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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!

Vilma Mazaite of laV Headshot Photo Credit Buff Strickland“Chablis is the ideal wine for brunch. Besides going so well with eggs and oysters, it is the perfect wine with croissants! Choose Chablis that has some oak influences and you will see how that toasty and, at the same time, crisp texture of the wine complements creamy and buttery flavors of classic pastry.”

“My recent obsession is green tomatillo sauce (purée green tomatoes, salt, parsley, mint, olive oil, lime), which I add to almost everything. It goes perfectly with Chablis since these both have great acidity. Just be careful with chilies since they can overpower wine.”

-Vilma Mazaite, 36, Wine Consultant/Sommelier Creator of Off-Beat Burgundy, February 2017, Austin, Texas

Rouge Tomate - Pascaline HeadShot3“With a young Chablis with no oak, I really like guacamole. The bright, slightly green acid of the wine, super pure with no oxidation, works very well to balance out the flesh and fat of the avocado while responding to the acid of the lemon and the intensity of the raw onion. The cilantro is underlying the youth of the wine. Just don’t make it too spicy.”

“I fell in love with Badrijani Nigvzit [fried eggplant rolls stuffed with walnut, garlic, coriander and fenugreek paste]. The recipe is not too tough to make. It is pretty rich but these earthy, smoky, nutty flavors are highly addictive. Substitute an older (5-8 years), lightly oaked Chablis, or one from a warmer vintage, for Chablis Premier Cru. It cuts through the eggplant flesh, supports the bitterness and will smooth the nut flavor. It is a pretty awesome pairing.”

-Pascaline Lepeltier, 35, Master Sommelier Biodynamic and organic wine expert Beverage Director, Rouge Tomate, New York City

ML WS 2 copy“Sushi is one of my favorite pairings with Chablis. The salinity and delicacy really mimic the intense minerality and light texture of Chablis. For me, saba (mackerel), hamachi (yellowtail), uni (sea urchin), and madai (Japanese sea bream) are the best because they are so delicate. They are also less “fishy” fish so their flavors won’t overwhelm lean and zippy Chablis.”

“While in Chablis, I had one of the most incredible pairings ever with Chablis. It was this beautiful poached sea bass on top of a shallow pour of dashi. The saline, smoky, and intense broth made the lemon curd and quartz qualities of the Chablis pop. It was a revelation.”

-Marie-Louise Friedland, 28, Sommelier State Bird Provisions, San Francisco

Cool-Climate Chardonnay

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.

Amonite dans le vignoble de Chablis

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.

Chablis Categories

  • 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.

Learn More

larrybird-2@purechablis, #PureChablis, #chablis, @wineenthusiast

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Roger Voss’s guide to understanding Chablis and reviews on www.winemag.com.