To enhance the flavor, discover this woody and nutty chardonnay
Chardonnay is the most popular grape variety in the world. The great strength of this grape lies in its astonishing ability to produce wines with a pleasantly rich texture on the palate at almost any degree of maturity, from cold climate sparkling blanc de blancs to warm climate barrels aged white wines. On the other hand, the great weakness of chardonnay lies in its flavor, or its relative absence, which is why it is so often embellished with other flavors in the winemaking process.
It is true that wine drinkers often have clear flavor associations with chardonnay wines, typically desserts like crÃ¨me brÃ»lÃ©e or pecan pie. However, these tastes derive more from the use of toasted oak in the cellar than from the Chardonnay grape itself. Wooden barrels have been used for winemaking for centuries and were traditionally made of oak. Heating the oak over a flame roasts the wood in a way that gives distinctive flavors to the wines stored inside. It’s the same flavors of vanilla and caramel, toasted nuts and dessert spices, which also appeal to barrel-aged spirits like bourbon or brandy.
Today, the best Chardonnay wines are still fermented and aged in barrels, as the oak brings a desirable flavor infusion to this relatively neutral tasting grape. However, this process is expensive and time consuming, so winemakers looking to keep their wines affordable will often ferment and age their chardonnay in stainless steel, but steep the wine with toasted oak chips to achieve the desired degree of flavor. woody. This is how this cheeky Australian chardonnay gets its bold touch of American oak flavor. The result is a wine that tastes like a classic German apple cake topped with the icing associated with German chocolate cake, a thick confection made from vanilla and brown sugar, coconut and pecan.
$ 9.99, 16% alcohol
PLCB Item # 2286. Sale price until 10/31 – regularly $ 12.99
Also available on:
Total Wine & More in Wilmington and Claymont; $ 8.99, totalwine.com
Super Buy Rite in West Deptford and Williamstown; $ 8.99, westdeptfordbuyrite.com, williamstownbuyrite.com
Wine warehouse in Clementon, Voorhees, Mantua and Sicklerville; $ 8.99, winewarehousenj.com