Chardonnay Vs Sauvignon Blanc
- 1 Chardonnay Vs Sauvignon Blanc
- 1.1 What is sauvignon Blanc?
- 1.2 Factors to consider before buying sauvignon Blanc:
- 1.3 The similarities of chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc:
- 1.4 The differences between chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc:
- 1.5 The winner:
- 1.6 FAQs:
- 1.6.1 What is the primary difference between a chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc?
- 1.6.2 What is the healthiest wine to drink?
- 1.6.3 Which wine is good for weight loss?
- 1.6.4 Which it is right for me?
- 1.6.5 How many tastes/glasses can I get from one bottle?
- 1.6.6 The pros and cons of chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc:
- 1.7 Conclusion:
There are wine drinkers out there who will swear by one varietal or another. Chardonnay lovers, for example, might find Sauvignon Blanc to be unpalatable – and vice versa. But what if you don’t really know which one you prefer? Should you take a chance on something new, or stick with the familiar? In this blog post, we’ll explore the differences between these two white wines so that you can make an informed decision the next time you’re faced with a choice at the liquor store. Spoiler alert: both wines have their merits, so it ultimately comes down to personal preference. Let’s dive in!
What is sauvignon Blanc?
Sauvignon Blanc hails from France as well – specifically the Bordeaux region. While Chardonnay is known for its hints of cream and vanilla, Sauvignon Blanc is distinguished by flavors like asparagus and grass. If you’re a fan of Riesling, you might enjoy how Sauvignon Blanc’s zippy acidity pairs with its crisp fruitiness.
Factors to consider before buying sauvignon Blanc:
Region of origin: Sourced from warmer climates, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc tends to run more robustly, but it’s still classified as a light wine.
Price: Sauvignon Blanc is a very popular style of grape – so it’s no surprise that it tends to be cheaper than other types of white wine. In fact, many inexpensive versions of this wine have been created specifically for mass consumption. However, you can also find expensive versions of Sauvignon Blanc from France and New Zealand if you’re looking to splurge on your next glass.
Wine age: White wines are usually meant to be enjoyed soon after release, but since Sauvignon Blanc is often inexpensive, it’s okay to buy a case and stash the bottles in your cellar for a year or two (or three!) If you’re looking to age your wine longer than that, store them under the proper conditions and check back in six months.
The Grapes: Sauvignon Blanc grapes are green in color, but they turn white when they’re being made into wine. The skin of the grape is what gives wine its color, so just like Pinot Noir and Syrah, white wines are fermented without their skins. After fermentation is complete, Sauvignon Blanc is bottled with minimal filtration so that it retains most of its natural yeast sediment. This sediment has a creamy mouthfeel which ties together all the different flavors present in the wine.
Appearance: Since the grape skins are removed from Sauvignon Blanc during winemaking, it’s a very pale-yellow wine. There may be some sediment present at the bottom of the bottle – this is completely normal! The richer and sweeter a Sauvignon Blanc tastes, the more wasteful it was to make. However, no good wine goes to waste – so don’t be afraid to drink your Sauvignon Blanc even if there’s sediment.
Pairing for sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is a very versatile wine that goes great with food. It pairs particularly well with fish and other seafood because of its crisp, zesty flavor profile. If you’re the kind of person who likes to drink white wine with fried chicken and macaroni and cheese, Sauvignon Blanc has your back. One thing to remember – the grassier the Sauvignon Blanc, the more complementary it will be with spicy cuisines.
Aroma: In the glass, Sauvignon Blanc smells of grapefruit and tropical fruit. These aromas carry over into the wine’s flavor, which is zesty and a little grassy. Some wines will also have a mineral component to their aroma – these wines tend to be on the drier side!
Flavor: Sauvignon Blancs taste very crisp at first sip. If they’re super dry, you’ll notice some bitterness as you hold it in your mouth – but then it quickly dissipates into flavors of white peach and citrus. In many cases Sauvignon Blanc has a grassy quality that tastes fresh and herbaceous. For sweeter examples of this varietal, look out for notes of lemon meringue.
When to drink sauvignon Blanc: Sauvignon Blanc is best enjoyed young (within the first 2 years of release), but you can also cellar it for up to 5 years. If you’re looking for older, richer Sauvignon Blancs, look for wines labeled as Fume Blanc or some other sub-varietal.
Ingredient: Sauvignon Blanc is a varietal, meaning that it’s a wine made from just one type of grape. In this case, that grape is the Sauvignon Blanc – making it a 100% varietal!
Palate: The mouthfeel of Sauvignon Blanc is thin and crisp, but it has a creamy finish thanks to its natural yeast sediment.
