This post is written by guest blogger and wine aficionado Jim Hutchings.
Vynecrest Winery’s first Chardonnay Weekend event last weekend, they had two versions of their new Chardonnay: oaked and un-oaked (also called naked Chardonnay). Events like this showcase the versatility of grapes and how such different results can come from a single grape.
The winemakers at each winery craft their wine in different fashions, leaving more residual sugar in the final product or letting it ferment more fully to create a drier wine. We see this with Riesling, Vidal, and Chambourcin at many of the wineries.
A difference in sugar levels makes wildly different wines from the same grape, but so does the introduction of oak to the wine-making process. The addition of oak to a white wine makes a completely different wine.
Personally, I prefer an oaked Chardonnay because of the toasty, buttery taste. This is in stark contrast to the crisp, more fruit-forward unoaked Chardonnay. Naked Chardonnay is still delicious, but with unoaked dry Riesling, Vidal, Seyval, Grüner Veltliner, and Pinot Gris wines on the trail, I particularly enjoy how an oaked Chardonnay stands out from the pack.
What are your tastes?