photo collage of Jordan Winery appetizers and cheese with Jordan Chardonnay bottle with image text "best Chardonnay-friendly appetizers"

Wine and Appetizers Pairing Guide: Chardonnay

What is America’s favorite white wine? By far, chardonnay tops the list. And what’s not to like? So versatile, it comes in many different styles, from rich, buttery and oaky to light, French-style wine. Both have their place in a meal, but the food-friendly, crisper version can sail through a menu like the lovely chameleon that it is. Higher acidity, lower alcohol, and balanced chardonnays allow for pairing with a wider variety of food, with each bite offering another magic moment. Here we present our wine and appetizers pairing guide for chardonnay featuring four recipes that can be served as the first morsel on a menu or at a passed hors d’oeuvres reception.

Wine and Appetizers Guide for Chardonnay

Dungeness Crab Appetizer served on white spoons

Dungeness Crab in Miso Vinaigrette

A classic appetizer pairing for chardonnay, Dungeness crab has a delicate, naturally buttery flavor that highlights the round, creaminess of the Queen of White Wine. This recipe combines luscious crab with Meyer lemon and Asian accents of miso, mirin and sesame seeds. An umami-rich vinaigrette, it creates a spoonful of pairing power with the citrus notes in Jordan Russian River Valley Chardonnay.

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vegetable tempura in white bowl with jordan chardonnay

Garden Vegetable Tempura

We all seek to eat more veggies and freshly fried tempura produce paves a delicious path to make this happen. While our recipe features summer garden ingredients, you can substitute whatever you’ve harvested or gathered at the market. From squash and fava bean blossoms, snap peas or ripe avocado, this easy recipe transforms anything in season. The salty, crispiness of the tempura batter finesses rather than overwhelms a delicate chardonnay, and the higher acidity complements all the ingredients. For extra flavor boost, garnish with fresh herbs like basil and a drizzle of high-quality olive oil.

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abalone tiradito appetizer in shell with jordan chardonnay

Red Snapper Tiradito

This flavor-packed snapper recipe had to make our wine and appetizers pairing guide for chardonnay. A cross between Spanish ceviche and Japanese sashimi, tiradito hails from Peru, where they traditionally keep it raw. Our version incorporates both Polynesian and Chinese seasoning and “cooks” the fish with fresh lime juice. This refreshing appetizer is an homage to Hawaii; it makes for the perfect first course served with a crisp, chilled chardonnay by its side.

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cheese with jordan chardonnay appetizer

Chardonnay Friendly Cheese Platter

Although there are exceptions, we feel white wines rule the cheese pairing world. This grape’s natural acidity, full-body, and creaminess lends itself to the textures and flavors of a host of cheeses. In this blog, we break down the elements of pairing cheese and chardonnay and provide a list of tips of how to build the ideal appetizer platter.

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Enjoy our wine and appetizers guide? If red wine is on your table too, check out our cabernet sauvignon appetizer pairing guide as well.

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Growing up in Hawaii, Todd Knoll developed a strong connection to the land and the ocean at an early age. As executive chef at Jordan Winery, he grows hundreds of heirloom vegetables, fruits and herbs, cooks hors d’oeuvres and meals for guests, makes olive oil, and tends to the estate’s honeybees and chickens. A visual artist at heart, Chef Knoll spends his free time with his son and wife, Nitsa Knoll, exploring the diverse terrain of Sonoma County with camera and pencil in hand, capturing moments in nature to inspire his next recipe.

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