What Does Chardonnay Taste Like? (Expert Guide)

    What Does Chardonnay Taste Like? (Expert Guide)

    Perhaps one of the most popular wines in the world, and the most grown variety planted all over the globe - no one is doing it like Chardonnay.

    But what does such a phenomenon of the wine world taste like? How should Chardonnay taste? Do all Chardonnay wines taste the same?

    What Does Chardonnay Taste Like?

    Because Chardonnay is so widely planted it means that, depending on where it is grown, Chardonnay can have lots of different flavours and come in varying styles.

    Chardonnay TastesChardonnay is a very versatile grape, and many varieties of Chardonnay share the following tasting notes: 

    • Juicy melons
    • Chalky minerals
    • Pears
    • Citrus lemon
    • and crisp green apples

    So whats the best way to taste Chardonnay wine?

    How To Taste Chardonnay? (3 Steps)

    How To Taste Wine

    It may seem like an impossible task to taste a glass of wine like a pro, so let's start with the basics:

    Step 1. Identify Sweetness 

    Depending on how much residual sugar is present in your glass, Chardonnay can be dry to off-dry.

    Chances are most still Chardonnay wines are dry, but some sweet examples of the grape can be found. 

    So why not pinch your nose when next taking a sip of your next Chardonnay?

    This is the best way to find out, once and for all, exactly how sweet or dry your glass of Chardonnay is.

    Step 2. Determine The Acidity 

    Chardonnays tend to have lots of refreshing acidity and a great way to determine exactly how acidic your white wine is is by paying attention to how much saliva your mouth produces in response - the acidity literally makes your mouth water!

    Step 3. Taste The Tannins

    You will find lots of elements in a glass of Chardonnay but tannins won’t be one of them.

    You see tannins are found in the skins of grapes and all white wines are made with zero skin contact.

    If there are no skins involved there can be no tannins, it’s that simple.

    So how does the combination of sweet, acid and (lack of) tannin affect the taste of a Chardonnay?

    What Affects The Taste of Chardonnay?

    Lime, Lemons, Tropical FruitsLocation and climate can have an effect on the taste of a Chardonnay, by determining the amount of sweetness and acidity formed in the wine. 

    A dry Chardonnay will be crisp and refreshing, with lots of green apple notes.

    And very acidic Chardonnays will soar with lemon zest and pineapple.

    So what other characteristics make up a glass of Chardonnay? 

    What Are Chardonnay Characteristics

    Here are some of the characteristics associated with a typical glass of Chardonnay:

    Chardonnay Taste Profile

    • Body- Chardonnay grapes make very opulent white wines, with luscious medium bodies.
    • Tannins - There should be zero tannins present in your glass of Chardonnay,if you find any tannins something has gone horribly wrong!
    • Sweetness - This will vary across wines, although most Chardonnays will lack residual sugar.
    • Dryness - You can expect the majority of Chardonnay wines you come across to be bone dry.
    • ABV - Like all wines, Chardonnay will vary in alcohol percentage, expect an ABV between 13-15% with this style of wine.

    So if Chardonnay can be grown everywhere what do the different types of Chardonnay taste like?

    3 Types of Chardonnay Tastes 

    Varieties of ChardonnayHere are some of the most common styles of Chardonnay you may come across and the tastes and characteristics associated with them:

    1. White Burgundy

    The King of white wines, when grown in Burgundy and aged in oak barrels Chardonnay is a creamy, vanilla flecked delight.

    With enough body and complexity to rival any red wine. 

    2. Sparkling Chardonnay

    It wouldn’t be a piece on Chardonnay if we didn’t mention Champagne now, would it?

    When made into sparkling wines such as Champagne Chardonnay is complex and elegant, with notes of apricot danishes, soft lemon curd and silky brioche.

    3. American Chardonnay

    When grown in California Chardonnay covers a wide spectrum of silky butterscotch, rich vanilla and the ripest of apples and pears. 

    Before You Go...

    Chardonnay Wine BarrelsChardonnay is world famous for a reason, and with styles and tastes that vary from region to region we’re certain it's a grape you’ll never get bored of.

    You can read our other guides about Chardonnay here:

    You can browse more posts on Wine Serving and Tasting here

    Expert Wine Storage can help you find a luxury wine fridge to store your precious wine collection.

    philip thompson Author: Philip Thompson
    Philip is the General Manager at Expert Wine Storage, and is very knowledgable about all things relating to wine and wine storage, including wine fridges. He is regularly featured in media outlets sharing his knowledge on wine. Connect on Linkedin

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