Expand your wine experience by exploring all the possibilities of Chardonel. This full-bodied white wine stands out from the vineyard to the glass - and beyond. The opportunities outside your glass are vast. Chardonel is king of the kitchen when it comes to cooking with wine and adding life to dishes. This is also reflected in how many pairings match well with this buttery-smooth wine. Get creative with this classic Missouri wine varietal as we celebrate it in April.
Chardonel is a hearty hybrid created by a cross of Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc. It takes the best traits of both and combines them into a robust and complex grape that can withstand whatever Missouri’s weather conditions can conjure in the vineyard. Not only is it resistant to winter frosts, it also can withstand other pests and disease threats in comparison to other white varietals grown across the state. There are 123 acres of Chardonel grown in Missouri, accounting for 7.2% of the total grapes produced. It takes the well-known and loved characteristics of Chardonnay and by strengthening it with Seyval Blanc’s resilience in the vineyard, it allows Missouri to produce a classic white wine that has the best of both worlds.
The lemony-yellow complexion conveys exactly what you will enjoy. Notes of lemon and citrus fruit come forward first. Oak is commonly used to age Chardonel as well, which is also reflected while enjoying on the nose and palate. When paired with grilled chicken or pork, sautéed mushrooms, cream sauces, bold cheeses, or desserts such as bread pudding, the crisp, complex flavors highlight unique savory sensations. If you aren’t usually up for dry white wines, don’t fret – you can still enjoy all that Chardonel has to offer.
Try integrating this varietal into an upcoming recipe such as one-skillet smothered pork chops, cheesy Chardonel bacon mac and cheese, butterscotch blondies or even a wine cocktail. There are endless possibilities when cooking with wine. Try sautéing your veggies with a little help from Chardonel, or even use it instead of water when you are baking. It also helps to enjoy in the glass while exploring this new skill in the kitchen. It might not be a new skill to many, which solidifies the fact that this classic wine is important to wine-lovers who continue to will enjoy this unique varietal for years to come.
We want to see how you get creative with this classic! Tag us on social media with @missouriwine and #missouriwine and share how you enjoy Chardonel.