For several decades, chardonnay has been one of the most successful white wines in the world. The wine’s appealing big flavours- vanilla, butter, butterscotch, buttered toast, custard, green apple, tropical fruit, lemon, pineapple- are matched by equally effusive textures- creamy, lush, and full-bodied. (I sometimes think of chardonnay as Marilyn Monroe.)
To be truly great and to work well with food, chardonnay must taste like the fruit from which it came and must have a good core of acidity. Just as a cream sauce is supposed to complement the flavour of a vegetable, not disguise it, so too, the flavour of oak should be the seasoning, not the main dish.