It’s a shame that so few wine lovers are familiar with chenin blanc. Many wine experts consider this obscure white grape to have at least as much nobility as its sister variety from northern France’s Loire Valley, sauvignon blanc, if not more. In California, sauvignon vines outnumber chenin vines three to one, and most of the chenin ends up as an unsung hero in blends. When it does appear as a varietal wine, though, it almost always over-delivers on its price.
This is true whether it’s made in a dry, barrel-fermented style for the luxury aisle or in a lighter, sweeter, and fruitier style for the bargain bin. This example from Beringer’s value-priced Main & Vine line fits the latter profile; it’s about as affordable as a non-jug wine can be, but still tastes like it costs considerably more. This version is lightweight with a Riesling-like sweet-tart balance that is perfect for everything from poolside entertaining to partnering with spicy food or Asian-inspired recipes.
And, at this price, there’s every reason to consider giving it a regular place in the refrigerator door.
Beringer Main & Vine Chenin Blanc, California, $5.99 (sale price through 7/30/17, regularly $7.99 per bottle) PLCB Item #7636