Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: What Are The 8 Important Differences To Know?

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay
This is our comparison of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay. Enjoy!

This is our comparison of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay. We’ve extensively researched these two popular wines to help you pick the best for you.

Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are the most popular white wine in the world. One of the pluses of Sauvignon Blanc is that it is affordable too. 🤩

Sauvignon Blanc and Unoaked Chardonnay share some similarities in terms of food pairings and structure.

They both tend to be light and crisp and pair very well with a variety of fish including Sushi. 

Oaked Chardonnay, on the other hand, has more complexity, a different structure, and pairs well with bolder flavors like grilled and smoked dishes.

Find below our wine guide on the most important differences between these two great wines.

Our recommendation for Best Value Sauvignon Blanc is Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Blanc 2020 and for Best Overall is Gérard Boulay Clos de Beaujeu Sancerre 2019.

Our recommendation for Best Value Chardonnay is Régnard Grand Régnard Chablis 2019.

For Best Overall Chardonnay we recommend Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Morgeot’ Blanc 2018.

You’ll find below our recommendation for you. Let’s begin with the review!

Wine Selection Overview

Find below our Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay wine selection for you where you’ll find our recommendation for you.

Sauvignon Blanc Selection

Villa Maria Private Bin Sauvignon Blanc
2021
4.2/5

Truly exceptional wine made. Nose bursting with passionfruit, melon and citrus, hints of grass. 

Crisp and bright on the palate, with refreshing acidity and layers of juicy fruit flavors.

Perfect with seafood, salads, fried food, white meat, lighter cheeses, and tomato dishes. Best served chilled.

Seriously, for the quality you get, less than $15 is a gift!

Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Blanc
2020
4.2/5

A pale straw in the glass with light fleeting scents of jalapino & bell pepper cloaked in scents of wet stone and citrus.

In the mouth there was good minerality that transitioned into flavors of lemon zest in the midpalate and then closed with good acidity and minerality.

For the price, it is a true bargain! Be quick…

Gérard Boulay Clos de Beaujeu Sancerre
2019
4.6/5

Ripe, exotic nose of grapefruit, melon, and sweet floral essences. 

A lush and juicy, with striking creaminess of texture and a polished finish.

This is an outstanding Sauvignon Blanc at a very competitive price for the quality.

Try it with goat cheese and you’ll be in heaven!

Chardonnay Selection

Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc Viognier
2020
4.1/5

This delicious Chardonnay offers and incredible value for money.

Here is an extract from Vivino Editor’s note: “Inspired By France’s Best, Napa’s Pine Ridge Packs an Almost Impossible Amount of Deliciousness Into a Sub-$13 Package with This 4.1 ★ 2020 Napa White!”

What are you still waiting for???🤩

Régnard Grand
Régnard Chablis
2019
4.4/5

There are many great wines around, but this one offers an incredible price-quality ratio! I’d be quick if I were you…

Bright, pale-straw accented with green reflections. On the nose it is elegant and fresh with notes of green apples, lemon and apricot, it has a notable intense aroma.

On the palate it is rich, rounded and mellow. There are ample ripe lemony fruit and white peach flavors.

Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru 'Morgeot' Blanc 2018
4/5

We love this one and we are not the only one! This an extract from the Vivino Editor’s note:

“The Morgeot premier cru sits on the border between Côte d’Or and Saône-et-Loire regions—a Roman-era plot that sits atop a bed of chalk and limestone soils.

It’s a coveted piece of real estate, with neighbors like Louis Latour and Louis Jadot. We think this Morgeot is the cream of the crop.”

Comparison

Let’s now take a closer look at the difference between Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay so that you’ll have enough details to make an informed decision.

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: Where are they produced?

Regions and winemaking techniques influence the taste profiles of both wines. The typical taste profiles depending on the region, for Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay, are as follows:

Sauvignon Blanc ripens early and grows best in cool climates like France, New Zealand, and Northern Italy. 

These wines tend to have high acidity, citrus fruit, and herbaceous flavors with some tropical fruit and floral notes.

In France, the climate slows the ripening of the vine which results in better acidity vs sugar balance and develops aromas intensity.

In warmer climates such as California, Washington, South Africa, and Chile, the tropical fruit notes intensify. 

This happens thanks to the over-ripening of the grapes, which, if not controlled will considerably reduce aromas. Find more about Sauvignon Blanc here.

Chardonnay’s an extremely versatile grape that grows worldwide in different climates and soil. Chardonnay does best in clay, limestone, and chalky soil. 

The climate affects the tasting profile of the wine in the following ways:

In cool climates, Chardonnay tends to be mineral with citrus flavor, high acidity, and medium body. 

Regional areas examples: France (Champagne, Burgundy), Northern Italy, US (Sonoma Coast), New Zealand.

In warm climates, Chardonnay tends to have tropical and stone fruit ripe flavor, lower acidity, and full body. 

Like Sauvignon Blanc, if the over-ripening is not properly controlled it will considerably reduce aromas and acidity. 

Regional areas examples:  Southern Italy, South Australia, and South Africa. Find more about Chardonnay here.

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: Which grapes are used to produce them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay from a grape point of view.

Sauvignon Blanc is produced from Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

Chardonnay is produced from Chardonnay grapes.

Both are is a white-wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera.

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: What's their alcohol content?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay from an alcohol content point of view.

Alcohol content or more precisely Alcohol By Volume, i.e. ABV, measures the alcoholic strength of a drink.

There is a direct relationship between the sugar left in the wine after the alcoholic fermentation has taken place, i.e. Residual Sugar or RS, and ABV.

During the alcoholic fermentation, the yeast transforms the sugar in the grape juice into alcohol. Grapes with high residual sugar will therefore produce dry wine with a high ABV.

