No matter how you pronounce it, whether it’s “Shar-don-nay” or as TV funny ladies ‘Kath and Kim’ put it, “Car-don-nay”, Chardonnay is finally back. Yay!
A few years ago, the Chardonnay market was huge, largely positioned towards the affluent wine drinker. What used to be known as an expensive bottle of plonk, wineries saw an opportunity to jump on board, and produce a cheaper variety that would be suitable for all wine drinkers – cue the influx of terrible Chardonnays. This is what I like to refer to as the ‘Kath and Kim’ era of Chardonnay – the era that really ‘boganified’ the Chardonnay. These lower quality Chardonnays were the types that made your right eye twitch, and neck pull back in a strange and uncomfortable way.
For me, this ‘Kath and Kim’ Chardonnay era ended one fine evening when I was at a wine tasting event sampling an array of Sauvignon Blancs. A winemaker stopped me in my path and handed me a glass of Chardonnay. He insisted I try it, stating – “it will change your life”. Wow, change my life? How can a wine change my life?
I finished off my Sauvignon Blanc tasting, and took the glass of Chardonnay in hand. With one eye on the glass, and one skeptical eye on the winemaker, looking like a deranged person, I took a sip. With that one sip, my mind was blown. Finally, the great tasting Chardonnay I once loved had returned.
The more and more different Chardonnay’s I sampled, the more and more tipsy I became; and of course the more and more I became a converted Chardonnay addict again.
It seems as though Australian wineries are now a lot more educated on producing this variety of wine using better quality oaked barrels in the process. With oak being one of the critical stages of producing a Chardonnay, bear in mind that quality French and American oak barrels don’t come cheap. Remember the old age saying, “You get what you pay for”? Well this totally rings true for the Chardonnay. While you may need to fork out a little extra for a bottle than you normally would for a bottle of white, you will be treated to that dry crisp finish you once loved. You will also have an abundance of choice, thanks to the many wineries that have now perfected their releases.
If you’re still a ‘Nay’ towards Chardonnay, try it out again and you too will be saying ‘Yay’ for Chardonnay.
Here’s two of my favourites – click on the bottle to go straight to purchase. You’re welcome.
Until next time winos,