Learn Your Wine: Chenin Blanc Is The New Rosé

By Betchy Crocker | July 11, 2017
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With summer upon us, it’s time for alcohol. I mean, like, it’s always time for alcohol, but there are ways to beat the heat while still being hella classy and better than everyone else. Because we’re kind of over rose at the moment after a not-to-be-discussed incident involving too much frosé (no yay), we’re all about Chenin Blanc now.

You may not have heard of Chenin Blanc, which instantly makes this wine more interesting. Pull up a chair, children, and let us tell you a tale of a crisp white wine made in France where summer is full of yachts and gourmet food and calories and hangovers don’t exist.

What Is It?

Chenin Blanc is a white wine which began in mostly the Loire Valley of France. This shit can be traced back to the ninth century and the grape responsible for this wine was used at one time to make dessert and sparkling wines. In 1655, the grape made its way to South Africa where it totally spread like cray. Wine makers, seeing the grape grow so rapidly, were all like OMFG LET’S MAKE BRANDY, but they got tired of that shit and wanted a grape all their own for like, classier shit (wine). SO people started experimenting with it and bing, bang, boom – South Africa became a major producer of Chenin Blanc. If you see a Chenin Blanc from South Africa or France, it’s probs legit.

WTF Does It Taste Like?

Think of Chenin Blanc as the ultimate sweet and sour wine. It has bright acidity BUT that shit is tempered by sweetness. So, you’ll get fruit like apple, pear and lime along with jasmine, saffron, and lemon. Shit, you may even get some buttered popcorn flavor in there. Are you picking up what we’re putting down? It’s like, all the flavors in a great way.

What Types Can I Get?

Chenin Blanc can be all of the spectrum – as evidenced by its flavor profile. When looking for types, you’ll see dry, off-dry, sweet, and sparkling. Obviously, sparkling is fucking sparkling and can be anywhere in taste from Brut to Demi-Sec. Sweet Chenin Blanc (for those of you who are new to drinking) will taste like tropical fruit and citrus … beware, this shit can be REALLY sweet and give you a HORRIBLE hangover. Off-dry happens when some of the grapes natural sugars are left in the wine, so the Chenin Blanc will be rich without being overpowering. Lastly, dry Chenin Blanc is minerally and tart. Drink this if you’re a goddamn adult.

WTF Do I Drink It With?

Because Chenin Blanc is so fucking versatile in flavor, it goes with goddamn everything! If you’ve got a drier Chenin Blanc, pair with typical diet summer fare like fish and salad. Sweeter varieties go well with the Thai food you ordered as well as the tacos you’re about to inhale. Somewhere in between can go with rich people shit like pate and cream sauces.

 

Read: Everything You Need To Know About Rosé