List Page Learn About Content Graphic

Chardonnay Wine

Learn about Chardonnay — taste profile, popular regions and more ...

undefined, null

What Is Chardonnay?

Chardonnay is a green-skinned grape variety used to make both still white wine and sparkling wine. As one of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, and is a very popular choice among consumers, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest-lived examples of Chardonnay wine. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery Chardonnay styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

How Is Chardonnay Made?

As with most white wines, Chardonnay juice is pressed off the grape skins as soon as possible after harvest, thereby minimizing extraction of color and tannins. Fermentation follows immediately, and this may occur in stainless steel tanks or in oak barrels. Chardonnay is typically fermented to dryness. Once fermentation is complete, the wine may be aged in barrels for added complexity. Other winemaking techniques often employed are malolactic fermentation, which imparts a creamy, buttery sensation, and sur lie aging, which tends to soften the mouthfeel and add a subtle biscuit or nutty element.

Chardonnay Origin

Chardonnay was born as a natural cross between the white grape Gouais Blanc and the red grape Pinot Noir. This happy event is thought to have occurred early in the Middle Ages in the French region of Burgundy, where the grape is widely considered to reach its highest, and most age-worthy, expression. But for centuries it was only there and in Champagne where the grape stood out. Not until the late 1970s did California Chardonnay start to inspire interest, and that trend exploded in the 1980s and ‘90s. Soon other winemakers around the world got the memo–Chardonnay is easy to grow, flexible in both cool and warm climates, and boasts a range of easy-to-appreciate flavors. Production increased in places as varied as Oregon and Washington, South America, Australia and South Africa. Old World interest picked up as well, in Italy, Spain and elsewhere.

Tasting Notes for Chardonnay

Chardonnay grown in cooler regions exhibits racy, crisp flavors like lemon, lime, and green apple, along with flinty or chalky mineral notes. Warmer locations coax out richer flavors like melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice, while malolactic fermentation leads to a creamy, buttery texture. Chardonnay is typically a dry wine, although some winemakers allow a touch of residual sugar.

Oaked vs. Unoaked Chardonnay

While the ‘80s and ‘90s surge in popularity was fueled by well-oaked versions, today a number of fine un-oaked examples are made. Typically fermented and aged in stainless steel before bottling, these are bright, crisp, and fresh, showcasing Chardonnay’s pure fruit character and coming across lighter in body.

Perfect Food Pairings for Chardonnay

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. Keep stylistic differences in mind when pairing with food.

  • Seafood: Enjoying lobster, crab or shrimp scampi? Choose a rich, buttery Chardonnay. With a briny or delicate dish, like oysters or cod, go with Chablis or a similar version.
  • Poultry: Chardonnay is great with chicken and turkey, and you’ll want a richer style if your dish includes a creamy sauce.
  • Cheese: Oaky, buttery Chardonnay is your best bet with bolder cheeses like cheddars and blues. Brighter, tangier cheeses call for a lighter, crisper style.
  • Things to avoid: Chardonnay is not a great match with foods that are too spicy, bitter or acidic.

How to Serve Chardonnay

Temperature is key. A wine served too warm will seem out of balance, with the alcohol too “hot.” If too cold, the aromas and flavors are muted. Fuller bodied styles are best at 55°F, while leaner versions can be enjoyed at 50°F. A half hour to an hour in the refrigerator will do the trick. As for glassware, a classic white wine glass with a thin rim is perfect. The bowl should be moderately large and should taper towards the top.

Chardonnay Facts

  • Chardonnay is the most widely planted white variety in the world.
  • Chardonnays from Burgundy’s Cote de Beaune are the most coveted in the world.
  • It is one of the three most important grapes in the production of Champagne.
  • The source of almost 80% of American Chardonnay is the so-called Wente Clone, obtained by California’s Wente Family from Burgundy in 1912.

Nutrition Facts

Chardonnay is usually a dry wine, which means there is little to no residual sugar. Thus, there are minimal carbohydrates, and there is no protein or fat. The caloric content comes from alcohol; a standard 5 ounce pour of Chardonnay has about 120 calories.

