“ABC” – Anything But Chardonnay has almost worn out its cleverness for those of us who aren’t fans.
Most people in the U.S. have tasted Chardonnay, wine drinker or not. Chardonnay is the U.S.’s default white wine. Most Chard served in such circumstances is largely California wine with oak or very heavy oak which profoundly colors the taste of this widely planted grape.
All that oak produces a vanilla, woodsy, or buttery flavor many love and some (like me) can’t stand. But for wine drinkers who like something a little lighter Chablis, and unoaked Chardonnay – from many different countries – is a very nice dinner wine with lots of different dishes.
I had a piece of fresh-frozen salmon I bought from an Alaska distributor defrosting in the fridge when I saw online activity reminding me it’s #Chardonnay Day. I’ve written about the #Day concept before which is essentially a marketing gimmick to bring attention to a particular varietal – or – a reason for wine geeks to get the ruler out!
I opened a bottle of Jean-Pierre Alexandre Ellevin Chablis that was very satisfying. Chablis is the second of four classifications from the northern Burgundy region. There is Petit Chablis, Chablis, Premier Cru, and Grand Cru. Wines at each designation are easy to find in the Midwest but “Chablis” is probably the most widely available and affordable.
The Ellevin estate is just outside the town boundries of Chablis with its 13 hectare of white wine grapes. The family estate has been in the hands of Jean-Pierre since 1975 with brother Alexander joining the business in 2004. I pulled that information directly from their website but I’ve always believed great wine has a great back story.
The wine was delightful – not as minerally characteristic as many – still had the tart and crisp acidity which has characterized Chablis for decades and beyond.
The wine was okay with the salmon, needed a bit more acid or minerality. I would think the wine would absolutely rock with most any chicken or poultry dish!
Jean-Pierre & Alexandre Ellevin 2010 Chablis, $19.95 on some online websites, Recommended.