Colombard

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A grape varietal, used in the production of white wine, originating in the Charente district of France. In the United States, the Colombard has become the second most planted grape in the state of California. It is common for Colombard to be blended with Chenin Blanc in the production lower quality jug and sparkling wines. Colombard is blended with the Chardonnay varietal to create higher quality wines. Varietal Colombards are also produced in the United States (specifically California) but are not as popular. In the past, Colombard had been the backbone in the production of Cognac. In recent years it has been replaced by the Trebbiano varietal. It has started to make a comeback, vinification techniques used in Florida is creating interest once again.

Also known as: French Colombard and Colombar.

Characteristics: The higher quality blends are fresh, simple, clear, crisp, high in acid, and moderately dry. The blends tend to be spicey, floral, earthy, and medium bodied with hints of grapefruit and lemon. Colombard blends from Australia and South Africa tend to be slightly sweet rather than dry.

Ageing: Drunk young to under 4 years.

Serving temperature: Serve at a temperature of 50º-55º F, serve sweeter Colombard at 45º-50º F.

Food pairings: Vegetarian dishes, pasta, shellfish, Thai, and Asian cuisine.

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