North Coast Wine Co. Outerbound Pinot Noir – WineO Mark Review Wine Stats Grape Variety: 100% Pinot Noir Vintage: 2019 ABV: 14% Wine Region: North Coast,
Best Chardonnay Food Pairing | Our 7 Must Try Favorites!
Chardonnay is a versatile wine that pairs well with many different types of food.
In this blog post, we will discuss some of the best Chardonnay food pairings. And we’ll also provide some tips on how to choose the right Chardonnay for your meal.
Table of Contents
Different Types of Chardonnay
To understand Chardonnay’s flavor profile and what foods it goes best with, you must first understand the different types of Chardonnay. It can be divided into two main categories: oaked Chardonnay and unoaked Chardonnay.
- Oaked Chardonnays or Buttery Chardonnays (aged in oak barrels, typically go through Malolactic Fermentation (MLF)) – rich texture, full-body, a sweet bouquet with butterscotch and vanilla notes, and a buttery, creamy flavor with hints of honey, hazelnut, and caramel.
- Unoaked or Naked Chardonnays (aged without any oak influence, typically in stainless steel vats) – brighter color, lighter body, crisp acidity, with a primarily fruity-citrusy bouquet with notes of lime, peach, and apple.
Chardonnay Food Pairing Rules
For Oaked Chardonnay:
- Pair it with creamy or buttery dishes (like creamy or cheesy pastas).
- Caramelized skin from grilled fish or roast chicken bring out the wine’s toasty and nutty notes.
For Unoaked Chardonnay:
- Pair it with lean and delicately flavored poultry or pork.
- Or try lighter dishes like chicken salad.
- Also, serve Chardonnay with a hearty fish (ex. salmon, halibut, sea bass, or baked fish).
WineO Tip – Chardonnay should be paired with dishes that are less intense in flavor, so avoid bitter or highly acidic foods, highly seasoned and spiced ingredients, and funky cheeses.
7 Best Chardonnay Food Pairings
Popcorn and Chardonnay is a good pairing because the chardonnay’s richness and buttery texture complement the popcorn’s flavor. Chardonnay works here as basically a substitute for butter, which makes it such a good pairing with popcorn.
One of my favorite wine pairings at home while watching a movie.
Creamy Alfredo/Carbonara Pasta
Pairing Chardonnay with a creamy sauce like Alfredo or Carbonara is a perfect food and wine pairing. The velvety consistency of the cream sauce pairs seamlessly with the smoothness of a Chardonnay.
And the ingredients of both dishes like butter, cream, and cheese complement the wine’s flavor profile perfectly. Moreover, smoky bursts such as bacon or grilled chicken will be accentuated by notes of toastiness in this wine.
Lobster is famously known to pair with Chardonnay. Because this wine is versatile in its flavor – whether it be buttery and oaky (oaked Chardonnay) or crisp and fruity (unoaked).
The buttery texture of the oaked Chardonnay and its creamy notes work in harmony with the delicate sweetness of the lobster. And as mentioned before, pairing Chardonnay is wonderful with creamy sauces that may be added to the lobster dish. As well as boiled or steamed lobster that has been glazed and topped with melted butter.
For another delicious pairing, try an unoaked Chardonnay! Because the bright acidity and citrusy notes of these Chardonnay wines provide the perfect balance for succulent lobster dishes. For example, opt for a Chablis and its minerality and zesty notes will accentuate the richness of the sweet and tender meat in this dish.
Macaroni & Cheese
Chardonnay is an ideal wine pairing for Macaroni and Cheese. The creamy, cheesy flavors of this dish pair perfectly with Chardonnay’s strong buttery notes. Furthermore, by adding meat such as lobster or bacon to this dish, the wine can truly help emphasize either its sweet or smoky flavors.
And if you choose Unoaked Chardonnay wine, it has high acidity to help cut through the richness of the cheese in this dish.
And it’s possible nothing goes better than pairing Chardonnay with cheese pizza. The addition of the buttery Chardonnay flavors really brings out the the savory cheesiness of the pizza. So if you like a rich and cheesy pizza, pair it with a Chardonnay wine.
Baked oysters and scallops pair well with Chardonnay because these dishes are typically baked with butter and lemons that impart delightful flavors into the dish. And the flavors of these ingredients are also common in Chardonnay – making it an ideal Chardonnay food pairing that will enhance the flavors.
Furthermore, the creamy texture of oak aged Chardonnay will bring out the richness of each protein.
An unoaked Chardonnay pairs well with roast chicken. Because the bright acidity of the wine brings out the juicy flavors of the roast chicken. And this Chardonnay food pairing is especially good if you opt to add ingredients like lemons, garlic, and herbs as these flavors pair really well with Chardonnay.
Plus, by adding creamy sauces or roasted vegetables to the dish – Chardonnay’s subtle buttery and creamy notes will help bring out their flavors as well.
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