Sommelier Secrets for Chardonnay

Since the 1980s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay wine would likely enjoy this lighter style.

Chardonnay is popular with winemakers because it is easy both to grow and manipulate in the winery, with techniques like barrel fermentation, malolactic fermentation and sur lie aging. It remains popular with consumers because it offers friendly, appealing flavors and textures that make it versatile both with food and on its own.

Coming Soon: Regions Map. This is not a final layout.
Gift Type
Gift Type
    Occasion
    Occasion
      Variety
      Variety
        Rating & Price
        Rating & Price
        Rating 0 100
        Price $5 $300+
        Fine Wine
        632 Items
        • Gallo of Sonoma Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
          Gallo of Sonoma Chardonnay 2003
          Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $14.79
            Try the
            14 79
            14 79
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Greg Norman Estates Victoria Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
            Greg Norman Estates Victoria Chardonnay 2003
            Chardonnay from Victoria, Australia
            • WS89
            0.0 0 Ratings
            Regular price
            Currently Unavailable $18.99
            Try the
            18 99
            18 99
            Save $0.00 (0%)
          • Chalone Estate Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
            Chalone Estate Chardonnay 2003
            Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
              0.0 0 Ratings
              Regular price
              Currently Unavailable $39.99
              Try the 2020 Vintage 26 99
              39 99
              39 99
              Save $0.00 (0%)
            • MontGras Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
              MontGras Chardonnay 2003
              Chardonnay from Chile
                0.0 0 Ratings
                Regular price
                Currently Unavailable $10.99
                Try the
                10 99
                10 99
                Save $0.00 (0%)
              • St. Francis Behler Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                St. Francis Behler Vineyard Reserve Chardonnay 2003
                Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                  0.0 0 Ratings
                  Regular price
                  Currently Unavailable $16.79
                  Try the
                  23 99
                  16 79
                  Save $7.20 (30%)
                • Wolffer La Ferme Martin Chardonnay 2003
                  Chardonnay from New York, Other U.S.
                    0.0 0 Ratings
                    Regular price
                    Currently Unavailable $16.99
                    Try the
                    16 99
                    16 99
                    Save $0.00 (0%)
                  • Two Vines Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                    Two Vines Chardonnay 2003
                    Chardonnay from Columbia Valley, Washington
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $10.99
                      Try the
                      10 99
                      10 99
                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                    • Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                      Iron Horse Estate Chardonnay 2003
                      Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
                      • WE91
                      3.7 9 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $29.99
                      Try the
                      29 99
                      29 99
                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                    • Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                      Kistler Vineyards Hyde Vineyard Chardonnay 2003
                      Chardonnay from Carneros, California
                      • RP94
                      • WS94
                      0.0 0 Ratings
                      Regular price
                      Currently Unavailable $89.97
                      Try the
                      89 97
                      89 97
                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                    • Tyrrell's Moore's Creek Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                      Tyrrell's Moore's Creek Chardonnay 2003
                      Chardonnay from Australia
                        0.0 0 Ratings
                        Regular price
                        Currently Unavailable $11.99
                        Try the
                        11 99
                        11 99
                        Save $0.00 (0%)
                      • William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                        William Hill Napa Valley Chardonnay 2003
                        Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $19.99
                          Try the 2019 Vintage 31 99
                          19 99
                          19 99
                          Save $0.00 (0%)
                        • Kistler Vineyards Hudson Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                          Kistler Vineyards Hudson Chardonnay 2003
                          Chardonnay from Carneros, California
                          • RP92
                          • WS91
                          0.0 0 Ratings
                          Regular price
                          Currently Unavailable $99.00
                          Try the
                          99
                          99
                          Save $0.00 (0%)
                        • Neil Ellis Chardonnay Elgin 2003 Front Label
                          Neil Ellis Chardonnay Elgin 2003
                          Chardonnay from South Africa
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $21.99
                            Try the
                            21 99
                            21 99
                            Save $0.00 (0%)
                          • Nepenthe Unwooded Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                            Nepenthe Unwooded Chardonnay 2003
                            Chardonnay from Australia
                            • RP91
                            0.0 0 Ratings
                            Regular price
                            Currently Unavailable $14.99
                            Try the
                            16 99
                            14 99
                            Save $2.00 (12%)
                          • Duck Walk Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                            Duck Walk Chardonnay 2003
                            Chardonnay from New York, Other U.S.
