Learn Your Wine: Chenin Blanc Is The New Rosé

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
 

Everything You Need To Know About Rosé To Fool People Into Thinking You’re Fancy

Because we all need a good, solid education when it comes to alcohol, we’re bringing back “Know Your Wine.” Like, I still don’t fully understand why this wasn’t offered as a course in college, but my issues with the education system are a moot point. Anywho, the time is now to know the ins and outs of your wines, and we’re kicking it off with everyone’s fav summer sipper: rosé.

It’s true that rosé wasn’t always the much beloved betch standby it is today. You may be surprised to know that about 20 years ago it was considered tacky and only for those who didn’t know shit about Merlots and Malbecs. The nerve.

What Is It?

A very important note—rosé is NOT when a red wine and white wine love each other v much and spend a passion-filled night together (or, like, just get together for Netflix and chill and never get a call back). Rosé happens when red grapes are juuuuust a little crushed (like when a guy you totes know is a fuckboy ghosts you but like, it still kinda hurts) and left to hang out in their skins for a bit. Then the juice is strained and fermented into our fav pink drink. Depending how much time the wine maker has, the juice will sit for longer, resulting in a darker rosé; or shorter, resulting in a totally millennial pink color. Duly noted.

WTF Does It Taste Like?

IDK why I’m covering this because if you’ve never had rosé  I want to know what life in a cave on Mars is like. Anyway, most rosés have flavor profiles somewhere between red and white wine (shocking). So, you’ll get cantaloupe, peach, and even mango with some, and berries and red fruits with others.

What Types Can I Get?

Like we said, the longer the grapes sit in their skins, the darker the rosé. So like a Malbec rosé would be dark compared to a Pinot Noir rosé which would be lighter. Really, it all depends on how long it’s been aged and the type of grape being used. So, light vs. dark makes it taste different, but one isn’t necessarily better than the other. Additionally, you’ll need to choose from the epic adventure of dry vs. sweet. If you’re at Wine Walmart (is that a place? It should be), and see rosés from Europe, they’re likely dry. Rosés from the U.S. (with California occasionally being an exception) can be sweeter. We say look for the rosés from Spain and France where they’ve been making wine for literally ever.

WTF Do I Drink It With?

Good news—rosé goes with fucking everything. If you’re truly looking for a something to sip while your boyfriend slaves over a hot grill making meat skewers (because protein), rosé is your new go-to. It complements smoked meat and fish super well and plays well in cocktails mixed with vodka and maybe, like, La Croix grapefruit. Yes, really. I’m drinking it right now. If you’re hosting a wine and cheese party, rosé pairs well with medium-bodied cheeses. The most important note is to serve rosé CHILLED—never room temperature.

How Can I Buy It?

Um, as with most wines, rosé comes in a bottle that you can find in any wine-selling establishment. For on-the-go rosé drinking, this shit comes in a can. Yes that’s right. You can bring it to the beach, I’m not going to say legally, but you can do it without breaking the “no glass allowed on the beach” rule. Our favorite canned rosé is Seven Daughters because it’s yummy, it’s pink, and the best part? The cans look kind of like energy drinks, making Seven Daughters canned rosé ideal for stealth drinking on-the-go.

Seven Daughters Rosé

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Know Your Wine. Now, get out there and chug a bottle (or can) for us.