If you enjoy a nice glass of chardonnay with your meal, then you might know quite a bit about it. However, if you’re still getting your proverbial feet wet in the world of wine tasting, you may have heard a lot of myths about various types of wine, regions, and more.
When it comes to chardonnay, there are a number of lies (or myths, if you prefer) that have been told about this wonderful wine, and the sooner you realize what those lies are, the sooner you can begin to sample more styles and that can help you find the one that’s right for you (and you’re particular meal).
California chardonnay is buttery.
Big and buttery was the way of California wines back in the 1990s, but those days are long gone. Those were days of excessive styles and the industry has been producing rich and flavorful wines for years. They aren’t as soaked in oak as they used to be. Today, there are more and more unoaked chardonnays on the marked from which to choose. Look for chardonnays that are aged in stainless steel rather than wood and you can’t go wrong.
Oaky chardonnays are so yesterday.
As we just discussed, when wine is aged in oak, it can have a bit of an oaky aroma and texture to it. However, even the notion that aging in oak is no longer desired is completely wrong. Most of today’s best chardonnays spend at least some time fermenting in oak barrels. However, the key to avoid being overpowered is to not allow the wine to ferment too long in those types of barrels.
Cheap chardonnay is a no-go.
There are plenty of people who don’t mind a less expensive wine, and while there are limitations with regard to the taste of cheaper wines, one should never assume that price alone will determine if it’s worth making the investment (or even giving it a try). You will certainly need to spend some time sampling a number of different inexpensive chardonnays before you find a couple that are decent and even good, but they’re out there.
You’re going to pay a lot for French chardonnay.
There’s a common myth out there that states French chardonnays are more expensive. Yes, there are many chardonnays that can cost you hundreds and even thousands of dollars, but you can also find some quality French chardonnays that fall within the $10 to $20 price range per bottle. Just because some people say something is expensive doesn’t make it so for everything.
Not all wine experts despise chardonnays.
There are plenty of wine tasters, writers, and other so-called experts who make a big deal about their loathing chardonnays, but the truth is that while they could get the most press and make it seem like everyone thinks the same, it’s simply not true. In reality, for every 1 wine connoisseur who can’t stand chardonnay, there are probably 5 who understand its value.
Written by G. T. Hedlund