Chardonnay blog with recipe gratinated mussels

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

Hey Hello! How are the dry January people doing? Are you holding up? As I indicated in my previous blog, I am not participating: I had an assignment from Francine. Submit a blog about the Chardonnay grape. And so I immediately had a good argument why I didn't have to participate and could try out a lot of Chardonnays over the past two weeks. Read along in this Chardonnay blog with a bonus recipe for mussels au gratin from the oven.

The chardonnay grape

The Chardonnay grape is the only grape that does well in so many different climates. A grape that grows almost all over the world and puts its own stamp on the taste in every climate. So you get a completely different wine from which there are countless varieties. With Chardonnay you can go in all directions. From fruity, dry, with a bit of acidity, everything except tight dry; that is the characteristic of a classic Sauvignon Blanc. You will never find that in a Chardonnay.

Now don't say no….

Chardonnay blog with mussels au gratin
At Domaine deBray in Burgundy.

My mother always said: I don't like Chardonnay! Until I took her to Burgundy, the birthplace of this popular grape. There she intensely enjoyed her glass of Chablis on the terrace. "Huh", but mom, you didn't like Chardonnay, did you? Mothers had no idea that Chablis is made from the Chardonnay grape. I understood at once why she didn't like Chardonnay in her experience: she just doesn't like wine that has been aged in wood. Very often Chardonnay is given wood because the wine, if it comes from lesser soil, has hardly any aroma and flavourings. And that is eating whole eggs with the Chardonnay grape. There are so many different types that every wine drinker likes one of the types of Chardonnay. mussels au gratin from the oven recipe


There is so much to tell about this beautiful grape variety, but today I will limit myself to the different flavors that you can get with the Chardonnay grape. This has everything to do with the origin of the wine.

Burgundy chardonnay

The Chardonnay grape is said to have been discovered in Burgundy, what is true of this is still a mystery to the entire wine world. But the fact is that the grape really comes into its own. And you get the most fantastic wines from it. Provided you are a good winemaker. Because: not all Bourgogne Chardonnay's are great. You have probably heard of Pugligny-Montrachet, Meursault or Chassagne-Montrachet. These are small wine regions in Burgundy with worldly wines: the crème de la crème of white wine worldwide. For a good classic Burgundy you normally pay at least 40 euros. (Now in these complicated times I see that, just like all wines that you encounter a lot in gastronomy, they are offered for less and less. Nice for you but less nice for the catering industry...).

Wine / food combinations with Burgundy Chardonnay

Chablis – This Chardonnay is known for its minerality. This is due to the limestone soil in the area. Super with basically all raw shellfish and crustaceans.

Classic wood-aged Burgundy Chardonnay – Put a grilled lobster on the table and your evening can't go wrong! But you can also serve this wine with a piece of white meat, and then it can even come from the BBQ.

German Chardonnay

Last spring I experienced something that I still can't get over. I was at the house Siegrist in the Palatinate, Germany. Mr. Siegrist, the winemaker, let me taste his Chardonnay Barrique from the barrel here. I didn't know what I was going through: it is that I knew I was in Germany but if someone had said this would be a Meursault I would have believed it. And that's not surprising: Mr. Siegrist was educated in Burgundy.

In Baden, more and more people are working with the Chardonnay grape, because the temperatures lend themselves well to it. Winery Dr. Heger also makes fantastic Chardonnay's that are barely distinguishable from the classic Bourgogne variety. There is one small difference: that is that the German variant is always slightly higher in the acids. What I personally love, by the way, gives you just a little more tension in the wine and it is less “log”.

Wine / food combinations with German Chardonnay

Fried fish, light meat dishes, cheeses: cheese fondue

Chardonnay blog with mussels au gratin

Italian Chardonnay

In Italy they also make beautiful wines from the Chardonnay grape. Northern Italian Chardonnay, for example from Alto Adige, are elegant, mineral, fragile, subtle wines. This is due to the cool climate. Southern Italian Chardonnay, such as Puglia, where it is warmer, they are much fuller, riper, thicker and “logger” a somewhat heavier drink.

Wine / food combinations with Italian Chardonnay

Oh a ” Cozze gratinate alla Pugliese” or gratinated mussels from Puglia. This is so delicious with a glass of Italian Chardonnay! I immediately feel like it and now I realize that I still have a picture of this. From last September when we were having lunch at Porte Cesareo. What a wonderful afternoon what that, on the water with delicious food and a good glass of cold Chardonnay. I dream some more….

If we wanted to pay…

Oh and what is nice to add: they take the afternoon closure quite seriously there. Mary, I was enjoying my wine. Loved the view and the sun so I ordered another one. That was allowed, but they were just going to close. So I got my vino at the same time as the bill. Which had to be dealt with right away. The door was locked and we enjoyed another half hour on the terrace…

cozze gratinate alla pugliese
We had a delicious lunch in Porto Cesareo in Italy, with mussels au gratin.

New World Chardonnay

Banana, apple, melon, passion fruit, mango… In other words, exotic fruits, this is what you taste in a Chardonnay from the new world. I hear you think, what kind of country is that?! New world?! That's what we call wines from the southern hemisphere in the wine world. These wines are often just delicious to drink, with a drink or on the terrace, because they are so full of taste.

Wine / food combinations with new world Chardonnay

Would you like something to eat with it? These wines lend themselves very well to Asian or spicy dishes: the exotic fruit in the wine tempers the pepper, which together makes it a beautiful whole. Choose a wood-aged variant with, for example, stir-fried steak strips and one without wood with sushi. mussels au gratin from the oven

House wine Chardonnay

Everyone's friend: do you like dry white wine but not sour, too much fruit, a small amount of residual sweetness and not too much frills? Then a house wine Chardonnay is perfect for you! What do I mean by house wine Chardonnay? The cheaper variants, which cost less than a tenner in the supermarket or in the wine specialist. Of course there are exceptions, but if you opt for a Chardonnay in that price category from, for example, the Pays 'd Oc then you are always in the right place! Recently I had my hands on one, super Chardonnay “Beauvignac” from the winery Cave de Pomerols. Full Chardonnay with wood for only 9 euros.

So enjoy with a big G !!

Chardonnay blog with mussels au gratin

To let you enjoy it as much as I did in sunny Italy on that terrace with a delicious chardonnay, you will receive the recipe for this as a bonus”Cozze gratinate alla Pugliese” or mussels au gratin. And because I am actually a real Zeeland girl, we naturally make it with real Zeeland mussels! mussels au gratin from the oven recipe

Mussels gratinated: Cozze gratinate alla Pugliese
Go to recipe
Chardonnay blog with mussels au gratin
This “Chardonnay blog with mussels au gratin” is a contribution by guest foodie Fleur Verloo. follow her here on Instagram.

Want to read more from Fleur? Check out the blog(s) below

We're going to have wine on Christmas Eve.

Nice bubbles and delicious currant buns.

On an inspiring wine journey with expert Fleur.

Delicious Happen is a multi-media company, so you can also find me on various social media. follow me on FacebookPinterest en Instagram under @delicioushappen. If you make this recipe I would love it if you tagged me #delicioushappen. A comment below in the comments is also nice of course!

mussels au gratin from the oven recipe

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