Chardonnay Pairing

 Do you want to learn about chardonnay pairing with your favorite foods?  Light and crisp, chardonnay is one of the most popular wines.  Chardonnay is a dry white, often characterized by a crisp, refreshing flavor.  Chardonnay pairs with different foods as well, depending on the variety.  Some chardonnay wines feature an almost buttery, creamy flavor.  Other chardonnay varieties pick up a slight wood flavor from the oak barrels the wine ages in.  Layers of flavors in the wine come out when the wine is enjoyed with different foods.  Here are a few ideas to bring out the best in this well known wine.

  1. Cheese. Light flavored cheeses, like mild cheddar, gruyere, and provolone match well with chardonnay.  Aged chardonnay wines pair well with aged cheese.  Older, mellower varieties pair exquisitely with smoky cheese.
  2. Appetizers. Crab cakes, olives, stuffed clams also pair with chardonnay.  Smoked fish appetizers match with the more oak flavored chardonnay wines.  Sushi is another possible pairing for chardonnay.  Chile based dips or sauces with their spicy flavor combine well with chardonnay.
  3. Entrees.  Chardonnay pairs well with dishes such as roast chicken, chicken with cream sauce,  and other mild dishes.  As a rule, chardonnay and light fish recipes do not mix well.  Especially when the chardonnay leans toward an oak flavoring, the match is not made in heaven.  Other meats in a cream sauce base, such as pork and some seafood like shrimp, pair well with the light flavors.  Caribbean inspired or Asian cuisines are considered the perfect match for chardonnay.
  4. Desserts Chardonnay wine pairs with mellow fruit flavors like mango, honeydew, and pineapple. 

If you wish to avoid a possible dining disaster, avoid pairing chardonnay with tomato based entrees.  Tomato’s high acidity works against the sweet flavor.  Steak and other game meats tend to overtake chardonnay.  No matter which foods you are pairing with chardonnay wines, be sure to serve it at a cool, not cold temperature.                                                                      

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