List Page Learn About Content Graphic

Chardonnay Wine

Learn about Chardonnay — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

undefined, null

What Is Chardonnay?

Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make both still white wine and sparkling wine. As one of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, and is a very popular choice among consumers, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest-lived examples of Chardonnay wine. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery Chardonnay styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

How Is Chardonnay Made?

As with most white wines, Chardonnay juice is pressed off the grape skins as soon as possible after harvest, thereby minimizing extraction of color and tannins. Fermentation follows immediately, and this may occur in stainless steel tanks or in oak barrels. Chardonnay is typically fermented to dryness. Once fermentation is complete, the wine may be aged in barrels for added complexity. Other winemaking techniques often employed are malolactic fermentation, which imparts a creamy, buttery sensation, and sur lie aging, which tends to soften the mouthfeel and add a subtle biscuit or nutty element.

Chardonnay Origin

Chardonnay was born as a natural cross between the white grape Gouais Blanc and the red grape Pinot Noir. This happy event is thought to have occurred early in the Middle Ages in the French region of Burgundy, where the grape is widely considered to reach its highest, and most age-worthy, expression. But for centuries it was only there and in Champagne where the grape stood out. Not until the late 1970s did California Chardonnay start to inspire interest, and that trend exploded in the 1980s and ‘90s. Soon other winemakers around the world got the memo–Chardonnay is easy to grow, flexible in both cool and warm climates, and boasts a range of easy-to-appreciate flavors. Production increased in places as varied as Oregon and Washington, South America, Australia and South Africa. Old World interest picked up as well, in Italy, Spain and elsewhere.

Tasting Notes for Chardonnay

Chardonnay grown in cooler regions exhibits racy, crisp flavors like lemon, lime, and green apple, along with flinty or chalky mineral notes. Warmer locations coax out richer flavors like melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice, while malolactic fermentation leads to a creamy, buttery texture. Chardonnay is typically a dry wine, although some winemakers allow a touch of residual sugar.

Oaked vs. Unoaked Chardonnay

While the ‘80s and ‘90s surge in popularity was fueled by well-oaked versions, today a number of fine un-oaked examples are made. Typically fermented and aged in stainless steel before bottling, these are bright, crisp, and fresh, showcasing Chardonnay’s pure fruit character and coming across lighter in body.

Perfect Food Pairings for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. Keep stylistic differences in mind when pairing with food.

  • Seafood: Enjoying lobster, crab or shrimp scampi? Choose a rich, buttery Chardonnay. With a briny or delicate dish, like oysters or cod, go with Chablis or a similar version.
  • Poultry: Chardonnay is great with chicken and turkey, and you’ll want a richer style if your dish includes a creamy sauce.
  • Cheese: Oaky, buttery Chardonnay is your best bet with bolder cheeses like cheddars and blues. Brighter, tangier cheeses call for a lighter, crisper style.
  • Things to avoid: Chardonnay is not a great match with foods that are too spicy, bitter or acidic.

How to Serve Chardonnay

Temperature is key. A wine served too warm will seem out of balance, with the alcohol too “hot.” If too cold, the aromas and flavors are muted. Fuller bodied styles are best at 55°F, while leaner versions can be enjoyed at 50°F. A half hour to an hour in the refrigerator will do the trick. As for glassware, a classic white wine glass with a thin rim is perfect. The bowl should be moderately large and should taper towards the top.

Chardonnay Facts

  • Chardonnay is the most widely planted white variety in the world.
  • Chardonnays from Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune are the most coveted in the world.
  • It is one of the three most important grapes in the production of Champagne.
  • The source of almost 80% of American Chardonnay is the so-called Wente Clone, obtained by California’s Wente Family from Burgundy in 1912.

Nutrition Facts

Chardonnay is usually a dry wine, which means there is little to no residual sugar. Thus, there are minimal carbohydrates, and there is no protein or fat. The caloric content comes from alcohol; a standard 5 ounce pour of Chardonnay has about 120 calories.

Sommelier Secrets for Chardonnay

Since the 1980s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay wine would likely enjoy this lighter style.

Chardonnay is popular with winemakers because it is easy both to grow and manipulate in the winery, with techniques like barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation and sur lie aging. It remains popular with consumers because it offers friendly, appealing flavors and textures that make it versatile both with food and on its own.

