What Foods Pair Best With Chardonnay Wine?

chardonnay food pairings

One of the great things about wine is that it is a great compliment to a variety of foods. The only hard part is figuring out which wines go well with which types of food.

Since wines have different levels of acidity, tannins, and other elements that affect their flavor profile, it’s important to know how those differences will interact with different foods.

We’ve already covered what food pairs best with cabernet sauvignon wine, so it’s time to dig into another type of wine.

Unlike cabernet sauvignon, Chardonnay is a white wine. It does tend to be a drier wine, just like the cab, but the green skinned grapes offer a different flavor profile than a red wine. Because of the different aspects of this wine, it should come as no surprise that the food pairings are going to be different than what you would find with red wines.

There are also other factors that play into pairing Chardonnay with food that don’t always pertain to other types of wine. Those main factors being, whether it was oaked or not, where the wine was made, and how long the wine as aged before drinking.

These factors can all influence the wine’s flavor and texture in your mouth, which can have a negative or positive effect when pairing with certain foods.

If you’re really serious about your food and wine pairing, these are things you’re going to need to consider when pairing food with Chardonnay.

With that being said, let’s dive in and take a look at some of the best foods you can pair with a glass of Chardonnay wine.

Chardonnay Wine Food Pairings

1. Cheeses

Wine and cheese can often be found in the same place at the same time, but it’s important to note that not all wines go well with all cheeses. Depending on the flavor profile, acidity, tannins and other elements of the wine, there are going to be certain cheeses that will compliment the wine better than others.

When it comes to chardonnay, you’re not going to go wrong with any of your cheese choice, but there are some things you’ll want to consider.

If the chardonnay was heavily oaked then you’ll want to choose bolder cheeses like bleu cheese, English hard cheddar, or Camembert. If you’re looking at an unoaked chardonnay, then something like a brie or a goat cheese will be your best options.

2. Chicken

Another classic wine pairing is chicken. A good glass of chardonnay goes great with a light, delicious chicken dish. Of course, we’re not really talking about your local fried chicken place, but more a nicely grilled chicken breast (white meat), with a savory cream sauce.

You’ll want to stick with white meat when pairing chicken with chardonnay and keep the dark meat for the red wines. You’ll also want to avoid any super sweet sauces on your chicken if you’re looking for it to compliment the chardonnay.

3. Seafood

As with chicken, seafood is always a go-to food pairing when it comes to white wines, and chardonnay is no different.

Chardonnay is going to go well with butter or nutty flavors. When it comes to seafood it will pair well with seafood dishes based on shellfish like crab, lobster, shrimp, and mussels. You’ll also find that it pairs very well with flaky white fish like halibut. 

If you’re enjoying a very oaky bottle of chardonnay, then a nice pan seared salmon would compliment the wine nicely as well.

The Basics of Food Pairing with Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of those tricky wines to pair with because of the different levels of “oakiness” that can be found in the bottles. You’ll find that unoaked and oaked bottles of chardonnay are going to taste drastically different and will lead to some confusion when pairing the wines with food.

When pairing chardonnay, you’ll want to look for foods that have a rich, buttery flavor, nothing spicy. You’ll also want to avoid more acidic foods like tomatoes, as the acidity of the food will make the wine taste sour.

Pairing chardonnay with foods that are creamy, light, and simply seasoned are going to be the best way to compliment the wine.

As with any wine you’re going to have to adjust based on your tastes. Just because someone else loves a certain wine and food pairing doesn’t mean that your taste buds are going to react the same way. Use these pairing options as a guideline and adjust based on your specific tastes.