Chardonnay Project

Chardonnay Grapes
photo by Pete Markham

This year I’m lucky enough to be participating in a couple of excellent wine programs. The one which has already started is Working with Wine, run by Negociants Australia. The first Adelaide session was run on Thursday 19 April and focussed on the white wines of the Côte d’Or in Burgundy, France.

These wines are made (predominantly) from Chardonnay and, after a very fun day tasting 20 great Chardonnays, I commented on Facebook how ace Chardonnay is.* I’m always surprised by the things on Facebook that elicit the most comments … and this was one of them. People seem to have some pretty strong thoughts on Chardonnay: the nay-sayers (to whom I say you just haven’t tried the right wines), the people who love oak influence and the people who don’t like oak and the people who find that Chardonnay doesn’t represent good value for money. One telling comment was that for $15 you could buy a reliably good bottle of Sauvignon Blanc but Chardonnay was too much of a hit-or-miss proposition.

I actually feel that this last comment is a fair call: Chardonnay can be grown successfully in a variety of climates and handled in many different ways, meaning that the finished products are stylistically very different. If you only like one style of Chardonnay then I can see how often you can be disappointed.

So, to try and help out the Chardonnay drinkers of Adelaide (or even Australia) I’m going to try different Chardonnays at the $15-20 price point and report back. I’ll do this until I get fed up with drinking Chardonnay and/or find some other little project.

I’ll post the first wine tomorrow (Saturday) so … stay tuned!

* Note, the session could have looked at almost any grape variety under the sun and I would have come away saying that …

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