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Celebrate National Chardonnay Day

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This Thursday, May 26th, is National Chardonnay Day. 
 
The rise and fall and return of Chardonnay are sufficient reason for a celebration. You may recall that, in the 80's, Chardonnay was the white wine of choice, in part because 40 years ago a California Chardonnay won the "Judgement of Paris", much to the displeasure of the French. You can watch a video interview with Mike Grgich, who created the award-winning wine, here. Or, go here to read an article about the competition in the LCBO's Vintages magazine. In addition to the historical perspective, you'll learn that the 2014 version of the winning Chardonnay is priced at $75.95 for one 750mL bottle! (Or, watch the movie "Bottle Shock.")
 
Chardonnay was the most-planted white wine grape in California in the 80's, and it dominates still; In 2015, 96,819 acres of Chardonnay were planted in the state -- 52% of the total acreage of white wine grapes. 
 
Today's Chardonnay wines are less oaky and less buttery than those of the 80's. Many commercial Chardonnays are fermented in stainless steel (no oak whatsoever), and I'd say that at Bloor West Winery about half of our Chardonnay production is unoaked. 
 
Remember, too, that Chardonnay is one of the three grape varietals in Champagne (the other two are Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier) and is the heart and soul of many sparkling wines, which are frequently Champagne made somewhere other than the Champagne region of France. 
 
So, whether its "Throwback Thursday" with a buttery Chardonnay... or a clean and unoaked Chardonnay... or a nice, chilled sparkling wine, remember to celebrate National Chardonnay Day this Thursday, May 26, 2016.