Categorized | Wine, Beer, Spirits Q&A

Wondering About Wine: Chardonnay by Another Name

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White WineQ. If I have a recipe and it calls for a dry white wine, such as Chablis, can I use another white wine instead? What is Chablis, anyway?

A. Two things to think of right away:  Remember that dry means the opposite of sweet. That lets out a few white wines that might be sweet and therefore wouldn’t work (at least according to the terms of your recipe).

Also, cast aside (maybe just throw away) any white wine labeled “cooking wine” you may have on your shelf.  It is not good wine and is likely to be oversalted.

Next, if you don’t have Chablis a dry chardonnay might work, but you want one that is lightly oaked. Or even non-oaked. Ask a wineseller for one and he or she can lead you in the right direction. Unoaked chardonnay is usually identified as such on the label. Why unoaked? Oak adds some heavy flavors of its own, such as vanilla, which might be fine for drinking but will interfere with flavors in a delicate sauce.

Chablis is chardonnay (from the grape by that name) grown in the Chablis region of Burgundy, France. The cool weather here produces dry, crisp wines that usually are unoaked, though some o

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One Response to “Wondering About Wine: Chardonnay by Another Name”

  1. Bill H. says:

    Hey Bonnie- Love your new website!
    On cooking wine, I’ve found some of the new white blends, as long as they’re dry, make good cooking wine too.