Vino File: Chardonnay 3 ways

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Chardonnay. You either love it or hate it, right? Not so fast, says Tatjana Brown, who owns Meza wine and gourmet food shop in Uptown Westerville with her husband, Jason.

Before giving up - or if you just want to mix it up - sample the gamut of chardonnays, Brown said. These white wines, traditionally aged in oak barrels, take a lot from the fermenting process. Each has a character of its own.

"I think people ... have one, maybe, that was very buttery and oaky, and they don't like it, so they think that they don't like all chardonnay," Brown said. Here's a selection of the chards she has in her shop.


Mallee Sands Fools Bay (2008)

This wine is fermented in stainless-steel tanks

Region: South Australia

Cost: $13

Flavors: Crisp and clean, with stone fruits and slight acidity

Pairs well with: Grilled fish or other seafood

Tatjana Brown's advice: "It's very crisp and balanced. It's a little more acidic but not super bright - it's just that perfect, balanced acidity that makes it very easy to drink."

Lightly oaked

Joseph Carr chardonnay (2007)

Most of the juice is aged in stainless-steel tanks, the rest in used oak barrels

Region: Napa Valley

Cost: $19

Flavors: Peach and apple notes with an elegant minerality

Pairs well with: Grilled fish, quiche, a light chicken dish

Tatjana Brown's advice: "Because it's the already-used oak, it doesn't pick up a ton of the wood, so the oak just adds body and weight to it."


Matchbook Old Head chardonnay (2007)

This wine is aged in used oak barrels

Region: Dunnigan Hills, California

Cost: $13

Flavors: Tropical fruits, vanilla and a cinnamon spiciness

Pairs well with: Roasted chicken, sauteed vegetables

Tatjana Brown's advice: "It's very warm on the palate. It doesn't overwhelm you with a buttery quality, but it does have a lot of weight to it. And then I think that vanilla and spice pleasantly surprises people. "