In my last post I mentioned that I generally avoid Chardonnay because I don't like oak in my white wines. American Chardonnay in particular tends to be lousy with the taste and smell of wood chips. But let's not blame the innocent Chardonnay grape! Properly handled, Chardonnay makes some incredibly special wines that even I can appreciate.
French Chablis, which is unoaked Chardonnay, is one of our favorite white wines (Econo Boy in particular is a huge fan). Chablis is pretty rare; our local French wine store only carries two, including the lovely Domaine d'Elise Chablis.
But Chablis is usually a bit of a splurge for us, around $20 a bottle. Another delightful unoaked wine made from Chardonnay grapes that falls into our usual price range is the Yalumba Unwooded Chardonnay.
Yalumba is one of my favorite Australian labels. In addition to this Chardonnay, they make a great Viognier and a Shiraz-Viognier blend that's seriously yummy. I highly recommend this screwtop white wine -- it's crisp, clean and lively, with pineapple and grapefruit notes, and just enough heft to carry those flavors off smoothly.