The Seattle Times
August 3, 2017

How to choose a chardonnay for everyday or a special occasion.

Choosing a chardonnay for a weekend barbecue or a special birthday can be equally daunting. The most popular white wine in the world, it comes in a wide range of styles – from buttery and full bodied to bright and citrus flavored.

“Chardonnay is one of the most crafted wines of all,” says Bob Bertheau, head winemaker at Chateau Ste. Michelle in Woodinville, Washington. “There are a lot of styling decisions made – from oak vs. stainless steel and the type of barrel, to the style of yeast, and length of aging – all of which affect the taste of the wine.”

Bertheau puts as much consideration and time into styling everyday chardonnays as the higher-tier varieties. Consequently, price alone isn’t a great indicator of how much you’ll enjoy a particular bottle. “Tasting and discovering new wines should be an adventure,” Bertheau says. “It’s an experience you share with friends and family. Then, you get to decide what you enjoy. There’s really no right and wrong.”

What’s Your Pleasure?

Chardonnays generally fall into three categories, but can have elements of all three.

  • Buttery: Richly textured and toasty flavor that comes from 100 percent aging in oak barrels. Think lobster or crab risotto, steak béarnaise.
  • Unoaked: Lean and fresh, clean and bright flavor that comes from some or all aging in stainless steel. Think halibut with a citrus drizzle, apricot-glazed chicken.
  • Burgundian style: More complex earth and mineral tones, styled in the same hand-crafted way as the fine wines of Burgundy, France. Think Camembert cheese, vegetable lasagna.

Here’s your guide to choosing a chardonnay for everyday or a special occasion>>>Read entire article on The Seattle Times