Sauvignon Blanc vs. Chardonnay: The Untold Similarities, Differences & Selection Criteria

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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You probably think that Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are basically the same wine. They do look the same after all, don’t they? 

While holding more similarities than differences, there’s more than meets the eye. Allow us to explore the specific comparisons of these two wine choices together.


Is Sauvignon Blanc The Same As Chardonnay?

While visually similar, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are not the same wine, and both hold unique properties when it comes to their flavors and aromas. 


What Is Similar About Sauvignon Blanc And Chardonnay?

There are a few similarities to note between these two wines, the most obvious being they are both white wines originating from France. 

Both can be made into Dry wines and also have the same food pairing recommendations, some of these being chicken, pork, and halibut. 

A wine glass with wine in it near a bottle - Sauvignon Blanc vs. Chardonnay: The Similarities, Differences & Selection Criteria.

What Is The Difference Between Sauvignon Blanc And Chardonnay?

Don’t let the color perceive you, for they also have a decent share of differences. Chardonnay’s fermentation process can greatly differ from Sauvignon Blanc, leading to both the wines having their own unique notes. 

Especially Chardonnay, when it’s aged in oak. 

Chardonnay’s baseline notes can have a longer range because some are aged in oak, but overall you will find Chardonnay to have notes of apple and pineapple or when oaked vanilla and butter. 

On the other end, Sauvignon Blanc also has its unique notes that differ from Chardonnay’s notes. These include gooseberry, honeydew, peach, and more baseline notes. 


Which One Is Sweeter Or Drier Than The Other?

Chardonnay is drier than Sauvignon Blanc. It’s important to take those styles into perspective, considering Sauvignon Blanc is typically made into two styles, sweet and dry. 

While Chardonnay is made to just be dry, overall, Sauvignon Blanc is considered to be sweeter than a Chardonnay within the wine community. This is mostly thanks to its unique notes compared to Chardonnay’s oaked and unoaked notes.


Which One Has More Alcohol Content?

This greatly depends, for the alcohol content of both beverages remains significantly similar to one another. 

Chardonnay tends to carry an average of around 13-14% alcohol content by volume, while a Sauvignon Blanc’s alcohol content ranges from 12-14% greatly depending on the region’s climate in which it was produced.


How Do I Choose Between Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay?

Both Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are popular white wine choices, so how do you choose which one to serve at your next dinner party? Both compliment the same meals, after all. 

Choosing one will greatly rely on your preference of flavor if you prefer buttery vanilla notes over fruity. You might find yourself enjoying an oaked Chardonnay over the Sauvignon Blanc. 

However, if those buttery notes aren’t for you and you’re looking for something more sweet and refreshing; you would be more likely to prefer the Sauvignon Blanc.

Final Thoughts On Sauvignon Blanc vs. Chardonnay?

While not the same, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay both hold more similarities than differences. They both originate in France, have the same color, and pair with the same kind of cuisines. 

They also have almost the same amount of alcohol content! Don’t let this fool you because it’s the unique notes that separate them from each other and the fact that Sauvignon Blanc is the sweeter choice of the pair.