Hello there! I'm Dr. Vinifera, or "Vinny" for short. Ask me your toughest wine questions, from the technical aspects of winemaking to the fine points of etiquette. I hope you find my answers educational and even amusing. Looking for a particular answer? Check my archive and my FAQs.
Dear Dr. Vinny,
Does Chardonnay have character or is it a caricature?
—Annita H., Rotterdam, Holland
Chardonnay has become so popular that it’s created a bit of a backlash among certain wine lovers. Perhaps you’ve heard of the “ABC movement,” which stands for “Anything But Chardonnay,” that arose in the late 1980s and is still heard of now and again.
To answer your question, it can be both. There’s a lot of Chardonnay in the world, including some stunning examples from Burgundy, California, Australia, New Zealand, Oregon and elsewhere. There are also a lot of mass-produced examples that can come across as alcoholic or harsh, overly ripe and sweet, or show too much oak, butter or vanilla flavor.
Do you have a question for Dr. Vinny? Ask it here...
Learn to taste wine like a pro, pull a cork with flair, get great wine service in a restaurant and more
Learn from the experts and get the most out of each sip. Take one of our online courses or take them all—from the ABCs of Tasting to in-depth seminars on Food Pairing, California Cabernet, Bordeaux, Tuscany, Sensory Evaluation and more.
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions