“Women are from Burgundy and men are from Bordeaux …”
Wine is an intimidating subject and if you actually get into the statistics, you will find that women cover the larger slice of the enological pie chart. As much as drinking wine can be a status symbol, it can also be just a matter life for most people. It can be a debated topic over the dinner table where a lot of planning goes into the pairing with the right kind of food. It brings sophistication, style and elegance to the consumer and can be a trigger for a conversation starter or an icebreaker in the company of strangers.
So if you actually go into the details of wine tasting, you will feel and experience the feminine youthful flavors of some, such as Pinot noir or Chardonnay – from Burgundy, against the more intense robust and powerful flavors (almost masculine) of Cabernet and Merlot-from Bordeaux .
Needless to justify my love for the Chardonnay – a bit complicated and yet so versatile and adaptable. Varying in taste and aroma from the scent of luscious fruits to crisp citrus flavors, reminding you of a neatly ironed crisp white shirt !
My first Chard was a Californian white from Napa. Filled with flavors of ripe fruit like pineapple and banana, it still mysteriously gave hints of citrus and cream. The creamy flavor could be attributed to a process called malolectic fermentation. This is where it begins to get a bit intimidating. Just know, that it’s a taste of dairy/cream caused due to the conversion of maleic acid to lactic acid. Remember milk?
Back to the poetry…Remember you drink wine to enjoy and appreciate a chemistry of reactions that bring about a flavor that will harbor on your senses creating a bouquet of aromas. Probably the poet in me drew me to the world of wines!
And so started my journey with Chard!
I found it dominating the wine racks and aisles. If people were asked a choice of wine, they magnanimously said” Get me a Chard!” So safe, that one couldn’t go wrong and sound like a wine master.
But wait a minute. Chard has its surprises…Oh yes! Pick up a Chablis from France. Did you even know that you were actually picking up a Chardonnay! Now we come to the difference between the Old world and the new world. The old world is mostly European countries that name their wines after a region like Chablis, Pouilly-Fuisse or Puligny Montrachet (all regions in Burgundy, France). New world countries on the other hand name their wines by the grape varietal like simply “Chardonnay!” How easy is that!
Well the wines from Burgundy are different. They are crisp, citrusy with hints of stone fruit, green apple and melon. What makes them unique is the characteristic mineral aroma and taste, which gives them the typical bone-dry flavour. The reason is the chalky soil of Chablis, which lends this characteristic texture to the crisp flavors. Come further down south of Burgundy to unravel flavors of peach and melon. Move over to Australia’s Yarra valley to taste some ripe notes. Chards from Casablanca in Chili are velvety and smooth. It takes a trip around the world taste some of the exquisite Chardonnays.
As tantalizing a Chard can be to the senses, it is yet mysterious and intriguing. You have to taste them to see the difference. It goes without saying, there is something about Chardonnay!
So the next time you order a white Burgundy, remember you are ordering a Chardonnay from France.
- Stone Cellars by Beringer (California) – 2011 Chardonnay
- Jacob’s Creek (Australia) – 2013 Chardonnay
- Pair it with some grilled basa or some creamy pasta. Its a taste you won’t forget…