Chardonnay is the most popular wine

Chardonnay is one of the most widely available wines.

By Mary Malik

Time to focus on a favorite. Chardonnay is the number one selling white wine varietal in the world. And the chardonnay grape itself contributes to its popularity.

“Chardonnay is the most widely planted white grape in the world,” says Jim Sperk, of the Northern Ohio Wine Guild. “It’s a relatively low-maintenance vine that adapts well to a variety of climates, which results in a high yield worldwide. More grapes equal more wine.”

Jim says chardonnay’s popularity is due to the many styles of flavor, from austere to sparkling to more dense oak or butter qualities.

“While it is said that most wines are made in the vineyard, chardonnay is said to be made in the winery,” says Jim. “Although the flavors of chardonnay are influenced by the climate of the region where it’s grown, the art and skill of the winemaker determines the final tastes.”

Winemaking techniques can render tastes of citrus if berries are picked early, minerals, honey, vanilla, spice and of course, butter.

“Because of the different flavors, chardonnays pair with many foods,” says Jim. “But choosing the right one can be difficult.”

The color of the wine can help. Lighter colors usually work well with oysters and sushi while darker oak chardonnays can pair with roasted pork dishes. In between colors can handle salmon, chicken and most vegetarian dishes.

Your wine merchant can help with a good suggestion and with all the chardonnays available you can find a good bottle for under $15.

For information on the Northern Ohio Wine Guild, contact Jim Sperk at