Our Favorite Chardonnay Food Pairings
Chardonnay is practically synonymous with California wine. After a 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay took top honors at the Judgement of Paris, the world began to look at California wines in a different light. While the Golden State’s fertile climate and varied terroir allows us to grow and produce over a hundred different varieties, Chardonnay remains the most popular, accounting for almost 20% of wine sales!
Fans of Chardonnay are familiar with the wine’s classic descriptors: green apple, fig and citrus flavors; a complex aroma; and high acidity for a crisp wine. Some producers age the wine in oak to produce a richer profile with toast and vanilla overtones. Chardonnay is a very malleable grape, and expressions vary greatly. If you think you’re not a fan of this versatile wine, think again. There truly is a California Chardonnay to suit every palate.
Wondering what to serve with your favorite California Chardonnay? We’ve got you covered. Check out some of our favorite Chardonnay food pairings!
Wine & Cheese
Let’s start with the basics – wine and cheese pairing! Knowing which cheeses pair best with your favorite California Chardonnay is incredibly powerful information. It can be the basis for an elaborate, artful cheese board, a simple snack or a jumping-off point for your next culinary creation. Here are a few of our favorites:
- Triple-cream cheese: These cream-enriched, high-fat cow’s milk cheeses have a texture like whipped frosting and a luxurious richness that work well with Chardonnay’s plush, rounded mouthfeel.
- Brie: This semisoft cow’s milk cheese has a buttery, spreadable texture and mushroom scent. A velvety Chardonnay complements that supple, spreadable interior and the Brie doesn’t overwhelm the wine.
- Monterey Jack: California’s iconic table cheese is mild, mellow and a great melter. Try it on a grilled cheese sandwich with a glass of Chardonnay. The wine’s acidity and minerality help balance the buttery sandwich.
Note: We might be a little biased, but we firmly believe what grows together, goes together. Look for cheeses made with Real California Milk. You’ll taste the difference while supporting local dairy farmers. That’s a win in our book!
One you’ve mastered the basics of wine and cheese pairing, you’re ready to take your graze board game to the next level. We called in a favor from our friend, Sarah from The Delicious Life.
She’ll show you how to make this elaborate cheese board filled with California-grown goodness. It’s easier than you think!
Creamy pastas and California Chardonnays are a match made in heaven. Fans of traditional Mac and Cheese will adore this elevated take on the comfort food classic.
We know what you’re thinking. “Carrot Hummus????” Yes, it’s a thing and you definitely need to try it. Blending sweet California carrots, chickpeas and tahini produces a sumptuous spread with a captivating new taste. Serve with your favorite locally grown vegetables and crispy crackers.
Pro tip: Try pairing this veggie tray with an unoaked Chardonnay. Fermenting the wine in stainless steel produces light, fresh flavors that pair perfectly with this easy appetizer.
Kate suggests enjoying a glass of your favorite California Chardonnay while prepping this easy sandwich. We thoroughly agree.
Note: This recipe was originally featured in the Wine Country Table Cookbook. It’s basically a love letter to the Golden State, filled with gorgeous images, delicious recipes and wine pairings. Don’t have a copy yet? Get yours here.
Picnic food, reimagined, courtesy of our friend Aida at Salt and Wind. We’re fantasizing about enjoying these Hand Pies while relaxing in the sun with a bottle of buttery California Chardonnay. Now that the menu has been settled, you’ll just need to decide whether you’d prefer to picnic on a sandy beach or in a mountain meadow.