When most people start drinking wine, they go straight for the Chardonnay. That is, if they don’t hit up the White Zinfandel first — but that’s beside the point.
Either way, if they like whites, they are bound to over-order this green-skinned grape variety commonly served as a house wine. As in: white or red, Chardonnay or Merlot.
Why order Chardonnay so much? Well, it’s crisp, delicious, and available nearly everywhere. Besides, it’s a really safe drink to order when wine menus confuse and might as well be in Chinese.
However, any loyal wine drinker is bound to reach the point where they can’t drink another glass of the same old, same old… Chardonnay.
This common wine world quandary is often referred to as ABC: Anything But Chardonnay!
You might have ABC if:
You run kicking and screaming the other way and you might even decide to order… [quiet whisper] a beer.
So, if you think you might have the ABC blues, here are a few tips to get out of that rut:
- Visit your local wine shop and speak to a wine expert. Someone who knows their wines can typically help you find something you might like if you describe your tastes.
- Try other wines made from the Chardonnay grapes. A French Chablis is made from 100% Chardonnay grapes and might taste a bit ‘flinty’ or remind you of green apples.
- Consider that you might be drinking commercial Chardonnay. There are plenty of boutique Chardonnays out there that can’t even be compared to those made by major wine producers.
Just the other day, the burst of flavor in a bottle of Ideology “Blondie Gone Wild” Chardonnay nearly blew my mind. There were only 225 cases produced in 2007 and I paid $32 for the bottle, but it was more than worth the investment.
If that Chardonnay isn’t cool enough to cure the ABC blues, I don’t know what will.
- Check out Chenin blanc wines, which is a grape variety from the Loire Valley in France. If you want something off-dry (every so slightly sweet), try a bottle of Vouvray.
- Sauvignon blanc wines are also versatile white wines that can be paired with anything from fish to cheese and even sushi.
- Hang out at your local wine bar when it’s not too busy and order a flight of wine. If you explain you’re interested in expanding your wine horizons, they are often eager to please!
- Try one of the 7 Wines of Alsace.
- If you’re feeling adventuresome and want a dare: I dare you to try a red wine. If you’re new to red wine drinking, I’d recommend checking out Chianti. This wine is on the lighter side and even a bit fruity. It’s from Italy, so should pair well with any Italian foods with a red sauce.