France: Burgundy: Chablis
What is "Real" Chablis?
The term Chablis was widely misused in the U.S. in years past to refer to any generic white wine. Happily those days are now in the past. As was the practice of the time, unscrupulous producers had a habit of naming their products after those which were highly coveted..."burgundy", "sauternes", "claret", etc. In this way, it becomes clear that Chablis was highly regarded at the time, though there is no doubt that the lingering confusion created in consumers minds has done the region some harm in this country.
Chablis, in fact, refers to the white wines produced around the town of the same name in northwestern Burgundy, about an hour and a half from Paris. The region is planted exclusively to Chardonnay, and is justly famous for the vibrant, clean, piercing wines that it producers. Classically, Chablis has not been aged in oak so as to preserve the wines distinctively delicate and racy flavors, though it is now not all that uncommon to see an oak-aged example. Classic Chablis pairs brilliantly with seafood and shellfish in particular, though it can also make an excellent aperitif.
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