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The Best Chenin Blanc to Buy Right Now

The Best Chenin Blanc to Buy Right Now

Chenin Blanc is one of—if not the—most versatile wine grapes on the planet. It is produced all over the globe, from its ancestral home in France’s Loire Valley to South Africa, California and well beyond, expressing itself in various ways wherever it’s grown. The high-acid grape is best known for producing fresh, vibrant wines—especially when grown in cooler climates. But it’s also a shape-shifter made into a wide range of styles, including still, sparkling and pétillant forms, with varying levels of residual sugars that range from dry and off-dry to sweet. 

“Wines made from Chenin Blanc have delicate aromas and flavors of apple, melon and honey and can be paired with the level of dryness or sweetness you most prefer,” says Reggie Solomon, Wine Enthusiast’s resident Loire Valley reviewer. “Chenin Blanc is truly the khakis or little-black-dress of wine that is an adaptable and versatile pairing partner at any table.”

Need a high-acid, light-bodied wine to match goat cheese or a rich cream sauce? Pick up a bottle from the Loire (Solomon suggests Vouvray, Montlouis-Sur-Loire and Savennières). Need something with a bit more ripeness and a fuller body? Consider a Chenin from South Africa or California. A nice bottle of bubbles to celebrate a special occasion? Sparkling Vouvray and Crémant de Loire have you covered. Sweet wine for dessert? Go for Coteaux du Layon.

Talk about breadth. “It’s astonishing that one grape variety can produce wines in so many styles,” Solomon says.

That said, although this diversity offers endless possibilities for pairings, it also makes it tough to narrow what to try next. Take out the guesswork by following the list below. From classic Vouvray and California old-vine expressions to new styles with a bit of fizz or funk, these are the best Chenin Blanc wines to buy right right.

Husch 2022 Chenin Blanc (Mendocino)

This juicy wine has a little extra spritz in conjunction with generous acidity that brings flavors to life. Notes of vibrant capsicum, cut grass, just-ripe pineapple, lime leaf, lemongrass and a sea-air salinity bring to mind a tropical island. Suggested pairings include Thai green curry, fresh crab cakes with mango salsa, or seafood ceviche. Best Buy. 92 Points— Stacy Briscoe

$ Varies
Taylor’s Wine Shop

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