After years of putting up with snide remarks and direct insults, Chardonnay is standing up for itself. In fact, it’s hosting a celebration: May 23 is International Chardonnay Day. And if you’re wondering how I’ll be celebrating, you have three guesses (and the first two don’t count).
At some point over the past 15 years, Chardonnay became the “anything but” wine, and somehow it got to me: I really haven’t been drinking much of it. But then I spent some time tasting wines with Del Rollo (a director at Clos Jordanne, Jackson Triggs and Iniskillin wineries) who shared the secret: cool climates. Niagara has one, as does Burgundy (the classic Chardonnay producer) and so do areas in California that are cooled by the Pacific, and some high-altitude Chilean wineries. Generally, cool-climate Chardonnays can be more elegant, refined, refreshing and minerally than warm-climate ones. Most extraordinarily, you can really taste the “terroir” differences in cool-climate Chardonnays. I tasted Clos Jordanne Chardonnays made in the identical way, by the same people, the same year, but using grapes from vineyards that are about 10 feet apart….and the two wines taste completely different! Amazing.
I’m always delighted by the combination of good Chardonnay and lightly-smoked foods so this May 23 I’ll be grilling up a personal fave, cedar-planked salmon (I’ll make a half-batch for my little family), and sipping a chilled glass of Ontario Chardonnay.
Get in on the party: