The Grape: Chardonnay. This is definitely one of the best-known white grapes around and is grown, basically, everywhere. It is a fairly “neutral” grape whose flavor in wine is heavily driven by terroir: the soil, the surrounding flora, the water, etc. Despite that neutrality, the flavors typically include white-fleshed fruits like pears. It is frequently made into still and sparkling wines, and champagne made solely from chardonnay is called Blanc de Blancs.
The Wine: Dadivas Chardonnay, Lidio Carraro, Brazil. This wine is made in Rio Grande do Sul, where the estate maintains a “Purist” philosophy of grape-growing and wine-making; in essence, they adhere to minimal intervention. For this wine, 100% Chardonnay grapes are fermented and aged 8 months in stainless tanks. The wine is redolent of daisies and pears, with more pear and Granny Smith apples on the palate. It has a great, creamy texture and a long-lasting finish.
Fun Fact: The Rio Grande do Sul is at Brazil’s southern tip, and borders both Uruguay and Argentina. While Italian immigrants are at the forefront of the country’s wine industry, the native inhabitants were the Guarani. Guarani hold an animistic view of the world, in which plants and animals have the faculties of humans. One Guarani belief is that good spirits live in flowers, which get transported by hummingbirds… maybe into the grapes!
Pairing: Try it with our red beet pickled eggs.