Sauvignon Blanc’s ABV is usually between 11.5% to 14%, whereas Chardonnay’s ABV ranges between 10.5% to 14.5% depending on the style. 

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: What's their taste profile?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay from a taste profile point of view.

Sauvignon Blanc is a dry wine, with a pale lemon color. It’s known for its high acidity and typical green herbal flavors. 

Sauvignon Blanc’s typical flavors depend on the style. Here is a brief overview:

  • Loire Valley: white peach, lime, gooseberry 
  • Bordeaux: white peach, lime, beeswax, cream, and honeycomb
  • Marlborough: passion fruit, lime, grapefruit, pineapple, mango, gooseberry

Chardonnay is a dry to off-dry wine with a pale lemon to deep gold color. Depending on the style it can be light, fresh, and crisp if unoaked or rich, buttery and full-bodied if oaked.

Typical flavors for unoaked Chardonnay are lemon zest, peach, honeysuckle, and green fruit or tropical fruit depending on the ripeness.

These wines tend to have medium-high acidity and a medium-full body.

Typical flavors for oaked Chardonnay are butter, vanilla, spice, apple, chalk, and citrus fruit for cool climates or tropical fruit for warm climates.

The wines tend to have medium-low acidity and a medium-full body.

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: Are they sweet or dry?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay in terms of sweetness level or residual sugar.

The sweetness level of a wine is expressed in grams of sugar per liter, aka g/L, or as a percentage.

10 g/L equals 1% which, if you are interested, represents 6 calories per 5 oz serving. 

You will usually find Sauvignon Blanc as a dry wine.

On the other side you can find Chardonnay as a dry to off-dry sweetness level.

  • A dry wine contains less than 15 g/L.
  • An off dry wine contains between 15-30 g/L.

Learn more about wine sweetness level here.

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: Which are the recommended food pairings?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay from a food pairings point of view.

Both Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are versatile wines and pair very well with many dishes. You’ll find below some suggestions.

Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with Brussel sprouts, asparagus, salad, white meat like chicken and turkey, and various fish and shellfish including sushi. 

Cheese wise go for soft and cream cheese like Philadelphia and brie for example.

Chardonnay pairings depend on the style. 

Unoaked Chardonnay goes well with salad, veggie risotto, paté, chicken, shellfish, sushi. Cheese wise go with fresh cheese like goat cheese.

Oaked Chardonnay can be paired with bolder flavors like prosciutto crudo, pumpkin, pork, grilled meat, roast chicken, grilled fish smoked salmon, and crab cakes. 

Cheese wise go for cream to triple cream cheese like Brie or Brillat-Savarin. 

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: How should you serve and store them?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay in terms of serving and storing the wine.

Sauvignon Blanc shouldn’t be decanted and you can serve it at 45 – 50 °F (7 – 10 °C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass.[1]

The recommended storing period is 1-3 years for normal bottles.

Chardonnay shouldn’t be decanted. The service temperature and the storing period depend on the style.

For Unoaked Chardonnay serve at  45 – 50 °F (7 – 10 °C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass. The recommended storing period is 2-3 years for normal bottles.

For Oaked Chardonnay serve at  50 – 55 °F (10 – 13 °C) in a Chardonnay or Viognier glass. The recommended storing period is 5-7 years for normal bottles.

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay: How much do they cost?

Here you’ll find a brief overview of Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay from a price comparison point of view.

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most famous and affordable white wines. The price generally ranges from $10-$40.

Where $20-$40 are generally the French and Italian wines, $10-$30 California and New Zealand wines. $10-$20 for the rest.

You can though also find Sauvignon Blanc from Bordeaux that costs over $1k like Château Haut-Brion blanc AC Pessac-Léognan, 2007.

Chardonnay‘s price range is on average between $10-$50. You’ll find more expensive Chardonnay over $100 especially from France, Italy, and the US. 

If you are after some luxury bottle, there is a rare example of over $10k a bottle, yes $10k, such as Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Grand Cru.

Our Verdict

If you have been through the guide, by now you are a Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay expert!

Both Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay are great wines and you should have a good idea of what to expect from them.   

Our recommendation is therefore based on what you’d fancy the most at a particular given moment or event. 

Sauvignon Blanc and Unoaked Chardonnay are usually good choices for a hot summer day since they are refreshing, very light, and easy to drink.

Oaked Chardonnay offers more complexity and can be paired with bolder flavors like grilled meat or fish. It’s therefore a more all-year-round wine in a sense.

Our recommendation for Best Value Sauvignon Blanc is Domaine du Salvard Cheverny Blanc 2020 and for Best Overall is Gérard Boulay Clos de Beaujeu Sancerre 2019.

Our recommendation for Best Value Chardonnay is Régnard Grand Régnard Chablis 2019.

For Best Overall Chardonnay we recommend Domaine Blain-Gagnard Chassagne-Montrachet Premier Cru ‘Morgeot’ Blanc 2018.

As always make sure to serve them at the right temperature to enjoy them at their best.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Follow us on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Why You Can Trust Us?

Wine is our passion and our mission is to make the world of wine more accessible to you and by doing so enhancing your experience.

We try our best to find high quality wines that offer great value for money so that they have a light weight on your wallet as well!🤩

Finally, all the content we publish on this site has been written or overseen by wine certificate holders, which ensures a high quality content.

You might also enjoy these articles and wines

Save 20% on your next order!

We have partnered with Vivino.com to offer the best deal on high-quality wine for our readers.

If you click on the button below and use the code WINELOVERSCU20, you’ll enjoy a 20% discount on your first order.

Add Your Heading Text Here!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Limited Time Offer

Find Great Wines With Up To 70% Discount!