Some love it, some hate it.
Many don't know what it is and others think it's an over syrupy, over oaked Australian white wine.
The many faces (especially the last) of Chardonnay have, unfortunately, left it with rather a large hole to climb out of.
One thing is certain about Chardonnay; there is a Chardonnay for everyone. It is an incredibly versatile grape variety that adapts to it's surroundings and picks up exterior influences well.
Grown in cool climates and chalky soil (as in Chablis) results in a light, crisp, dry citrussy white wine.
Grown in hot/warm climates with coastal influences (such as Sonoma) results in a medium bodied, tropical fruit flavoured wine often with some oak aging.
Chardonnay is also one of the three major grape varieties in Champagne making.
When choosing a Chardonnay it's important to remember where it is coming from - a hot or cool climate as both types (as above) will be different.
Large plump grapes with low to medium acidity depending on where it is grown.
Very adaptable to conditions and climate making it a versatile grape.
Can be oaked or unoaked.
Possibility of high alcohol content depending on where it is grown.
All over the world in almost every wine growing region but excels in:
France - Burgundy
USA - Sonoma
Australia - South, Hunter Valley
Italy - Trentino
Lemon, apple, pear, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, peach.
Honey,vanilla, almonds, citrus zest, cinnamon, cloves, butter, brown sugar, coconut, smoky.
Auxerrois Blanc, Beaunois, Grosse Bourgogne, Pinot Blanc Chardonnay and many, many more!
Because Chardonnay has many faces it has many food items and dishes it can be paired with.
Depending on the style of Chardonnay pairings can be:
Cheeses - especially soft and creamy cheeses
White Meat - especially Turkey.
Seafood - especially the richer types.
Vegetarian dishes - those with nuts, mushrooms and pulses.