When we were kids in secondary school the best part of lunch was the ability to go to the shop down the road to get whatever we liked. Fun, freedom and fizzy drinks, the best part of the day. And then it was ruined! A small group get into trouble and suddenly no one can leave. Which brings us to the ABC movement.
Anything but Chardonnay! A lesson in how a few bad eggs can ruin a beautiful thing. Flash back to the 80s and 90s and the market for wine in Ireland was exploding. We were learning about the great and delicate wines of Burgundy, the rich and sweet wines of Germany and, sadly, the mass produced and cheap wines that were flooding our supermarket shelves.
Most notably, bad Australian Chardonnay made cheaply for mass consumption. Picture massive plots of land covered in Chardonnay vines, picked indiscriminately by mechanical harvesters and machine crushed. Enormous steel vats filled with juice and giant bags of oak chips to be used like tea bags to give flavour and body. Don’t forget the sugar too. Bags and bags of it to make the ‘wine’ more palatable for the average consumer. I know, I find it hard to think about it too but thankfully, for the most part, this isn’t the case anymore.
There’s a whole world of wonderful Chardonnay out there. There’s steely and mineral Chablis, buttery and round Meursault, clean and fresh German Chardonnay, approachable yet tropical Napa Chardonnay, and everything in between.
The beauty of this amazing grape is that it’s grown in hot and cold, aged in new oak, old oak or not at all. Pairing perfectly with fish, chicken and assorted cheeses, Chardonnay can be elegant and fine or approachable and fruity. There’s a reason why it’s the worlds most popular variety of white wine!
The Irish palate for wine has grown and moved on and its time our out dated opinion of chardonnay followed suit, the variety that can be found in a humble bottle of Chardonnay is amazing and most definitely worth taking a chance on.
Kind regards and drink up,