The collected wine-tastings & wine-ramblings of one who prefers to describe wines with metaphors, not percentages

Battery Chardonnay or Jane Austen Chardonnay?

Closeup of the label of a bottle of Stephen Miller Chardonnay, complete with typography and logo — a bearded man's face, complete with hat

Chardonnay’s a beautiful, beautiful grape. Matt Walls got it right when he compared it to Farrah Fawcett, Beyonce, Scarlett Johansson and Leonardo DiCaprio.

But all too often, Chardonnay is treated shabbily. The result is a battery chicken of a wine, all pumped up and fattened and flabby and morally offensive.

I’ve spoken to so, so many people (of all ages and degrees of wine knowledge) who’ve said that they ‘don’t like Chardonnay’. Because they’ve only knowingly tasted battery Chardonnay. And fair enough. Because battery Chardonnay is fucking heinous stuff. Swollen, belching, flabby and gaudy, the kind of wine that yells out to its mates then falls over in the gutter. Where it belongs.

So when I see a cheapish Chardonnay from the new world, I hope I’m not in for a run-in with one of these characters. Fortunately, Stephen Millier’s Chardonnay isn’t one; it’s an altogether more demure affair. Not as much as some (Chardonnay is capable of Austen-esque poise), but it’s got manners, and doesn’t overwhelm and disgust you with a gigantic belch of alcohol. In fact, if you chill it down decently (perhaps a bit more than you really ought to chill chardonnay), it’s quite nimble and sprightly in the old gob.

Chardonnay can, of course, do quite a lot more than not be disgusting. And I realise that, as recommendations go, this is scarcely a clarion-call. But so it goes. If you’re a Naked Wines member, you fancy Chardonnay, and you have a budget of £5.99, I’d say you should give this’n a go.

If you’re not a member, save your £7.99 and put it towards a copy of Pride & Prejudice.

Rating ★★★ 3 stars (good)
Grape Chardonnay
Region California
ABV 13%
Price £7.99 from Naked Wines (£5.99 for members)

1 Comment to Battery Chardonnay or Jane Austen Chardonnay?

  1. June 21, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

    Oh so true! So many people out there say they do not like Chardonnay and I believe for many it is because they think Chardonnay tastes like Chateau toothpicks or I can’t believe it’s not butter from misuse of ML.

    These aspects treated like spices from your kitchen cabinet are nice when used appropriately. When I put too much salt on my food it taste bad…..no difference with oak or ML on Chardonnay. In fact, many winemakers use these “spices” to cover up other things they don’t want you to taste.

    Many wine consumers do not realize that Chardonnay is a naturally neutral grape. The best opportunity I know of to get some converts is an event focused on the grape varietal.

    Like The Chardonnay Symposium later this month. Consumers get an opportunity to taste side by side, neutral barrels, Hungarian , French, American, and even concrete produced Chardonnays. When people have the opportunity to gain education while tasting, in my opinion it is a lasting impression that has the capability to change the CEOs opinion of ABC.

    Chardonnay Cheers!

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