Chardonnay, the most marmite of grapes….

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

It’s the time of year for good will to all, isn’t it? But in this technology drenched world, despite it being C* time, cowards continue to hide behind the anonymity of the internet and get fired up over the strangest of things. The C** word in question is Chardonnay. If you didn’t know already it’s experiencing a revival, and it’s got a bunch of C*** words seriously het up! Victoria Moore, wine columnist at The Telegraph got the brunt of it, she’s been blazing a trail of glory for Chardonnay all year (see here) and although I despise most of the use of the comments section following her piece, it has at least proved that wine really can get the pulse racing!!

Chardonnay, the most marmite of grapes, is like a 1990’s boy band. Following a glorious heyday, a stint in rehab and filing for bankruptcy, a carefully orchestrated reunion has created such an excitement for the good old times that middle aged women are calling their old school mates, singing into their hairbrushes and… drinking Chardonnay!

Some blame the rise and fall in Chardonnay’s popularity on poor old Bridget Jones. Is it a coincidence then that with the release of her latest diary supermarkets like Waitrose have experienced an increase of 16% in sales of the grape in the last year? Having downloaded a copy onto my kindle I was surprised to have to read 14% before Chardonnay even got a look in. She can’t get the glory again then, surely?!

In the last couple of months I’ve hosted a number of Chardonnay tastings with Hardy’s, each of us as passionate as the other about the grape. Each tasting focused on the style of Chardonnay on our high-street today and the quality that is being produced by countries like Australia. Balk all you like about high street wines, these guys know what they’re talking about when it comes to Chardonnay; they’ve been making wine since 1853 and their white wine maker is one of the country’s leading authorities on the subject. But I sure as anything can’t take the credit, it’s the wine that’s been doing the talking. A lot of the guests at my tastings were young enough not to have been scarred with the ABC brush (Anything But Chardonnay) which is a lot to do with it, and as for those that were, well all I heard from them was a double dose of the C word: Chardonnay Convert. Long may it continue.

* Christmas
** Chardonnay
*** Cowards

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