International Chardonnay Day: A Celebration of America’s Favorite Grape
Chardonnay Day (aka #ChardonnayDay or #ChardDay) is celebrated around the world. So, it's a National Wine Day as well as an International Wine Day. We're pretty pumped that there is a whole day dedicated to celebrating the best Chardonnays. We celebrate all Chardonnays but especially those that we most enjoy.
What's even better? National Chardonnay Day is followed a few days later by National Wine Day. So we can celebrate our favorite Chardonnay wines back-to-back!
Oh, you already celebrate Chardonnay most days? So do we! After all, Kendall-Jackson's founder, Jess Jackson, created America's favorite Chardonnay, the K-J Vintner's Reserve Chardonnay, for almost forty years ago.
When is Chardonnay Day?
Since the #ChardonnayDay celebration began online via social media, we've created a recurring calendar event on our smart phones for #NationalChardonnayDay because its actual date changes every year. Take note, Chardonnay-loving friends. National Chardonnay Day is celebrated on the Thursday before Memorial Day in the USA. (Don't forget to set an advance, electronic reminder to stock your fridge!)
How Did Chardonnay Become So Popular?
There are lots of reasons that it is not just those of us reading this post that love Chardonnay. Chardonnay is the world’s fifth most planted grape and its second most planted white grape variety. (The most planted white grape, Airén, has not been popular - even in its native Spain - for decades, and Chardonnay is widely expected to overtake it in global plantings in due time.)
The Earth's love for Chardonnay wine is nothing new. Chardonnay history is lengthy but well-documented. The first written mention of Chardonnay grapes hails back to the late 1600s. Other, less clear, references suggest that Chardonnay grapes were being grown in the late 1500s. Clearly, Chardonnay is doing something right.
Where is Chardonnay from?
Even though it is an ancient grape, Chardonnay's origin has been isolated. The noble Chardonnay grape was born in southern Burgundy's Mâconnais region. Its parents were the revered and much-loved Pinot Noir and the very ancient but almost extinct Gouais Blanc.
Chardonnay became America's favorite grape variety for many reasons, surely mostly because Chardonnay is incredibly malleable! Left alone, Chardonnay characteristics can taste rather neutral. This means that Chardonnay offers winemakers a large range of creativity, but even more importantly, it means that Chardonnay can be a showcase for the land and climatic conditions where it is grown. (In geek speak, that means that Chardonnay shows its terroir.)
Chardonnay flavors on their own range from the leaner fruit spectrum of lemons and grapefruits to the riper notes of sweet pears and golden apples. Chardonnay's blank slate can also adhere characteristics from the regions and methods in which it is crafted.
Additionally, Chardonnay melds well with many different winemaking regions and climates. So, Chardonnay types abound! Chardonnay can be easy-drinking or age-worthy. Chardonnay can be crafted without any new oak influence or with some or with a lot. Chardonnay taste varies vastly depending on whether it is aged in oak and whether that oak is of French or American origin. By the way, Chardonnay isn't just used in still wines, it is used widely in the world's best sparkling wines as well as some of its sweet wines.
Best Ways to Celebrate National Chardonnay Day
Basically, Chardonnay is the friendliest grape around! This holds true for the many variations of Chardonnay taste, all of the various Chardonnay styles and the vast array of Chardonnay prices. There is absolutely, positively something for everyone in the realm of Chardonnay. If you want to learn how the chameleon possibilities of Chardonnay can unfold under your nose and onto your palate, here are some ideas for conducting a deductive wine tasting (or as others may call it, a blind wine tasting).
HOLD ON! Deductive, or blind, wine tasting sounds like work! Aren't we celebrating National Chardonnay Day? Yaaas, we are! Whether it's a seafood boil with Chardonnay or a summer picnic with Chardonnay, bring on your own style of #ChardDay, #ChardonnayDay, #NationalChardonnayDay or #InternationalChardonnayDay.
There are plenty more Wine Days or National Wine Holidays of the year, but with such a rainbow of Chardonnay to enjoy, we're raising our glasses highest to Chardonnay Day! Join us online to celebrate and don't forget your Chardonnay Day hashtags!
Feel free to screenshot these fun graphics to share your love for Chardonnay online or fill out the form below to print them out and put them on your fridge or share with friends!
Christy Canterbury is a Master of Wine, journalist, speaker and judge based in New York City. In 2014, she was short-listed for the Roederer Online Wine Communicator of the Year Award. Her work has been published in Decanter, Wine Enthusiast, Edible Green Mountains, Wine Searcher, Food Arts, Snooth, Beverage Media, TimAtkin.com, Civiltà del Bere, Wine Business Monthly, TASTED, Selectus Wines and in other outlets.