Lighter, more delicate white wines often grab our attention during the hot days of summer when everyone wants something easy to drink and eat. But once our dining style switches to more substantial fare, chardonnay comes into its own. Here is a selection of five that will pair well with poultry and pork dishes as we eat our way toward the winter holidays.
2012 RouteStock Carneros Chardonnay ($14)
Chardonnay has many sides, and one of them is the glycerol aromas and flavors of corn oil and flavors atop the typical apple notes, which RouteStock exhibits — the vegetal chard.
2013 FEL Anderson Valley Chardonnay ($28)
From a cooler-weather area, the FEL has nice, juicy apple flavors with light, fresh oak notes around the edges that melt away as the wine goes down in the bottle. Well-made with crisp acidity and some hints of stone fruits.
2012 Chateau Montelena Napa Valley Chardonnay ($50)
Minerally and spicy with good acidity and tart apple flavors. Fairly lean.
2012 Concha y Toro Casillero del Diablo Chile Chardonnay ($10)
Juicy, lively, full-bodied with interesting flavors of tropical fruits, including an under-layer of banana.
2013 Flora Springs Napa Valley Barrel-Fermented Chardonnay ($29)
A little too much fresh oak out of the bottle that would benefit from decanting (more whites should be decanted than is the practice). The flavors are mellow apple with lots of vanilla bean and good acidity to finish.