As we enter entertaining season, I get more and more questions about favorite soiree snacks (scroll down on the sidebar), crown-pleasing desserts, and, of course, about my favorite wines to accompany those special meals and moments. I was very excited to learn more about the different varieties of the Vins de Chablis, all made with Chardonnay (Beaunois) grapes, in the Bourgogne region of France.
There are approximately 40 million bottles of Chablis produced every year yet, it remains somewhat under the radar here in the US. Let’s learn more about what makes it so special!
Chablis wines are young, dry white wines, well balanced between acid and sweetness. They are crisp and tend to be pale gold in color, with a fresh and mineral undertone that comes from the region’s Kimmeridgean soil, which is full of tiny oyster fossils. The climate is very cool, and vineyards are often lit up with lights or candles for warmth during winter months.
The Chablis wine growing region covers 20 communes on either side of the River Serein, each with its own distinct notes and flavors. The village of Chablis itself is fairly small, and most vintners and their families have been there for many centuries and generations.
Often paired with oysters, vegetables, and local specialties such as jambon persille or Burgundy snails, Chablis wines are a great option for entertaining. Try them with gougeres!
The Petit Chablis are lighter in style than a Chablis and are perfect with seafood and cheese. Other suitable pairings include poached or grilled fish, asparagus, prawn curries, and even sushi! It’s hard to go wrong with a young and dry Chablis wine.
Chablis wines are served chilled, but can be then poured straight from the bottle. For a Petit Chablis, the recommended serving temperature is around 8°C to serve as an aperitif and 9-10°C with food. Chablis and Chablis Premier Cru should be served at 10-11°C, and Chablis Grand Cru at 12-14°C.
Remember: true Chablis wines come from only one grape (Chardonnay), one region, and only from France. The protected AOC Chablis status was created back in January 1938.
Cheers, everyone! Salut!