While everyday Chardonnay does not mean that you only drink Chardonnay every day. It does mean what is your go to Chardonnay on a warm summer late afternoon or early evening while on the deck/patio for a refreshing wine?
I break down my Chardonnay’s into 3 distinct categories which have some price guidelines:
- Everyday Chardonnay $15 to $30
- Nice Chardonnay for special occasions $31 to $60
- Exceptional Chardonnay for monumental occasions $61 to $125
Superseding the above categories may be the opportunity to enjoy a lovely meal like fresh Branzino, lobster, scallops, swordfish, etc. Then of course you may want to pull from a higher category.
So for everyday Chardonnay my five regularly stocked wines and purchased in volume are: Wood Family Vineyards (Livermore, $30 & 2021 Double Gold Medal Winner at 2021 SF Chronicle Wine Competition), 3 Steves Reserve Chardonnay (Livermore, $29), Harken (Central Coast, $15), Tenbrink Chardonnay (Suisun Valley, $28) Mer Soleil Santa Lucia Highlands Reserve (Monterey County, $24). The first, third and fifth wines have been my go to wines many years. Recently added was 3 Steves and Tenbrink. While these wines can be enjoyed as standalone sipping wines, they also pair nicely with fish, chicken, pork and even pizza(per Steve Burman!).
Key is always having some cool everyday Chardonnay’s in the cellar for (pre-Covid), impromptu neighbors stopping by, larger gatherings and parties. All these wines “fit the bill” and will not cost you an arm and a leg. They are also wines which I am proud to serve and always get compliments as solid wines. These wines also provide an answer when a new face shows up at the house to my question providing they want a Chardonnay, do you want an old world or new world Chardonnay. When the perplexed look falls upon the guest and they finally respond with anything but “add one or two ice cubes”, I have the perfect wine without breaking the bank.
Other Chardonnay’s in the other two categories are:
- Nice Chardonnays for special occasions- Alyris, Duckhorn,, Hoopes Family Vineyard, Kistler, Ledson Russian River, Maritana La Riviere, Tate Wines, etc.
- Exceptional Chardonnay for monumental occasions- Peter Michael La Carriere & Mon Plaisir), Domain Jomain Les Perrieres’ 1er Cru, etc.
Summertime white wines are not limited to Chardonnay’s and can include many other varietals like Picpoul Blanc, Champagne, Arneis, Assyrtiko, Bourboulenc, Chatenaeuf du Pape Blanc, Marsanne, Roussanne, white Meritage blends, Prosecco, Reisling, Sauvignon Blanc, Vermentino, Viognier, etc.
The question of the day: What is your everyday Chardonnay? Would enjoy hearing your favorites.