Read this tip to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wines of the World and other Wines topics.
Chardonnay, the primary grape in most sparkling wine, is still easily America's most popular varietal. It took up 25 percent of supermarket wine sales by price in 2004, according to AC Nielsen. One wine expert calls the varietal "the basic black dress of white wine." That's because it goes with so many foods, is versatile, easy to sip, comfortable and popular. Wines made from the Chardonnay grape are usually served chilled. Chardonnay matches very well with chicken and with dishes that are served with a lot of butter or a cream sauce. Most Chardonnays lack the acid to match as well with seafood as Sauvignon Blanc or Riesling. Chardonnay takes oak well, and many higher priced Chardonnays are typically fermented and/or aged in oak barrels. You may notice its vanilla overtones when it is aged in oak barrels. Chardonnay ages well in the bottle, though it will not age as long as many red wines. It likes slightly cooler climates and develops less acidity than Sauvignon Blanc.