What is Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc, a white grape variety, is a true chameleon of the wine world. Grown in various regions around the globe, it has the ability to adapt and produce a wide range of wine styles. From the dry, minerally wines of the Loire Valley in France, to the tropical fruit-forward wines of South Africa and California, this grape variety never ceases to amaze. The high acidity and bright flavors of green apple, citrus, and mineral, make it a wine that can be enjoyed on its own or paired with a wide variety of foods. But it’s not just the acidity that makes Chenin Blanc so special, it can also have honey, apricot, quince, and lanolin notes when grown in the right terroir and vinified by a skilled winemaker. In short, Chenin Blanc is a grape variety that can be enjoyed by wine lovers of all levels, from beginners to the most advanced connoisseurs.

How to pronounce Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc is pronounced “shuh-nan blahnk”.

What is Chenin Blanc also known as

Chenin Blanc is also known as Pineau de la Loire in France, Steen in South Africa and Pineau in Anjou-Saumur.

What does Chenin Blanc taste like

Taste profile

High Acidity, Medium Alcohol, Medium body, Can be sweet depending on the region and wine style being created.

Primary Flavours

Quince, Yellow Apple, Pear, Chamomile, Honey

Storage & Handling

Chenin Blanc is a white wine that should be stored and handled in a way that preserves its delicate flavors and aromas. To store this wine properly, it’s best to use a white wine glass and keep it at a consistent temperature between 45-55°F (7-13°C), ideally in a wine cellar. To ensure the wine retains its optimal flavor, it should be stored in a cool and dark place, away from direct sunlight. It’s also important to store the bottle on its side to keep the cork moist and in contact with the wine. When serving, it’s best to chill the wine slightly before serving, usually around 10-12°C. Decanting is not necessary for this wine, but if you wish to age it, it can be stored for 5-10 years to reach its full potential.

Food Pairing

What do you pair with Chenin Blanc

Chenin Blanc, with its high acidity and bright flavors, is a versatile wine that can pair well with a wide range of dishes. As a wine critic, I would suggest pairing this wine with seafood, such as oysters or scallops, to bring out its minerality and bright citrus notes. Poultry dishes, like roasted chicken or grilled quail, also pair well with the wine’s light body and acidity. For a refreshing pairing, try pairing Chenin Blanc with a green salad, the acidity in the wine will complement the acidity in the vinaigrette. The wine’s acidity and minerality also make it a perfect match for soft, creamy cheeses such as brie and camembert. Furthermore, Chenin Blanc’s acidity and flavors of green apple and citrus can balance the heat and flavors of spicy food, such as Thai or Indian cuisine. This wine can also be paired with raw or cooked vegetables, such as green beans, asparagus, and artichokes. And for a sweet finish, the wine’s acidity and sweetness make it a perfect match for light, fruity desserts such as tarts, sorbets and fruit salads. It’s important to note that different styles of Chenin Blanc will pair differently, a dry Chenin Blanc will have different pairing than a sweet one.

Where is Chenin Blanc grown?

Chenin Blanc is grown in many regions around the world, however, some of the most notable places where it truly excels are:

Loire Valley, France: This region, considered the spiritual home of Chenin Blanc, produces some of the most elegant and diverse examples of the wine. The Loire Valley is known for its wide range of styles, from dry and minerally to sweet and luscious.

South Africa: The country has a long history of growing Chenin Blanc, and it’s now the most widely planted white grape variety. The wines produced here tend to have tropical fruit flavors and aromas, making them particularly appealing and refreshing.

California, USA: Several regions of California are producing high-quality Chenin Blanc, with wines that can range from dry and minerally to off-dry and fruity, showing the grape’s adaptability to different terroirs.

Vouvray, France: Located in the Loire valley, Vouvray is particularly known for producing sparkling and sweet wines made from Chenin Blanc, showcasing the grape’s diversity.

Anjou-Saumur, France: This area located in the Loire valley is known for producing dry and sweet wines, with a good acidity and minerality.

Australia: Although not as widely planted as other grape varieties, Australia is producing high-quality Chenin Blanc wines with tropical fruit flavors and aromas.

Other regions where Chenin Blanc is grown include Spain, Italy, Brazil, and Argentina, but the aforementioned are the regions where the grape reaches its full potential.