Multifaceted Chardonnay a Welcome Surprise

Price does matter, but it's possible to find exciting varieties
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 24, 2009 4:01 PM CDT
In this photo provided by Chuck O'Rear from "Wine Across America," taken in December 2006, are Chardonnay grapes growing at Tedeschi Vineyards on the island of Maui in Hawaii.   (AP Photo/"Wine Across America"/Chuck O'Rear, HO)
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(Newser) – Chardonnay is ubiquitous, but the “countless weak versions,” especially in the $10 category, disappoint wine lovers, writes Eric Arnold in Forbes. Nevertheless, Americans gulped down about 60 million 9-liter cases in 2008. If you’re willing to beef up your budget and experiment a bit, you may be surprised at the variety of “styles and flavors—and there's joy to be found in discovering which suit your palate best.”

In a recent taste test, “it wasn’t until the third wine that anyone in the room knew for sure that they were drinking chardonnay,” Arnold writes. Grapes grown in different areas gave each its own unique character. Your local wine shop can point you in the direction of a chardonnay for your particular palate. Or you can just stick with champagne—but remember, “it’s made of chardonnay too.”