Chardonnay and chips

fish and chipsMatching South African Journey’s End Chardonnay with a plate of battered haddock, hash browns, onion rings and some token peas proved a good choice – an evening filled with guzzling and munching followed.

The glossy-yellow of the Stellenbosch Destination Chardonnay matched the treacle tones of the battered meal and awakened the signals from eye to stomach. A hard choice followed – drink or food first? The wine won. A lemon sherbet-dab tingle moved across my tongue, soon followed by a warming sensation as the 14% alcohol by volume moved downwards. The wine’s buttery pineapple and gala melon flavours didn’t overpower the creamy-haddock – both could be enjoyed and tasted to the full.

Journey’s End’s £20.99 mellowness should prove pleasing to most people. But its price won’t. Two bottles of £8.99 New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc or a 3-litre box of Soave would give longer-lasting value, but not the buttery flavours. These are developed by aging the Chardonnay ‘sur-lie’ in pricey oak barrels for two months followed by another eight months barrel maturation off the used yeast cells before bottling.

Aldi Pinot GrigioThe choice is yours – do you want to pay over twenty quid for a bit of oak aging?

For everyday drinking I opt for fresh and fruity cheap high-volume wines, the expensively-made mellow Journey’s End wines are saved as end-of-week treats.

For more information on Journey’s End wines then visit

Their wines are available from the online wine supplier SA Wines ‘the home of fine South African Wine in the UK’.

PG Wine Review

Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2010

£20.99 SA Wines Online

Its baked pineapple and Brazil nut aromas are complemented by its melon and buttery pineapple flavours. The combination is saved from being sickly by the addition of a zingy lemon edge.

Journey’s End Destination Chardonnay 2011

£20.99 SA Wines Online

This slightly younger version tastes a whole lot fresher with its smooth peach and lemon flavours.

Journeys End ChardonnayJourney’s End Single Vineyard Chardonnay 2010

£15.79 SA Wines Online

Crisp lemon mixed with ripe peach and creamy oak flavours.

Journey’s End Haystack Chardonnay 2011

£10.99 SA Wines Online

This Chardonnay may be half the price but it still offers refined drinking. Flavours of butter, Brazil buts and lime make this a lighter choice than the 2010.

This article also appeared as Paula's Wines of the Week on