Do you serve Chablis as an aperitif? Don’t stop, but do consider these unusual and delicious pairing possibilities beyond sips, chips, shellfish and cheese. When you imagine the ingredients for the Chablis-inspired recipes these sommeliers actually cook, you will surely be inspired to come up with your own. Bon appétit!
-Marie-Louise Friedland, 28, Sommelier State Bird Provisions, San Francisco
Chablis is an appellation in the Bourgogne wine region, halfway between Paris and Beaune. It is Chardonnay at the northern limit of French still wine production. The soil is a rare geological composition called Jurassic Kimmeridgian limestone. It is on the southeastern ridge of the Paris Basin where you still can pick up oyster fossils.
TIP: Chablis’s cool-climate combination of higher acid and lower alcohol levels brightens the taste of food. When you hear Chablis described with a “mineral edge” it is a tactile tongue tension; buttery it is not.
PETIT CHABLIS (2,490 acres) is the lightest wine, grown on Portlandian soil.
CHABLIS (8,787 acres) is the largest area and best quality/ value wine in the region. Most have no oak; some have subtle oak toast.
CHABLIS PREMIER CRU (1,944 acres) is the next level up in taste and price. Vineyards are on the better soils and slopes; more oak and aging ability (5-10 year).
CHABLIS GRAND CRU (252 acres) is the top level on the best limestone slopes on the right bank of the Serein River with the smallest production; most expensive and worth it. It can age for 10 and more years.