Color: Since Sauvignon Blanc is white, it also comes in white wines! However, most winemakers choose to age their red wines longer before releasing them to market because they’re darker in color. While it isn’t necessary, aging allows time for tannins (which give red wines their bitter taste) to soften into more complex flavors that complement each other very nicely.
Alcohol content: Sauvignon Blanc wines range in alcohol content from 9%-13% ABV.
Dry/Sweet: Sauvignon Blanc is known for its crispness and dryness, but there are also sweeter versions that derive their sweetness from the grape’s natural sugar. These sweeter styles are aged much longer than their tarter siblings, allowing time for oxidative processes to occur which make them smell like passionfruit and honeysuckle (among other things).
Acidic: Sauvignon Blanc is high in acidity, meaning that it has a very tart flavor profile without containing any sugar. This makes it important to pair with food to round out its flavors. Give Sauvignon Blancs enough time in your mouth to let the flavors develop, and it’ll taste great!
Volume: Sauvignon Blanc wines vary in their volume – the smaller the bottle, the more concentrated and full-bodied it will be. This also works with wine glasses as well – a bigger glass is going to fill your nose with those strawberry notes much faster than a tiny one would.
Serving and storage suggestion for Sauvignon Blanc:
To make things easy, Sauvignon Blanc should be stored in the fridge! This will keep the wine nice and cool until you’re ready to drink it. If it’s too cold when you open it up, let it sit out for about 15 minutes before enjoying.
Sauvignon Blanc is best enjoyed at room temperature, so take one out of the fridge about an hour beforehand. You want it to warm up just enough so that all its aromas are released but not so much that you lose any freshness in its flavors. Make sure your glass is clean and free of any residual oils or soap bubbles – otherwise they’ll detract from your experience! And finally, pour carefully to avoid foaming or spilling anything on the bottle.
What is chardonnay?
Chardonnay, a white grape varietal, is primarily grown in the Burgundy region of France as well as other regions such as California and Australia. It can be made into many styles depending on where it’s grown, which makes chardonnay one of the broader wines.
Factors to consider before buying chardonnay:
Region of origin: The chardonnay grape is grown all over the world, and as such wines labeled as such vary greatly. California Chardonnays tend to be full bodied and fuller fruit-forward while those from France tend to lean more towards a flinty, mineral driven style. The French also use oak aging in their winemaking process whereas Californian producers do not usually let it rest nearly as long. If you enjoy a wine don’t be scared if it’s not from your ‘favorite’ region: just because it’s Californian doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy an Australian or New Zealand example and vice versa!
Price: Chardonnay is the most widely planted grape in the world, which means it’s also quite popular and reasonably priced. There are many examples of Chardonnay wines you can find for $30 or less!
Wine age: Most Chardonnays will benefit greatly from aging (the key word here is most). If you like your wine bolder or richer, aged chard is ideal. Just make sure that if it’s an older wine it wasn’t oxidized during aging – I’ll expand on oxidation later in this article. For now, know that very little white wine benefits from bottle aging.
The Grapes: Chardonnay gets its green, buttery aromas and flavors from malolactic fermentation (the conversion of tart malic acid to creamy lactic acid). Chardonnays vary in minerality, with some leaning towards flint, others towards lime. Some examples will have these mineral driven characteristics as well as tropical fruits such as mango or pineapple. These wines are often higher in alcohol and fuller-bodied. In general, the more oak aging a wine has the richer it tends to be.
Appearance: Some Chardonnays will be cloudy in appearance (this is usually not desirable but can be found when wine has been aged in oak barrels for a long time). On the other hand, some chars are very clear and brilliant. This is typically an indicator of “no-oak” treatment or minimal oaking, which I’ll also expand on later in this article.
Pairing for: The best pairing for chardonnay really depends on how it’s made. If you’re drinking a full-bodied Cali style example, then pair it with buttery/oaky foods like lobster or fries. If you’re buying a French style example then pair it with fish, poultry, mushroom heavy dishes and cream sauces. The best pairing for a high-quality aged chardonnay is roasted pork and if you like funkier cheese then go for that as well.
Flavor: Chardonnay has an extraordinary range of flavors that it can produce; its aromas and flavors can be as rich as vanilla or as flinty as minerals such as chalk. This wine’s flavor profile really depends on where it was grown, how it was made and the aging the wine has had.
Ingredient: Chardonnay wines are normally made from grapes of the same name. If you see a wine labeled as Chablis, however, it is typically chardonnay that has been fermented in oak barrels to give it more ‘oomph’ and body.
Palate: Wines often have varying textures on the palate. Some wines will be light and crisp while others can lean towards being syrupy/oily which usually indicates barrel aging. Wines that show these characteristics are often high in alcohol content because of this process – which can be either desirable or not depending on your preferences!
