One of the biggest and best days of the wine calendar is finally here - July 7th, when we celebrate the magnificent food match that is fried chicken and Chablis with International Chablis & Fried Chicken Day!
Few things go as well together as these two, and it's a match that maybe shouldn't work but totally does.
So today in the DD Wine Guide to the Galaxy, we arrive at the northern tip of Burgundy at the beautiful village of Chablis to celebrate the beautiful, steely whites of the region and the noblest of white grapes, Chardonnay.
For those unfamiliar with the liquid magic from this region, let's take a little moment to answer the age old question - WTF is Chablis?
"This is an archetypally refreshing, long-lived style of white wine which very few wine regions, possibly none other than Chablis, can produce."
Well, in short it's an historic wine-producing town. Wines from Chablis are light, dry whites made solely from Chardonnay, famous for their flinty, steely minerality and crisp acidity.
They're very different from other Chardonnays from anywhere else in Burgundy, though, for a couple of reasons: they are fermented in stainless steel, rarely see a long time in oak, and, perhaps their trademark, come from highly revered Kimmeridgian soils.
These soils are a mineral-rich, limestone filled ancient seabed filled with marine fossils - and these soils are the key to the wines unique character, purity and minerality.
So now that we've had a little bit of education, it's time to grab yourself a family bucket of chicken (or some tofu nuggets!), open a bottle of Chablis and read on for Ian's picks of the collection!
The late Stéphane Moreau was one of the great iconoclasts of his generation and took a fresh approach to making wine in Chablis. His wines were ripe, unadulterated expression of Chablis that received rave critical acclaim - and proved that leaner isn't necessarily better to show off the regional differences in terroir. His use of natural yeasts, biodynamic farming and his high-care-low-interference philosophy made him one of the hottest names in the region.
Since his sudden passing in 2016, though, his wife Virginie has continued to carry the torch, growing grapes and making exceptionally lovely wines true to Stéphane's philosophy.
We only have a small amount to go around and they certainly won't last long, so shop Moreau-Naudet here!
On to another Moreau now - Domaine Christian Moreau!
Their story starts way back in 1814, with a Moreau ancestor working as a barrel maker in Chablis. The family purchased several Grand Cru vineyards over the years, and they're still in ownership of them today.
The Domaine is now run mainly by Christian's son, Fabien, and under his guidance they received organic certification in 2013. They're one of the most sought-after names in the region and we've just received three super rare releases - one from the great premier cru Vaillons vineyard, as well as two brilliant grand cru wines from Valmur and Les Clos.
We only have a couple bottles of each available, and if cellar-worthy Chablis is your thing we recommend you move quickly.
Shop the rare Christian Moreau releases here!
If these wines are a bit out of your price range, never fear - we also have a spectacular value Chablis from centuries-old Domaine Fevre, run by Nathalie and Gilles Fevre. Their AC Chablis is the perfect wine to dip your toe into the waters; with a zesty, fine-boned, minerally palate, it's freshness and soft texture are a true highlight. It's just $45 a bottle, so shop your bargain Chablis magic here!
Or if you want to get the best in one fell swoop, you can always get one of our great regional packs - the Merry Crispness (in July) Chablis Fun Pack or the Chablis Level Up Pack. They're both in fine form and filled with awesome value.
We wish you all a memorable, messy-fingered evening on this wonderful DD International day! And remember - don't panic. Just explore.