What is chenin blanc and how does it taste?
Chenin blanc is a French white wine varietal, perhaps the only white varietal to offer compelling sparkling wines, dry wines, AND dessert wines. A common thread that runs through the three versions is mouthwatering acidity, even in off-dry versions. You’ll definitely taste tart green apples, pears, and a mineral note in the sparkling and dry versions of the varietal. Riper versions might reveal apricots, greengage, even pineapples. Off-dry and dessert versions accented by botrytis will taste like quince, peaches, mangoes, marmalade, or honey.
Where is chenin blanc grown?
Chenin blanc is grown throughout the world, with notable examples from California and South Africa. The world’s greatest examples are largely from France. More specifically, delimited areas within the Loire Valley (especially Coteaux du Layon, Savennieres, and Vouvray) have yielded some stellar examples, both dry and sweet.
Some popular chenin blanc producers:
- Pine Ridge Chenin Blanc + Viognier
- Chateau Moncontour Vouvray Demi-Sec
- Domaine des Baumard Savennieres
- A.A. Badenhorst Secateurs Chenin Blanc
- Domaine Huet Vouvray Cuvee Constance
What food pairs well with riesling?
The key to a successful pairing with chenin blanc is keeping in mind the style of wine you are serving. A bone dry chenin blanc will shine with goat cheese, shrimp, oysters, sushi, smoked salmon, asparagus, or a salad that includes chicken, ham, apples or pears. Riper yet dry styles will marry with scallops, freshwater fish, lobster, or roast chicken. Serve semi-sweet or off-dry versions with a sweet & spicy Asian dish or with an extravagant seafood dish prepared with a cream sauce.