Chardonnay is the second most popular white wine grape in the world. It is a brand that is as well-known as Coca Cola, Adidas and Nike. Therefore it makes sense that Waitrose linked Chardonnay to the series of football games taking place in Brazil at the moment. Brazilian Chardonnay, the bright yellow label shouts, was reduced from nearly £10 to about £7. Therefore, we had to try our first Brazilian wine; for Richard this was a blind tasting. We tasted it alongside a Chardonnay from a more traditional region – the Cote Chalonnais, (this had been opened 24 hours previously).
The wines were similar in colour, both pale lemon with a very slight green tinge. The French wine had a pungent and, initially, not very pleasant nose which later faded. It smelt of ripe grapefruit. The World Cup wine’s nose was rather like England’s performance – not very fruitful, but there was a slight hint of lime which was quite attractive. Reserved, I’d call it.
The Brazilian’s palate was rich, dry and resonant of white stone fruits but with a nutty edge. It had an almond-like, mineral finish that gave it some character. It was, as Richard said, “anything but Chardonnay”. The French’s palate was a more traditional rich honey in flavour, softer and more subtle. We both agreed that the Brazilian wine was interesting but lacking in subtlety and, rather football-like, you’d get tired of it after a time. The French offering improved, lost its unpleasantly pungent nose and, therefore, we gave it our nod. So, it won, but in extra time. For under £7 (on offer), the South American wine was great value.
The two wines’ details are as follows: Brazilian Chardonnay Serra Gauche 2013 and Francois D’Allaines Bourgogne Cote Chalonnais 2010 (WS £10 but no longer available).
[Richard: I failed miserably when blind tasting the Brazil and couldn’t identify the grape.]