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Time to give Chardonnay another try

Thu 02 Jul 2009 15:53


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Tom Cannavan, our resident wine expert, returns this week to give more top tips on wine.

This week he checks out Chardonnay, one of the great classic grapes.

Chardonnay really took off in the 90s, and in Australia it was common practice to dip a big teabag full of oak chips into the wine to give it a richer and fruitier taste.

This type of wine became massively popular, and suddenly lots of people started naming their children after it.

As a result, Chardonnay soon became unfashionable, with people breaking away to try fresher, lighter wines.

But Tom is keen to push these preconceptions and negative connotations about rich, oaky Chardonnays away - and alert people to the delicious, lighter versions which are on the market.

Here are Tom’s top picks:

1. Asda Australian Chardonnay 2008, priced at £3.75 at Asda
This is an unoaked wine, and is the new face of Australian Chardonnay. It’s a ripe but crisp wine, which has flavours of peach, melon and lemon.

This wine is ideal to drink on its own, or paired up with a light meal such as a picnic, a salad, or a light fish dish.

2. Catena Alamos Chardonnay, Argentina 2007, priced at £6.99 at Majestic
This is an oaked wine from Argentina. It is aged in oak and has a nutty rich mouth-filling texture but is still crisp, with flavours of hazelnut, almond, orange and nectarine. 

This wine suits more substantial meals, such as pasta with creamy sauces, fish, and cold roast chicken.

3. Anakena Viognier, Chile 2008, priced at £8.99 from Wine Rack (but also on a three-for-two deal working out at £5.99)
This is an alternative wine for those who enjoy the taste of Chardonnay. A lightly oaked wine which has flavours of apricots, peaches, honey and marmalade, this wine, which is from a top Chilean specialist, is more exotic and aromatic than Tom’s second pick.

This wine goes very well with dishes such as grilled scallops, lobster and even a mild curry.

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