Pair It Up! Cashews and Chardonnay

This year has been exceptionally busy with travel (yes, I love my job) and through such a hectic schedule, I started to notice that small things make a big difference. Habits that you repeat from one place to another start to comfort you. A home away from home. One of the simple pleasures during my latest travels has been to snack on cashews (and sometimes other nuts - specifically hazelnuts) and sip on Chardonnay.

The pairing excitement first hit me when I was going to Australia. The total travel time in the air was 27 hours. On the first leg, the flight attendant kindly offered roasted cashews and wine. I had a choice of Grüner Veltliner or Chardonnay. I went for the rich, nutty and unctuous Chard from Adelaide Hills. I had Australia on my mind. When I first took a sip after having a few nuts, I was in pure heaven. It put an immediate smile on my face; I was revived.

Well-made Chardonnays often have that nice roasted hazelnut on the finish. It is a descriptor often used for good Burgundies and Chardonnay from Margaret River. These flavours echo the nuts well, especially cashews. They are just made for each other.

This combo became my comforting treat on every flight and sometimes even in my hotel room while writing. Call it work inspiration. Now back in Canada, I catch myself having the same snack at aperitif time. I urge you to try it! Aussie Chardonnay and Burgundy are good, but Canadian Chardonnay is a terrific option.

Some of my favourites on this site are the 2013 Tribute Series Old Main Road Chardonnay from Meyer Family Vineyards, Tawse's 2012 Estate Chardonnay, and the 2012 Chardonnay from Tantalus.

The key to having a great match is to opt for a richer style. As they would say, go nuts!

2013 Tribute Series Chardonnay        2012 Estate Chardonnay       2012 Chardonnay

Michelle Bouffard is a wine educator and journalist who splits her time between Montréal & Vancouver. She is the president of the BC Chapter of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. She Tweets @michellebwine and Instagrams @michellebouffard.

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