Filter by
298 Items
298 Items
Gift Type
Occasion
Variety
Rating & Price
Rating All
Price All
298 Items
  • Gaja Rossj-Bass Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
    Gaja Rossj-Bass Chardonnay 2020
    Chardonnay from Piedmont, Italy
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $109.99
      Try the
      109 99
      109 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from California
      • WE91
      4.0 131 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $14.99
      Try the
      17
      14 99
      Save $2.01 (12%)
    • Schug Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      Schug Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
      • TP94
      • WW90
      • JS90
      3.8 105 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $21.99
      Try the
      28
      21 99
      Save $6.01 (21%)
    • Raeburn Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      Raeburn Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
      • WW91
      4.0 90 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $18.99
      Try the
      18 99
      18 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      Ferrari-Carano Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
      • JS91
      • WW90
      • WS90
      4.2 11 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $20.99
      Try the
      20 99
      20 99
      Save $0.00 (0%)
    • Decoy Sonoma Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      Decoy California Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from California
      • WW89
      0.0 0 Ratings
      Regular price
      Currently Unavailable $17.99
      Try the
      20
      17 99
      Save $2.01 (10%)
    • Stag's Leap Wine Cellars KARIA Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
      Stag's Leap Wine Cellars KARIA Chardonnay 2020
      Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
        0.0 0 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $31.99
        Try the
        36
        31 99
        Save $4.01 (11%)
      • Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
        Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve Chardonnay 2020
        Chardonnay from Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Central Coast, California
        • WW89
        4.1 43 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $19.99
        Try the
        24
        19 99
        Save $4.01 (17%)
      • Far Niente Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
        Far Niente Chardonnay 2020
        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
        • WW92
        • WE92
        4.9 7 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $69.99
        Try the
        73
        69 99
        Save $3.01 (4%)
      • Novellum Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
        Novellum Chardonnay 2020
        Chardonnay from Vin de France, France
        • JD94
        4.1 156 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $14.99
        Try the
        14 99
        14 99
        Save $0.00 (0%)
      • La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
        La Crema Monterey Chardonnay 2020
        Chardonnay from Monterey, Central Coast, California
        • WW89
        4.2 32 Ratings
        Regular price
        Currently Unavailable $18.99
        Try the
        20
        18 99
        Save $1.01 (5%)
      • Joseph Drouhin St. Veran 2020  Front Label
        Joseph Drouhin St. Veran 2020
        Chardonnay from St-Veran, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
          4.5 19 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $23.99
          Try the
          23 99
          23 99
          Save $0.00 (0%)
        • District 7 Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
          District 7 Chardonnay 2020
          Chardonnay from Monterey, Central Coast, California
          • TP92
          4.1 11 Ratings
          Regular price
          Currently Unavailable $12.99
          Try the
          18
          12 99
          Save $5.01 (28%)
        • Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
          Sonoma-Cutrer Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020
          Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
            4.7 8 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $27.99
            Try the
            27 99
            27 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
            Crossbarn Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020
            Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $26.99
              Try the
              26 99
              26 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
              MacRostie Sonoma Coast Chardonnay 2020
              Chardonnay from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
              • WS92
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $25.99
              Try the
              25 99
              25 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
              J. Lohr Estates Riverstone Chardonnay 2020
              Chardonnay from Arroyo Seco, Monterey, Central Coast, California
              • SJ93
              • WE90
              3.9 56 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $12.99
              Try the
              14
              12 99
              Save $1.01 (7%)
            • Domaine Roux Pere & Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
              Domaine Roux Pere & Fils Bourgogne Chardonnay 2020
              Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
              • WW90
              4.5 51 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $19.99
              Try the
              19 99
              19 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • Bogle Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
              Bogle Chardonnay 2020
              Chardonnay from California
                4.2 77 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $9.99
                Try the
                9 99
                9 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • La Crema Russian River Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
                La Crema Russian River Chardonnay 2020
                Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                  4.7 8 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $28.99
                  Try the
                  28 99
                  28 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2020  Front Label
                  Domaine Drouhin Vaudon Chablis 2020
                  Chardonnay from Chablis, Burgundy, France
                  • WW91
                  • W&S91
                  4.0 57 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $26.99
                  Try the
                  30
                  26 99
                  Save $3.01 (10%)
                • Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
                  Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay 2020
                  Chardonnay from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
                  • JD90
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $18.99
                  Try the
                  18 99
                  18 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
                  Freemark Abbey Chardonnay 2020
                  Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                  • JS94
                  • RP92
                  • D92
                  3.8 10 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $34.99
                  Try the
                  45
                  34 99
                  Save $10.01 (22%)
                • Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse 2020  Front Label
                  Louis Latour Pouilly-Fuisse 2020
                  Chardonnay from Pouilly-Fuisse, Maconnais, Burgundy, France
                  • WW92
                  4.8 33 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $37.99
                  Try the
                  37 99
                  37 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                • Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2020  Front Label
                  Parducci Small Lot Chardonnay 2020
                  Chardonnay from Mendocino, California
                  • WW89
                  3.8 31 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $14.99
                  Try the
                  14 99
                  14 99
                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

                Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
                Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

                It's easy to make the switch.
                Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

                Yes, Update Now

                Search for ""

                Processing Your Order...