Ah, Chardonnay! I just love this grape! Like the Pinot Noir grape, Chardonnay, a white grape, is the queen of Burgundy! All Burgundian white wines are made with Chardonnay grapes. There is, however, an exception which is the wines of the Aligoté also Burgundian grape, which has a much smaller expression in the region and just as the Gamay grape does not produce very relevant wines. There are, however, good sparkling wines from Burgundy (called Crémant, because Champagne is just the ones from the Champagne region!) Made with Aligoté grapes.
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Chardonnay … There are many styles of wine that can be derived from this grape! In addition to being part of the blends of Champagne, this grape is planted in practically all wine producing regions in the world! You can find good Chardonnay wines at a very reasonable price and wines with prices that, well, let’s say the money spent on a bottle of a large Chardonnay could be used to… um… feed a small village in Somalia for 1 month.
There is a type of wine called Chablis, well known and certainly one of the styles most copied by New World producers. Chablis is called Chablis because it invariably comes from the Chablis region. It is a woody wine, yet elegant, with a lot of body and has a very characteristic and unctuous taste … Translating, the Chardonnay grape yields full-bodied wines, perfect to harmonize with dishes that are more greasy like … a salmon, certain cheeses, cod …
In fact, a small outburst (insert a Portuguese accent here): “But why the hell do people always want to eat cod with red wine?” . Okay, okay, I know, it’s a tradition in Portugal … But, guys … It’s horrible! Cod is a strong, salty fish, and I will continue to hit that button: the salt of the fish with the tannins of the wine gives a horrible metallic taste in the mouth. Please? Next time you are going to make some great cod at home, remember me and buy at least one bottle of barricaded Chardonnay. I promise you will not regret it because it will be much, much better!
Returning, there are many styles of Chardonnay. Generally the wines of this grape age in oak, French or American barrels. It depends a lot on the style of the producer and the final product they want. If you want a more subtle Chardonnay, you will use French oak and if you want a stronger wine, you will use American oak. And the two styles are always delicious!
The Chardonnay I chose for today’s post was a Petit Chablis 2010, by Domaine Brocard. This is a producer specialized in Chablis, which makes wines of the highest quality and this Petit Chablis was happy. Petit Chablis is a Chablis made with grapes from different vineyards, unlike the large Chablis that are usually made with grapes from a single vineyard. Let’s say that it is a more “generic” Chablis, without taking away the prestige of the wine of being a Chablis! Everything about it was perfect: excellent acidity, excellent body, very unctuous, very subtle aromas of pineapple and… bread yeast! Thin and elegant!
In Brazil it is very easy to find Petit Chablis, but I will avoid comparing prices so as not to be boring and repetitive. If you don’t find a Petit Chablis that you like, I suggest looking for an Argentine or Chilean Chardonnay, which will never disappoint. If the budget is good, also try a Californian Chardonnay, the biggest copiers of Chablis! Ah, I always recommend lowering the temperature of white wines to around 12oC, and this wine is no different. Another tip: it is advisable to always consume the wines at their exact temperature because, if a wine is too hot you will feel a huge imbalance in alcohol and if it is too cold your taste buds will fall asleep and you will not taste anything properly. But, in general, I always like to make the wines a little colder than they ask me to. Especially for whites, if you don’t have a bucket with ice on hand as the wine at the table waiting to be consumed will heat up very quickly (unless you can drink it faster …) and of course it will lose its ideal temperature even faster. The discussion about wine temperature is long, many people (especially the French!) Diverge from my opinion, but my advice to Brazilians, who love anything very cold, remains this!
To harmonize, I was very happy to choose a cheese called Brillat Savarin. This cheese, originally from Normandy, was created by the Dubuc family in 1890 and renamed the Androuet family around 1930. It is made with cow’s milk and takes about 75% cream in its composition. Its name is a tribute to the great French gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, author of the book that every gastronomy student needs to know: The Physiology of Taste! It is a cheese that has that little face of Brie and Camembert, better known to Brazilians, with that little white cone but a little more wrinkled and the flavor… My God! Simply sensational! Very rich, unctuous! And, the coolest of all, it was perfect with our equally full-bodied and unctuous Chablis! And this was voted the best cheese, and the best pairing I’ve done so far! I managed to redeem myself from Saint Nectaire!