A Fat Bastard's Guide to California Chardonnay

Fat Bastard
3 February 2021 | Fat Bastard

A Fat Bastard's Guide to California Chardonnay

California: it knows how to party, but more importantly, it knows how to chardy. With iconic regions that are globally celebrated for their wines, the Golden State is known for producing some of the most flavourful fruit in the world and chardonnay is the pick of the bunch.

The skinny on Californian chardonnay

As far as California's vine plantings go, the chardonnay grape reigns supreme, covering some 100,000 acres. It makes sense, given chardonnay is the most popular wine in the US, and the Napa Valley is especially known as a hotspot for the fattest juice in the town. Chardonnay from Napa tends to be big and buttery with a lot of oak influence, which is just the sort of Fat Bastard we love to drink. That said, the Napa name commands high prices and while we love a fat bastard, we've no interest in seeing skinny wallets, which is why we source our chardonnay from the criminally underrated Monterey region.

Say a big, fat hey to Monterey

Nestled on California's rugged Central Coast, between the major hubs of San Fran and LA, Monterey is a small city with big appeal. Think fresh seafood, golden beaches and a Pacific Ocean teeming with whales, sea lions and seals – the Fat Bastards of the sea – not to mention plenty of opportunities to hit the trails. The world-famous Big Sur region sits just south of the city, but it's the wine trails, rather than hiking, that have Fat Bastards like us salivating.

Monterey chardonnay has a natural richness, much more so than its siblings further north. The tropical fruit flavours are there in abundance, as are the buttery notes we love so much. Some Monterey chardonnays aren't even oaked because of this, but we like 'em fat so ours is aged in both French and American oak to really bring some weight.

Pairing Californian chardonnay

There's only one thing a Fat Bastard loves more than full-bodied wines and that's a full stomach. Chardonnay is pretty versatile and we're always fans of matching a wine with the local food scene. A buttery Bastard will pair well with Californian seafood staples like lobster and scallops, or meaty fish like halibut, as well as creamy, more international dishes like gnocchi with burnt sage butter. A good rule of thumb is the richer the wine, the richer the food, and vice versa, so don't hesitate to mess with butter on butter.


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