Chablis is one of the most elegant and sophisticated white wines. Make sure to store, serve, pair, and drink a Chablis the right way.
What Chablis etiquette is
Chablis etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and drink Chablis. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.
If you are hosting, follow Chablis etiquette to appropriately serve it to your guests.
If you are a guest, respect Chablis etiquette rules to properly drink and enjoy it.
What you should know about Chablis
Chablis is a white wine made from Chardonnay grapes. It is produced in the northern part of the Burgundy wine region in France.
Chablis is a dry wine. There are 4 classifications of Chablis, based on their quality. In descending order: Grand Cru, Premier Cru, Chablis, and Petit Chablis.
Etiquette rules for serving and drinking Chablis
1) How to store Chablis
Store Chablis in a cool place. Keep the bottle away from direct light and far from any source of heat.
Place the bottle in a horizontal position, to keep the cork moist. Dry corks might let the oxygen in and spoil the wine.
Do not store Chablis in the fridge or in the freezer.
After opening it, a bottle of Chablis can last about 3 or 4 days.
2) How to prepare Chablis
Chablis does not need decanting.
To prepare Chablis for serving, it is sufficient to chill it to bring the wine to its optimal temperature.
Depending on the type of Chablis, you should place the bottle in the fridge or in a bucket of ice and water between 1 and 3 or 4 hours before serving.
Avoid chilling glasses in the fridge. The condensation waters down the wine and dilutes its taste.
3) How to serve & present Chablis
Serve Chablis chilled but not ice cold.
The recommended serving temperature varies, based on the classification.
- Petit Chablis at about 9°C (48°F).
- Chablis and Premier Cru at 11°C (52°F).
- Grand Cru at 13°C (55°F).
Avoid colder serving temperatures, as they prevent the wine from releasing its bouquet. Take the bottle out of the fridge 20 minutes before opening it.
Present Chablis in its bottle. After opening the bottle, you can place it in a bucket of water and ice to keep it chilled. It is good etiquette to open the bottle at the dining table.
Serve Chablis in white wine glasses, which are slightly taller and thinner compared to red wine glasses. Hold the bottle by its body, never by its neck or cork. Fill the glass between ⅓ and ½.
4) When to serve & drink Chablis
Chablis is usually an elegant and important wine. It is well-suited for formal occasions, such as a formal dinner. However, Chablis may be out of place on informal occasions. Such as a picnic or barbecue.
You can serve Chablis as an aperitif before the meal, or pair it with a sophisticated course during the meal. Chablis can accompany cheese platters too.
5) Food & aromas to pair Chablis with
The ideal food and aroma pairings with Chablis vary based on the classification of the wine.
Petit Chablis pairs well with oysters, raw fish, prawns, fried eggs and omelets, goat cheese, Gouda, and Gruyère.
Chablis pairs with fish, poultry, asparagus, sushi, and Beaufort or Emmental cheeses.
Premier Cru pairs with fish, poultry, veal, and snails (escargots).
Grand Cru pairs with foie gras, lobster, prawns, fish, poultry, and oysters.
6) Etiquette for drinking Chablis
Drink Chablis in white wine glasses. Hold the glass by its stem to avoid warming the wine with your hand.
Drink it in small sips. Chablis can be considered a meditation wine. A glass of Chablis should last between 15 and 30 minutes. Never drink shots of Chablis.
Never add ice to Chablis. First, ice waters down the wine and its bouquet. Furthermore, ice is usually added to low-quality or cheap beverages. Thus, adding ice to Chablis can be seen as an offense to the quality of the wine, and therefore to your host.
Chablis etiquette: the worst mistakes
The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors.
A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.
Avoid the worst Chablis etiquette mistakes.
- 10/10. Getting drunk.
- 8/10. Drinking shots of Chablis.
- 8/10. Adding ice to Chablis
- 7/10. Serving Chablis warm.
- 7/10. Not holding the glass by the stem.
- 5/10. Overfilling the glass.
Additional information for properly serving Chablis
How many calories per serving?
Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.
On average, Chablis contains slightly less than 80 calories per 100 ml (3.5 oz). A glass of Chablis is typically 150 ml (5 oz) and has about 115 calories.
How to buy the best Chablis
A crucial factor in Chablis etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.
Chablis is available all year round.
Choose the best
Always look for the AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée) certification on the bottle. AOC guarantees that the producers respected a set of rules to make the wine and meet quality standards.
Choose your Chablis based on the classification, but also on the occasion. As an example, Grand Cru is often considered the highest-quality Chablis, but it may not be the best option for a light aperitif or for pairing with some aromas.
Alternatives to Chablis
You can substitute Chablis with a comparable dry, elegant white wine. Some Riesling or Chardonnay wines can be good alternatives.
- Chablis region: chablis-wines.com