Imagine looking in the avocado-colored fridge of any groovy, shag-carpeted urban apartment. You'll find a bottle or jug of white wine -- probably either Krug or Gallo. In script on the label -- "Chenin Blanc." (The red in the cabinet above the fridge is no doubt a "
A shame. Chenin Blanc may have fallen from the ranks of the more popular wines -- but it's a pretty incredible grape. Chenin Blanc may be the most versatile grape on the planet. Winemakers put together everything from sparkling wine to crisp, flavorful whites to some of the best dessert wines in the world. Chenin Blanc grows almost anywhere, as well.
The best Chenin Blanc is grown in the
Unfortunately, the ease of growing this grape has resulted in a great lack of care in some places, leading to some truly forgettable wines. Luckily, winemakers and consumers are starting to move past the wide lapel era into modern times, where there's some good white to be had. Done correctly, Chenin Blanc is an incredibly food friendly, drinkable wine. One of the few positives (for us) of the "Chenin Stigma" is that you'll be able to find a very good wine at a very reasonable price. Here's an example of what can be done:
Vinum Cellars 2005 "Chard-No-Way" Chenin Blanc -- Vinum Cellars was founded by a couple of buddies from UC Davis that went into the wine industry. The two of them decided to help the world rediscover this lost grape. They make their wine in
Indaba 2005 Chenin Blanc --
Chateau de Villeneuve 2005 Saumur -- The Saumur region of the
Until next time, bite the bullet, put the leisure suit away, and relax in the summer sun with some Chenin. Cheers!