In the privileged position of The Organic Sommelier I have embarked on a new blog series, focusing on the less mainstream grape varieties.
Chenin Blanc is a white wine grape variety originating from the Loire Valley of France. Its high acidity means it can be used to make varieties from sparkling wines to well-balanced dessert wines. Outside of the Loire Valley, it is found in most of the New World wine regions; although most abundant in South Africa, where it was historically also known as Steen.
I wouldn’t suggest that Chenin Blanc is a particularly rare grape, but wanted to focus on it in this first blog of the series, particularly South African organic Chenin Blanc. It is a crisp and refreshing white wine that pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes. I have suggested some pairing ideas below to help you enjoy this delicious wine:
- Grilled fish or seafood: The bright acidity of Chenin Blanc complements the delicate flavours of grilled fish or seafood. Try pairing it with grilled shrimp, lobster, or white fish like cod or halibut.
- Fresh salads: A crisp, refreshing Chenin Blanc is an ideal match for fresh, leafy salads with light vinaigrette dressings. Think arugula, cucumber, and feta cheese.
- Roasted vegetables: Chenin Blanc also pairs well with roasted vegetables, particularly those with a bit of sweetness, like roasted butternut squash or sweet potatoes.
- Soft cheeses: The fruity, floral notes of Chenin Blanc balance the creaminess of soft cheeses like brie or camembert. Add some fresh fruit and crackers for a perfect wine and cheese pairing.
- Spicy dishes: Chenin Blanc's bright acidity and tropical fruit flavours are an excellent match for spicy foods. Try pairing it with spicy Thai or Indian cuisine.
In summary, South African organic Chenin Blanc is a versatile wine that pairs well with a range of dishes, including grilled fish, fresh salads, roasted vegetables, soft cheeses, and spicy foods. Enjoy experimenting with different flavour combinations to find your perfect pairing!
One of my favourite Organic Chenin Blancs is the 2021 Kloof Street Old Vines produced by Chris and Andrea Mullineux, well balanced, wonderful freshness and superb value. You can find out more about this wine here, if you would like to find out more (link to wine in shop).
The Organic Sommelier has a wide selection of Bio-Dynamic and Organic wine available, and our range is always being supplemented and new Chenin Blancs will be available throughout 2023.
If you would like more information about the grape variety, pairings or wine in general please email firstname.lastname@example.org