The chardonnay grape is one of the worlds most famous and widely planted wine vines. There are as many great reasons why it is so popular as there are regions where it has prospered. It is a versatile grape that can produce bright, crisp wines bursting with fruit and minerality, or conversely, rich, savory wines reminiscent of buttery toast and hazelnuts.There are lots of classic French chardonnays, like Mersault and Chablis, and it is the only white (green) grape of both Burgundy and Champagne.There are loads of great new world chardonnays as well. From the Okanagan Valley of BC, Canada to the Margaret River region of Australia, and from Argentina and Chile, up to the Sonoma coast. The chardonnay glass is larger than most white wine glasses, leaving plenty of room for big bold aromas to congregate, and for the wine to have sufficient air contact. If you want to get the most from your chard experience, use these big beauties to enhance flavors, and do not over-chill the wine. Barrel aged chards have many complexities that get lost if the wine is served too cold.
Summertime sun. condensed to a refreshingly delicious liquid. Light, crisp, dry rosés are a personal favorite of mine. There are many great producers of rosé wines, but for the cream of the crop, you have to go to Provence. The region in the south-east of France where the warm Mediterranean climate meets the rolling hills of the Luberon mountains and the vast valleys are filled with grapevines, olive groves, abundances of fresh vegetables, fig trees or vast fields of lavender. The food is spectacular, the towns are perched on hilltops, the views are breathtaking, and the rosé is both plentiful and delectable. Rosés can vary as much as any wine, in flavor, aroma, color and style. There are those that are just slightly pinked white wines, and those that are closer to under-macerated red wine.There are pink Champagnes, saignée rosé (made from juice stolen from fermenting red wine to embolden the remaining wine by leaving a higher ratio of skins to juice), and both new world and old world classic rosés. There are also cloyingly sweet ones, which bear little mention from me. If you are as big of a fan of rosé as I am, you will want to have the classic tulip rosé glasses.