What does Chenin Blanc taste like? In this video Annabelle compares the versatility of Chenin Blanc wines to her favourite little black dress. And watch closely as she uses some camera tricks to change clothes before your very eyes! Enjoy the Fast Five Wine Facts about Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley and Steen from South Africa.
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Hey Tasters! I have a little black dress that I love wearing all the time. What’s this got to do with wine? Bear with me.
So this little black dress, if I wear it with ballerina flats, I can run around town all day long. If I switch to high heels and swap my leather rucksack for a smarter handbag I can meet my friends at a restaurant and enjoy a meal. I can even switch to stilettos and a sparkly necklace and be ready for a night out, just like that.
There is a grape that is as adaptable as this little black dress: Chenin Blanc.
So what are my fast five facts about wine? What does Chenin Blanc taste like?
Chenin Blanc Fact 1
Chenin Blanc is a white grape variety from Loire Valley in France, however France is not the biggest grower of this white grape variety. The biggest grower is South Africa, where it is known as steen.
Chenin Blanc Taste Fact 2
So, what makes Chenin Blanc so versatile? Its characteristic acidity which it retains regardless of terroir. The most celebrated expression of Chenin Blanc is probably the botrytized dessert wines of Loire Valley. However, Chenin Blanc is also known for making light, honey rich, sparkling wine as well as still dry white wines that range from light and zesty all the way to buttery rich. It really is a wine for all occasions.
Facts About Wine 3: Chenin Blanc Taste
So, what does Chenin Blanc taste like? The exact aromas vary depending on style but its most distinguishing characteristic is its high acidity. It also displays a range of sweet fruits such as pear, yellow apple, quince, passion fruit. More delicate aromas can include ginger, honey and white flowers such as chamomile, jasmine and citrus blossom. Time in oak can impart flavours such as nutty marzipan, buttered popcorn, and apple pie.
Fact 4 :Chenin Blanc Taste Characteristics
In France Chenin Blanc is reserved for making premium sparking wine and dessert wines whereas in South Africa it is cherished for adding acidity to white blends. A characteristic that’s hard to achieve in a warm climate. Most South African Chenin Blanc is in fact used to produce the base spirit for brandy. But, this is currently changing with South Africa producing more and more high-quality Chenin Blanc varietal wine.
Facts About Wine 5: Chenin Blanc Names
Chenin Blanc has more alternative identities than an international spy. In France alone it answers to at least 36 different names, at least five more in South Africa and a couple of more in Spain and Spanish speaking producing regions. Shall I list all the names for you? No, I won’t. I just call it Chenin Blanc.
So there you have it: Chenin Blanc the wine equivalent to the little black dress. Which style you like most is up to you and your lifestyle, however you need Chenin Blanc in your wine cabinet as much as you need a little black dress in your wardrobe.
Comment below and let me know if you’ve enjoyed this five Chenin Blanc facts. Cheers everybody! Have you subscribed yet? Do it now
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What Does Wine Taste Like (Playlist)
Resources for Chenin Blanc
- Decanter guide to Chenin Blanc
- Chenin Blanc on Jancis Robinson
- VinePair: Chenin Blanc
- Chenin Blanc on Wikipedia
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