Written by locals!
Welcome to Bite, Your Independent Local Guide to Eating and Drinking in Edinburgh
Chardonnay

SUNDAY AFTERNOON, THE CLOCKS HAVE GONE BACK AND I'M SITTING DOWN TO A LATE LUNCH AT TWILIGHT. THE FOOD IS THE EQUIVALENT OF A WARM BLANKET: A LOVINGLY MADE FISH PIE. A MAN CAN HAVE NO GREATER LOVE THAN TO FEED CREAMY SEAFOOD WITH A MASHED POTATO TOPPING TO HIS FRIENDS, ESPECIALLY IF THERE'S A BOTTLE OF FULL THROTTLE CHARDONNAY ON THE TABLE.

Now, Chardonnay has come in for a lot of stick in recent years. The darling of the 1990s has become something of a social pariah as we have fallen for the likes of Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc. Today
's trendy white wine drinker hankers after lean, mean citrus flavours rather than the big, rich opulence that Chardonnay promises.

However, crisp citrus isn
't want I want today. I'll save that for the summer. It's dark and I'm cold. I'm after comfort, not a pick-me-up.

That said, pour me a glass of Chardonnay from a big, Californian brand
(anything made by someone called Ernest or Julio, or with the word blossom on the label and I'll leave it untouched). It is no wonder people stopped drinking Chardonnay if this is all they ever tried: a mess of oak chips and sugar juice.

Proper Chardonnay is a contradiction; on the one hand it should be full-bodied and rich, creamy and ripe. On the other hand, there should be a lightness of touch and a refreshing bite of citrus. In my head, it tastes like a grapefruit and peach salad with a dollop of tart crème fraiche. Not quite sweet and not quite savoury.

The best have always come from
Burgundy but Chardonnay is a happy traveller. I can't think of a single wine producing country that doesn't make it. Admittedly some do a better job than others. New Zealand, Chile and South Africa would be at the top of my list.

The bottle that accompanies my pie is actually Californian, another good hunting ground for Chardonnay as long as you ignore the superbrands. Richly textured and ripe with plenty of fruit and toasty oak, it is a perfect match for the creamy, fishy food. The two together nourish and restore.

 

Gareth Groves works for Bibendum.

 

 

Reader Reviews / Comments

There are currently no reader reviews. Be the first to review by clicking below!

Current Issue
Search...
Visitor Login
Email Address
Password
Competitions
This site and all contents are © 2019 Bite Magazine     Web Design by Arcada Design