The Alternative to Chardonnay: The Best of Chablis Wine

Why chablis is the perfect cousin to chardonnay

With rumors of an impending spring abounding, I'm turning my eyes toward some white wines with which to welcome the changing of the seasons. So far it, looks like winter is leading into more winter here on the East Coast, but that won't stop me, it just may slow my pace a bit. Perhaps before diving head first into the great whites of spring, I should ease the transition by enjoying a few bottles of chablis first! Yes, chablis, probably the most common white wine on my table, at least by a nose. When people say they'll have "anything but chardonnay," a glass of chablis can often be an eye-opening experience.

Ringing in at 100 percent chardonnay, chablis is like the poster child for terroir. These wines do not resemble what the typical wine drinker thinks of when they think of chardonnay: big creamy textures, no way to look for snap, crispness, and juicy acids. Butter and roasted pineapple? Not quite — how about mineral, citrus, and green apples, all focused and chiseled? Oaky spice, not so nice, and not a trait of the vast majority of chablis, which see little to no oak influence obscuring the freshness here.

Chablis is what chardonnay could be. Detailed, amazingly friendly at the table, capable of aging very well, and in most cases comfortably affordable. I'm not saying that chablis is or tends to be inexpensive, but there is plenty of value to be had around the $20 price point.

Click here to find Chablis wine recommendations.

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— Gregory Del Piaz, Snooth