Winebird’s top 10 Vinalogies

9: Chardonnay: The “Kate” of the wine world

Think back to your school days. Weren’t there always at least four people in your class with the same first name? In my year, it was Kate: fat ones; skinny ones; drippy ones; foreign ones, you name it! Variations on a theme of Kate were popular the world over.

It was hard to work out how to feel about Kates, because just as you had decided that you hated the name because of spotty-faced Kate who smelt of potato, you met supermodel-in-training Kate who had a perm and older friends who could get into nightclubs. Suddenly, you wanted to name all your future children Kate. Even the boys.

Well, Chardonnay is the wine version of Kate. The sheer number of styles you’ll find worldwide can make it difficult to pin down your thoughts on the matter. After all, nearly every wine-producing region in the world has a go at growing it! And as styles of this wine go, Chardonnay moves from the sublime to the ridiculous, being responsible for some of the greatest white wines in the world.

Climate and winemaking techniques may leave their mark, but the key elements will always be there somewhere: look for a golden colour, ripe melon flavour and a fuller body than many other white varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc. Vanilla and buttery notes are also good indicators that the wine is a Chardonnay.

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