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Regular price
                              Currently Unavailable $10.99
                              Try the
                              10 99
                              10 99
                              Save $0.00 (0%)
                            • Charles Krug Family Reserve Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                              Charles Krug Family Reserve Chardonnay 2003
                              Chardonnay from Carneros, California
                              • WE90
                              0.0 0 Ratings
                              Regular price
                              Currently Unavailable $26.99
                              Try the
                              26 99
                              26 99
                              Save $0.00 (0%)
                            • Ironstone Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                              Ironstone Chardonnay 2003
                              Chardonnay from California
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Regular price
                                Currently Unavailable $9.99
                                Try the
                                9 99
                                9 99
                                Save $0.00 (0%)
                              • Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                                Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Chardonnay 2003
                                Chardonnay from Chile
                                • WS91
                                • WE90
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Regular price
                                Currently Unavailable $24.99
                                Try the 2019 Vintage 25 99
                                24 99
                                24 99
                                Save $0.00 (0%)
                              • Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                                Kendall-Jackson Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay 2003
                                Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                                • RP89
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Regular price
                                Currently Unavailable $14.99
                                Try the 2020 Vintage 14 99
                                14 99
                                14 99
                                Save $0.00 (0%)
                              • Rutherford Hill Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                                Rutherford Hill Chardonnay 2003
                                Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
                                • W&S90
                                0.0 0 Ratings
                                Regular price
                                Currently Unavailable $23.99
                                Try the
                                23 99
                                23 99
                                Save $0.00 (0%)
                              • Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                                Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay 2003
                                Chardonnay from Central Coast, California
                                  0.0 0 Ratings
                                  Regular price
                                  Currently Unavailable $17.99
                                  Try the 2020 Vintage 12 99
                                  17 99
                                  17 99
                                  Save $0.00 (0%)
                                • Laboure Roi Bourgogne Blanc Maximum Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                                  Laboure Roi Bourgogne Blanc Maximum Chardonnay 2003
                                  Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
                                    0.0 0 Ratings
                                    Regular price
                                    Currently Unavailable $15.29
                                    Try the
                                    15 29
                                    15 29
                                    Save $0.00 (0%)
                                  • J. Garcia Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                                    J. Garcia Chardonnay 2003
                                    Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
                                      0.0 0 Ratings
                                      Regular price
                                      Currently Unavailable $19.29
                                      Try the
                                      19 29
                                      19 29
                                      Save $0.00 (0%)
                                    • Cousino Macul Chardonnay 2003 Front Label
                                      Cousino Macul Chardonnay 2003
                                      Chardonnay from Chile
                                        0.0 0 Ratings
                                        Regular price
                                        Currently Unavailable $9.99
                                        Try the 2021 Vintage 14 99
                                        9 99
                                        9 99
                                        Save $0.00 (0%)
                                      • Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet 2003 Front Label
                                        Louis Jadot Puligny-Montrachet 2003
                                        Chardonnay from Burgundy, France
                                          0.0 0 Ratings
                                          Regular price
                                          Currently Unavailable $47.99
                                          Try the
                                          47 99
                                          47 99
                                          Save $0.00 (0%)
                                        Sorry, we couldn't find any matches.

                                        Internet Explorer is no longer supported.
                                        Please use a different browser like Edge, Chrome or Firefox to enjoy all that Wine.com has to offer.

                                        It's easy to make the switch.
                                        Enjoy better browsing and increased security.

                                        Yes, Update Now

                                        Search for ""

                                        Processing Your Order...