Your Guide to Using Chardonnay for Cooking!

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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So you’ve decided to incorporate wine into your cooking! Using wine to cook helps amplify, strengthen, and improve the taste and aroma of your food. Not to be mistaken with masking the taste of your food, wine simply helps to bring out the flavors of the food. 

White wine such as Chardonnay helps to balance acid content in your food without diminishing the flavors. Red wine specifically is also healthy if used in moderation when cooking or consuming! Due to different factors like antioxidants in the wine, it’s said to help protect blood vessels in your heart. 

Bottle of wine near a bowl - Your Guide to Using Chardonnay for Cooking!

Want to Cook with Chardonnay but can’t decide on a brand?

When choosing alcohol to cook with in general, it’s important to know what you’re adding it to. This will help you determine when the alcohol is cooked off the food, leading to the best flavor you could ask for. 

The baselines of using wine for cooking include dishes like tomato sauces and stews. When meat comes into play, it’s best to add in the wine after you’ve browned the meat and vegetables. Chardonnay specifically is normally used with heavy cream dishes such as gravy or heavy cream sauce.

Brands to look into when wanting to cook with Chardonnay include but are not limited to:

  • Barefoot
  • Rombauer
  • Newman’s Own
  • Jam Butter

The best thing you can do is just try out different brands to see which fits best for that specific dish. 

What’s a good Chardonnay to cook with?

There are many brands and unique Chardonnay’s you can utilize for your cooking. The best Chardonnay you can cook with is any Chardonnay with little to no notes of oak. Those wines with oak tones will cook into a heavy bitter taste which might ruin the meal. 

List of Best Chardonnay wines for cooking

Four good choices of Chardonnay you can use to cook are listed below. They are listed with their unique signature notes that would compliment your dish of choice. 

  • Heron Chardonnay – Notes: citrus, tropical fruit, and green apple.
  • 2018 Benovia Chardonnay – Notes: oak, lemon, pear, citrus, and vanilla.
  • 2018 Flora Springs Family Select Chardonnay – Notes: bold & dry, creamy, lemon, toasty, mineral tension. 
  • 2017 Dog Point Chardonnay – Notes: faint oak, vanilla, lemon, grapefruit, apple, and peach.

Is Chardonnay a good white wine to use for cooking?

Chardonnay is a good white to use when cooking, although there are a few things to note when searching for a perfect fit. This basically concludes a chardonnay that has little to no oaky notes. This is due to the fact that Chardonnay’s with oak notes will become more heavy and bitter in taste as they are cooked, which will result in an unfavorable dish.

As listed above, Chardonnay without notes of oak will leave your dish with more benefits. Oak-less Chardonnay will temper and level the dish’s acidity and enhance the flavors and rich tones in the food. Thick, dry, and immensely flavored wines will ensure not only a well-flavored dish – but an experience.

Is Chardonnay good for cooking risotto?

Absolutely! Chardonnay is actually the best wine to use when specifically cooking risotto. This is because Chardonnay, in general, fits really well when cooking dishes that incorporate heavy cream. The Chardonnay will define and bring out the flavors of the dish.

  • Other dishes to consider using Chardonnay for when cooking include:
  • Shrimp scampi
  • French onion soup
  • Chicken piccata
  • White chocolate tiramisu trifle with spiced pears

There are tons of not only basic dishes to experiment with when using Chardonnay for cooking, but there are also a lot of experimental recipes from the chardonnay loving community! So go get cooking!

Final Thoughts on Cooking with Chardonnay

There are a plethora of different brands and types of Chardonnay you can use when cooking! Ultimately when looking for the perfect Chardonnay to use when cooking dishes like risotto, you’ll always be keeping an eye open for a chardonnay without oak notes.

The most recommended Chardonnay used for cooking would be Heron Chardonnay, with its lack of any oak notes and intense fruity notes. It is most favored by those who cook with the wine. White wine like Chardonnay is best for cooking any dish with a heavy cream base, such as a stew or shrimp scampi.