone else drinks.
But I think Chardonnay is totally cool. Because I love roasted chicken—here’s my recipe for Classic Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes, pictured below—and creamy Brie and succulent crab and similarly rich and weighty foods. And a rich, weighty wine like Chardonnay is perfect for pairing with them.
A lighter wine would get washed away by them. A heavier red would overpower them. But Chardonnay is juuuust right.
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 of my recipes that would go well with Chardonnay:
Classic Roast Chicken with Roast Potatoes
Rustic Gruyère Chive Scones
Ham and Brie Baguettes
Crème Fraîche Fettuccine Alfredo with Peas
Cornmeal-Crusted Petrale with Tomato-Tarragon Relish
Grilled Chicken with Marinated Peppers