Your Guide to Unoaked Chardonnay

Last Updated on August 1st, 2023

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It’s Wine Wednesday – you have the glasses, friends, and charcuterie board, but you’re missing the most important thing. Which bottle of wine do you want to drink? It’s been a long day, and you’re looking to unwind, but you don’t know what to have?

To enjoy the best white wine to drink, choose an Unoaked Chardonnay.

What is unoaked chardonnay?

An Unoaked or “naked’ Chardonnay tastes more crisp, floral, and fruity than other wines. Unoaked Chardonnay tastes nice since it uses a more natural grape taste.

This is because an unoaked Chardonnay undergoes wine fermentation in stainless steel tanks. On the other hand, oaked Chardonnay wine is made in oak barrels, which makes it taste more smoky.

Since unoaked Chardonnay is more about tasting the natural fruit, the wine is easy to pair with light foods such as cheese, fish, and chicken. In fact, you can even cook with it since it is so flawless!

Pouring wine into a glass - Your Guide to Unoaked Chardonnay.

How can you tell if a Chardonnay is unoaked?

If you don’t know how to spot an unoaked Chardonnay, you can start with what it looks like. Generally speaking, when you go through the wine aisle, you will see most of the unoaked Chardonnay bottles are a lot lighter in color.

An oaked Chardonnay will have a darker yellow color as opposed to its unoaked counterpart. However, if all the colors are starting to blend in as you shop, pay attention to the label.

More unoaked Chardonnay’s come from regions of France like Champagne and Chablis, but their labels might not outright say that they are “unoaked.” But, knowing where the wine is coming from gives you an idea of which region to look out for.

Meanwhile, unoaked Chardonnay’s from places such as Mendocino, California, are more likely to blatantly write “unoaked” on their labels. Now you know to show your friends how much you know about your next Wine Wednesday bottle!

Is unoaked chardonnay buttery?

Now, if someone at your Wine Wednesday event says that Chardonnay is not a good wine, here’s what you can tell them. Back in the 1980s, Chardonnay got a bad reputation for being made with a buttery flavor.

Because of that, they gained a reputation for being “butterballs” and having too much butter and sugar. Thanks to “The Anything But Chardonnay” movement, wineries learned to make quality Chardonnay that does not taste “buttery.” It’s all in how it’s made!

Typically speaking, unoaked Chardonnay now has a more refreshing and crisp taste. Like we said, perfect for charcuterie and a bottle on a weekday.

What is a good unoaked chardonnay?

Here are a few examples of good Chardonnay bottles that won’t break the bank:

  • OM Lodi Chardonnay made in California, 2017 OM Lodi Chardonnay: Perfect if you like apple and pear tastes.
  • Domaine De Oliveira Lecestre AC Chablis made in Burgundy, 2019: Since it is so nice, pair it with cheese and compliment each other very well.
  • Balletto Teresa’s Unoaked Chardonnay made in California, 2019 – With notes of peach, green apple, and pear, it is great for those who want a fruitier wine.
  • Rough Day, made in Bulgaria, 2019: With aromas of white peach, honeysuckle, and Granny Smith apple, imagine having this wine with a picnic on a perfect day.

Final Thoughts on unoaked chardonnay?

After learning how great an unoaked Chardonnay can be for your next Wine Wednesday, we leave the last few tips with you. Before enjoying it, remember that white wines always need to be cold when you’re drinking.

Putting it in the refrigerator for 30-40 minutes will do the trick. If you did not drink the whole bottle in one sitting, you can cork it again and put it back in the refrigerator, and it will still be good for two to four days. 

And lastly, if you wait too long to drink the rest of it, use it the next time you cook!