Written by Brooke Tolman (last updated February 25, 2022)
Chardonnay is known as "the world's favorite white wine" because it's America's number one selling white wine varietal. The Chardonnay grape itself also contributes to the wine's popularity. It is a relatively "low-maintenance" vine that adapts well to a variety of climates, resulting in fairly high yields worldwide. These high yields translate into millions of bottles of Chardonnay wines. As a result, you can buy a good bottle of Chardonnay for under $15. Not a bad deal for a good bottle of wine if you ask me.
Chardonnay has an impressive array of flavors. It can range from buttered oak overtones to fruity flavors such as apple, pear, tropical, citrus, and melon. It's bound to have a flavor that you like. Because it hosts a wide range of flavors, it can be paired with a wide variety of food, depending on if you want to highlight your main dish, or if you want the wine to be your main focus. For this reason, many restaurants use it to compliment their main dishes.
The chardonnay grape originated in France as well. It was the only grape allowed to be grown in Chablis, Burgundy. These grapes are used in sparkling wines and Champagne. They didn't flourish much until they were brought to and started growing in California. Their popularity has grown immensely in the past 40 years. Wine makers love chardonnay because the vines grow easily and they yield a high amount of grapes. Wine drinkers love chardonnay because of the wide variety of tastes mentioned above. Different wine making techniques also produce wide variances in the Chardonnay flavor profile. Such techniques as barrel fermentation, proportion of new to old cooperage, lees stirring, and partial, complete, or prevention of fermentation generate controversy and lively discussion among winemakers.
As chardonnay becomes increasingly popular and demand increases, production goes up, therefore production costs go up, and therefore the price of it is ever increasing. So hurry out to your local grocery store and buy a bottle today because it starts to get too expensive. It'll be worth your money!
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