All You Need to Know About Chardonnay

All You Need to Know About Chardonnay

You don’t have to be a wine expert to love a great glass of Chardonnay. It’s actually one of the most popular wines in America. But whether you’re trying to gear up for some wine trivia, select your next bottle, or just desire to know which version might go well as an ingredient in tonight’s cooking adventure, we’ve got just what you’re seeking. 

Here you’ll find some background about Chardonnay, along with a couple of recipes that are made with this signature ingredient. Of course, while you’re adding Chardonnay to your recipe, you can always enjoy a glass too. Cheers! 

All about Chardonnay 

Did you know that Chardonnay is the most popular grape planted in the world? 

It’s named after the small village of Chardonnay, located in France, and it translates into English as “Place of the thistles.” Many Champagnes are made from Chardonnay, specifically those labeled “Blanc de Blancs.” Around 2002, Chardonnay became a popular name for baby girls, born across the United Kingdom. 

You may ask what is the difference between Unoaked Chardonnay and Oaked Chardonnay? In a nutshell: Oaked Chardonnay is aged in oak barrels. This alters the flavor of the wine to a rich, buttery tone. Unoaked Chardonnays, on the other hand, are not kept in oak, but are generally aged in steel and do not obtain the same flavor. 

California Chardonnays are generally spectacular due to the state’s ideal climate and soil. Some of the best California Chardonnays are considered, by many, to come from Monterey and The Russian Valley (in Sonoma County).

Oak Chardonnays are buttery, rich, and have a slight vanilla tone. Buttery Chardonnay pairs particularly well with lobster, crab cakes, and halibut. Unoaked Chardonnays have a more Pinot Grigio taste and pair well with raw seafood, such as oysters. 

French Chablis and White Burgundy are both made from Chardonnay. Of all the wine sold in America (This includes either red or white), Chardonnay is number one.  

And here’s a fun fact for your next wine trivia discussion:  Around 800 AD, the wife of Charles the Great grew so weary of red wine staining her husband’s light-colored beard that she insisted white grapes be planted in their vineyard. This land is now known as the famous, Corton-Charlemagne, and is abundant with Chardonnay. 

Here are a couple of delicious recipes that include Chardonnay:

Chicken Rigatoni with Creamy Chardonnay Sauce 

Chicken Rigatoni with Creamy Chardonnay Sauce 

Brace yourself for a rich pasta dish that incorporates a generous dose of your favorite white wine. All you need for a complete flavorful dinner is this pasta, a simple green salad, and the perfect glass of Chardonnay. 


12 oz of rigatoni

Chicken Ingredients:

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 pound of boneless chicken breasts (remove skin)

Sea salt, to taste 

Red pepper flakes, to taste 

3 tsp Traditional dried Italian seasoning 

Sauce Ingredients:

1 diced medium red onion 

3 scallions, coarsely chopped

5 Tbsp butter

4 garlic cloves, minced  

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 Tbsp flour

1 cup Chardonnay (Preferably Oaked)

1 cup heavy whipping cream

⅓ cup chicken stock

½ cup Parmesan shredded, more for garnish

3 tsp Italian Seasoning

Sea salt to taste 

½ tsp paprika


Cook the rigatoni in boiling salted water, according to package directions. Taste a minute or two early to know when the pasta is al dente.

Dry the chicken breasts with paper towels. Add Italian seasoning, salt, red pepper flakes and gently press into the chicken. 

Heat about 1 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. Sear the chicken for approximately 4 minutes on each side. If the chicken is brown, but not fully cooked, lower the stove to medium, cover, and continue to cook until the center is no longer pink. Remove the chicken from the skillet and discard any liquid from the pan. 

Chardonnay Sauce

Melt the butter in the hot skillet. Then add the red onion and scallions. Sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 additional minutes.  Now, introduce the tomatoes and cook for about 3 more minutes. 

Turn the stove down to medium heat.  Add the flour and stir well, making sure all the ingredients are fully combined. 

Add the Chardonnay and continue to cook about 2 more minutes. Then pour in the heavy cream and stock. Reduce the heat and simmer about 2-3 minutes.  Add salt, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Stir and taste for any necessary seasoning adjustment. 

Final Step:

Put the cooked rigatoni into the skillet of sauce and gently mix it all together. Slice the cooked chicken breasts and add them to the skillet. Cover and allow the chicken to reheat. Plate the pasta, top it with freshly grated Parmesan, pour yourself a glass of Chardonnay, and enjoy! 

You should try some of our dishes that go well with Chardonnay, such as the Tuscan brick chicken or grilled catch of the day. Take a look at our menu here.

At Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar, we have an extensive wine list. If you’re a bit undecided, don’t feel intimidated. Our servers will be happy to go over the list with you. 

You’ll also find spectacular chef-inspired appetizers like our Cauliflower Arancini, and a lunch and dinner menu that includes popular dishes like stone oven Sunflower Pizza, Ricotta Ravioli and Lobster, and a fresh grilled fish of the day. 

If you’re a brunch lover, our weekend brunch menu offers delectable dishes like Nutella French Toast and an unforgettable Pumpkin Ricotta Omelet. 


Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar is a modern interpretation of Italian cuisine while celebrating Italy’s breathtaking countryside. James Beard semi-finalists and top chef veterans, Jeff McInnis and Janine Booth, pay homage to the Italian cuisine by sharing their passion for cooking and Italian flavors. Mi’talia kitchen & bar is your neighborhood Italian restaurant where family, friends and familiar faces gather to celebrate each other, life and great food. welcome home. welcome to Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar.

We are conveniently located in Miami at 5958 South Dixie Highway. 

For reservations, please call us at 305.885.4008