In a nutshell:

  • An incredibly versatile grape that can produce delicious white wines in a wide range of styles – dry and lean, rich and aromatic, sweet and luscious, and bubbly sparklers.

Where it is primarily grown:

  • Loire Valley, France
  • South Africa

Wine Styles:

  • Dry
  • Off-dry
  • Sweet
  • Sparkling

Also Known As:

  • Vouvray
  • Savennieres
  • Steen

Fun Facts:

  • Chenin Blanc is the most widely planted white grape variety in South Africa.
  • South African chenin blanc is almost always dry.
  • Savennieres (France) is almost always dry.
  • Vouvray (France) is almost always off-dry. If it’s labeled “Sec” it means it is dry. If it labeled “Demi-Sec” it is medium sweet. If it the label doesn’t specify, assume it is off dry.
  • French sparkling wines made with chenin blanc are called “Cremant de Loire”.

Wine Texture:

  • Body: Medium to Full
  • Acidity: High
  • Alcohol: Medium
  • Sugar: Dry to sweet

Flavor and aroma profile:

  • Dry: lean style with flavors of pear, quince, apples, ginger, and chamomile
  • Off-dry: ripe pear, ginger, jasmine, passion fruit, and honeycomb
  • Sweet: baked apple, honey, toasted almond, mango, ginger, and orange
  • Sparkling: quince, yellow apple, plum, ginger, and floral

You might like this grape if you like…:

  • Riesling (look for Vouvray and demi-sec styles)
  • Chardonnay (look for dry South African styles)
  • Champagne (look for sparkling Cremant de Loire)

Food Pairings:

  • Salads
  • Fish and shellfish
  • Chicken
  • Cream sauces
  • Spicy Asian cuisine (sweeter styles)
  • Lemon desserts

Recommendations:

Reyneke Chenin Blanc 2017 (Dry Style) – $26

Champalou Vouvray La Cuvée des Fondraux 2016 (Off Dry Style) – $22

Domaine Huet Vouvray Haut Lieu Demi-Sec 2018 (Medium Sweet) – $38

Domaine Huet – Huet Vouvray Haut Lieu Moulleux 2018 (Sweet/Dessert) – $42

Domaine Huet Huet Vouvray Petillant Brut 2014 (Sparkling) – $27


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