Skinny, curvy or bubbly. Which New Zealand Chardy is right for you?

NZ Chardonnay Styles

Sip sip hooray, today is Chardonnay Day!

The queen of white wines comes originally from Burgundy in eastern France but over the years it has found a new home in pretty much any wine region around the globe, including New Zealand, due to its ability to adapt easily to new conditions. 

Marlborough is the biggest Chardonnay region in terms of plantings, followed by sunny Hawke’s Bay and New Zealand’s Chardy capital Gisborne.

Some wine lovers follow the ABC rule – Anything But Chardonnay – but the world’s most planted white varietal simply doesn’t get out of fashion. And one of the main reasons for that is its versatility in styles and food-friendliness.

NZ Chardonnay

Trends come and go but Chardonnay is keeping up with it all. Whether you’re after a curvy and creamy, fruity and skinny or bubbly white wine, Chardonnay has it all!

We’ve put together an overview of the three main Chardonnay styles in New Zealand to help you choose the right Chardonnay this #ChardonnayDay


Buttery, oaky, and creamy with lots of personality and charm. Think Brigitte Bardot. Curvy, full-bodied Chardonnays are right for you if the cream on top of your dessert is a must and full-fat Lattes your go-to coffee in the morning.

Check wine labels for terms like “oak aged” or even “fermented in oak barrels” and indulge in vanilla, nut and butterscotch flavours.


Save: Spade Oak Vigneron Chardonnay 2015, Gisborne, $30

Splurge: Man O’War Valhalla Chardonnay 2017, Waiheke Island, $45

Bardot vs Moss

Curvy vs Skinny Chardonnay | Bardot vs Moss


Unoaked or skinny Chardonnay is right for you if you’re after a light and fruity wine. Think Kate Moss dressed in Chanel. Classic, understated elegance and style but with a distinct lean profile. It’s not your extroverted Sav but a white wine with plenty of citrus characters and a refreshing finish.

Look out for the term “unoaked” obviously and descriptors like crisp, lean and minerality.


Save: Babich Hawke’s Bay Unoaked Chardonnay 2017, Hawke’s Bay, $17

Splurge: Sacred Hill Virgin Chardonnay 2014, Hawke’s Bay, $30



Sparkling Chardonnay? Yes, most bubbles are actually blends of Chardonnay and varietals such as Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier to name only a couple, but you can also get 100% Bubbly Chardy which is called “Blanc de Blanc”.

No 1 Family Estate Reserve

New Zealand sparkling wine producers make stunning examples of this festive tipple, including No.1 Wine Estate who were the first to produce it in the country.


Save: Matahiwi Blanc de Blanc NV, Hawke’s Bay, $22

Splurge: No 1 Family Estate Reserve NV, Marlborough | $96


Sooo, which New Zealand Chardonnay are you sipping today?