Color: White with greenish hints when young, Chardonnay becomes more golden as it ages. Because color can vary so greatly depending on where this grape is grown, I’d recommend purchasing based on other factors unless you are just after the “look” of a particular wine.
Alcohol content: Most Chardonnays will be 13-15% ABV. This is very high for wine, which means chards are often on the “stronger” side of things – no matter how you slice it!
Dry/Sweet: Chardonnay can produce dry wines as well as off-dry wines (which have an additional sweetness). The more oak aging a chard has had the more likely it is to produce drier wines. There are some sweet examples of Chardonnay lurking out there – but this grape typically produces slightly higher acidity than most other grapes that tend to make sweeter wines.
Acidic: There are several factors that determine the acidity of Chardonnay. If you are looking for a more acidic example, then aim for wines from cooler climates in France or look to purchase wines that are labeled as chablis.
Volume: If you are looking for a more medium-bodied Chardonnay then go for wines from Australia, New Zealand, or South America. If you want a more full-bodied example look to purchase wines from France or California – but be careful about ‘big’ flavors in these examples because extra oak can produce overwhelming gusts of fruitiness that aren’t always desirable.
Serving and storage suggestion for Chardonnay:
Chardonnay is best served at around 55-65 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re looking to purchase a Chablis, then serve it slightly colder than this and give it a bit of time to ‘open up’. This wine should be allowed to breathe for 15 minutes or so before drinking if possible! Store chardonnay in your refrigerator until ready for serving to slow the process of oxidation and keep it fresh if possible.
The similarities of chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc:
Both have a similar aroma – apple, citrus, and lemon.
Chardonnays tend to be fuller bodied while Sauvignon Blancs tend to be lighter.
Both pair well with seafood dishes. The only difference is that Chardonnay pairs better with butter sauce & heavier dishes, while Sauvignon Blanc tends to pair better with sauces that are more acidic/citrusy.
The differences between chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc:
A Chardonnay will taste more oaky, buttery, or creamy when it is older.
Sauvignon Blanc will be more acidic (and leaner) but also show strong grassy/herb flavors & aromas.
Chardonnay! We love both grapes very much, however the richness & creaminess that comes with aging a Chardonnay is hard to beat. It’s great if you’re looking for something with more substance and interest.
What is the primary difference between a chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc?
There are many differences between these two. Chardonnay is fuller bodied and typically has flavors such as vanilla or cream while Sauvignon Blanc leans towards being grassier/citrus.
Sauvignon Blanc tends to have higher acidity which lowers its sugar content vs. Chardonnay which will have more sugar because it is typically aged in oak, where it extracts sugars from the wood.
Chardonnay! Although both wines can be high in tannin this grape produces wines that are typically higher in tannin than those made from Sauvignon Blanc.
What is the healthiest wine to drink?
There is no one answer to this question! There are certain wines which contain antioxidants but that doesn’t mean all wines will or won’t. The best way to tell if a wine is healthy for you is by looking at the ingredients – stay away from wines that have added sulfites (unless you really enjoy them) and look for organic options when possible.
Which wine is good for weight loss?
There are several factors that come into play when trying to answer this question. We would say avoid the sugary, high alcohol wines in favor of lighter, lower alcohol wines with higher acidity – but again there are many options! The only way to tell is by looking at the ingredients & getting familiar with which ones benefit your body & palate.
Which it is right for me?
Both wines go well with a variety of dishes and have a good amount of body. If you’re looking to buy a wine for a special occasion, then pick the one that best fits your needs/likes! Sauvignon Blanc can be paired with many lighter seafood dishes while Chardonnay pairs better with heavier or cream-based sauces.
How many tastes/glasses can I get from one bottle?
One bottle of wine will typically give you 2-3 glasses. The amount will vary depending on how full each glass is poured as well as what kind of glassware is being used (some glasses hold more volume than others).
The pros and cons of chardonnay and sauvignon Blanc:
Mellow fruit flavors
Great with a variety of dishes including heavier dishes such as cream sauces and fish with butter sauce
Might be too heavy for some people’s tastes – particularly if you’re looking for a lighter wine.
Sauvignon Blanc pros:
Great if you enjoy medium bodied wines that are flavorful & acidic with herbal/grassy flavors and aromas.
Sauvignon Blanc cons:
Less body than Chardonnay, may not be quite substantial enough if you are looking for something more “round”.
Blending different types of wine together can create interesting flavors and textures. When it comes to Chardonnay vs Sauvignon Blanc, which is the better white wine? The answer may surprise you. While Sauvignon Blanc is a classic choice for those looking for a dry white wine, Chardonnay offers more complexity and depth when blended with other wines. If you’re looking to impress your guests at your next dinner party, consider giving them a taste of both Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc – they won’t be disappointed.