Chardonnay is the most popular white wine purchased and consumed in the US today. We gulp cheap Aussie critter specimens by the metric ton, and we scan by-the-glass menus for reliable California brands. This varietal is a bit to the general population today what Blue Nun was back in the 1970s. Light and crisp, readily available, easy to drink, inexpensive to purchase. While you can find glorious and expensive examples….most people are drinking in the "fighting varietal" price range, about $7-10/btl.
I have not historically been a fan of the varietal, however, I am working to expand my horizons, and I encourage you all to as well. If you are a Chardonnay drinker, I say it's time to branch out. This particular grape and resultant wine is influenced substantially by the soil components and climate of a region. That is reason enough to experiment with Chardonnay from different parts of the world—it's all about baby steps!
If you want to go all Ooo laa laa, try a French White Burgundy….aka Chardonnay. Pouilly Fuisse from the Maconnais, Chablis from Yonne, or a Meursault from the Cote de Beaune are all beautiful and unique expressions of the grape. All are produced somewhere within the Burgundy region of the country. Perhaps you'll find one of these to suite your palate even more than the Toasted Head or La Crema you are accustomed to. You know, I'm reading the Chardonnays out of Tasmania are amazing….that's what I'll try next! xoxoSB