Wine is a peculiar beverage. As they say, “As long as we have wine, holidays will be fine.”
Pairing wine with foods that complement its richness and flavors makes the meal taste better, but it can be a buzz-kill if your favorite wine gets destroyed by the food it is served with! One minute you love your wine, and the next, it tastes like bitter, alcoholic water.
Every wine has its own identity and food partners. When it comes to pairing your Chardonnay wine, many factors come into play while pairing it with food that does not always pertain to other types of wine. It tends to be a drier wine, and the green-skinned grapes offer a different flavor profile. Because of the various aspects of this wine, it should come as no surprise that the food pairings will be different from what you would find in other wines.
If you are looking for food and wine pairing, these are some suggestions on how to best pair your Chardonnay. With that being said, let us look into some of the great foods you can pair with a glass of Chardonnay wine.
What Food Goes with Chardonnay?
It is important to know how different foods will interact with your wine. Some white wine varieties are flexible at the table and can be paired well with various cuisines. Chardonnay has a subtle nature that spicy foods can easily overpower. It is totally lost if you serve it with loud tasting food. What you need are quiet flavors that are not too spicy, not too intense, and not too acidic. We have worked hard to figure out which food will go well with Chardonnay.
Chardonnay is not just one wine – it depends where it is made, whether or not it is oaked and how mature it is when you drink it. Let us explore food pairings for all different styles of Chardonnay.
1. Food Pairing for Fruity and Unoaked Chardonnay
This style of Chardonnay gives a fruity profile of yellow apple, pineapple, and mango to leaner, floral notes of white flowers, green apple, and citrus peel, and a classic and most simple example of this style is Chablis. It will taste like heaven with light and delicate food such as pasta or risotto with vegetables and creamy vegetable soups. Puligny-Montrachet can take on raw fish such as sashimi or delicately spiced fish or salads. Chablis is particularly good with oysters.
2. Food Pairing for Creamy and Oaked Chardonnay
This style is a full-bodied white wine. Wines with a richer profile of lush tropical fruits, pineapple, butterscotch, and vanilla to a lighter profile of pear, lemon curd, apple, and a textural chalky minerality fall in this style. To enhance its mouthfeel, foods with richness but a hint of freshness will work best.
Dishes similar to the above mentioned but with an extra degree of richness like eggs benedict even a steak béarnaise. Rich fish dishes such as turbot, grilled veal with mushrooms, and summer vegetables such as peppers, corn, butternut squash, and pumpkin are ideal. If you’re looking for a chardonnay cheese pairing, then cheddar cheese is the one.
3. Food Pairing for Sparkling Chardonnay
Sparkling Chardonnay is generally called Blanc de Blancs, which means “white of whites.” Blanc de Blancs wines have a richer profile of Meyer lemon, yellow apple, toasted vanilla, hazelnut, and honeysuckle.
Mostly savory dishes are preferred as a good companion for sparkling Chardonnay. You can enjoy it with grilled or roasted shellfish, lobster and scallops, roasted chicken such as poulet de Bresse, and dishes that include wild mushrooms and slow roast tomatoes. Hazelnut-crusted chicken or fish and sea bass with fennel purée will enhance the flavors to their fullest.
4. Food Pairing Chart
Here are some dishes that will go perfectly with all the three styles of Chardonnay! Enjoy your wine with any of these.
|Appetizers||Seafood Terrine with Toast Points
Creamy Shrimp Dip
Grilled Shrimp with Apricot Glaze
Baked Ricotta with Lemon, Garlic & Chives
|Salad||Tarragon Lobster Salad
Pecan-Crusted Chicken Salad with Apples and Brie
Warm Scallop Salad with Mango and Hazelnuts
Pureed White Bean Soup
Butternut Squash Soup
|Sea Food||Pan-Seared Scallops
Classic Crab Roll
Poached Salmon Cod
Halibut with Brown Butter
Mild Cheese Sauce
|Poultry||Baked Chicken Thighs with Herbs & Mushrooms
Roast Chicken with Herbs
Grilled Lemon-Garlic Turkey
|Pork||Pork Chop with Gremolata
Roast Pork with Cream or Apples
|Pasta||Spring Vegetable Risotto
Pasta Creamy Chicken Sauce
Butternut Squash Risotto
Creamy Pasta Primavera
|Pizza||Brie & Pear Pizza Four Cheese White Pizza
Mushroom & Brie Pizza
Wines have different acidity, tannins, and other elements that affect their flavor profile, so it gets tricky when choosing the right partner for your glass of wine. Chardonnay is one of those tricky wines to pair with because of the different levels of “oakiness” that can be found in it. Unoaked and oaked Chardonnay will taste drastically different, leading to some confusion when pairing these wines with food.
When pairing Chardonnay, you’ll want to look for foods with a rich, buttery flavor, nothing spicy. You should also need to avoid more acidic foods like tomatoes, as the acidity of the food will make the wine taste sour.
Pairing your Chardonnay with light and simply seasoned foods will be the best way to compliment it. Just because someone else loves a certain food pairing doesn’t mean that your taste buds are going to react the same way, and it does mean that you cannot have your preferred choice with your wine. Use these pairing options as a guideline only. I hope I have helped!
Check out our top snack suggestions for your next wine tasting!