The Chenin Blanc grape, by way of South Africa

14 Jul

I wanted to share with you July 12’s NY Times great article by Eric Asimov in the Food & Wine section entitled,

Chenin Blancs That Aren’t What They Used to Be

It’s a well written wine article that articulates the high and lows in the wine culture. For most wine drinkers, classic wines are desirable but hard to find, available in small quantity, costly, and may be required to cellar for maximum appreciation. One of the great joys of the modern age, while prices for classic chateaux have skyrocketed to the uber-elite, is that the entire world is now game for planting vines and some areas are being incredibly successful in vinoculture. Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia Portugal, Spain, New Zealand, and others- all are now real contenders in the world of wine, the same way that the USA climbed into recognition at the end of the 20th century along with France, Italy, and Germany.

Here’s the link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/18/dining/reviews/south-african-chenin-blancs-arent-what-they-used-to-be-wines-of-the-times.html?_r=1&ref=dining&pagewanted=all

Asimov bemoans the current crop of wines he tasted from 2009 and 2010 (South Africa’s season was NOT like Bordeaux!), but the end of the article is a listing of suggested wines they liked in the blind tasting, with 9 mini-reviews in the under $20/bottle range, and one bottle at $31- within the range of the average wine drinker.

So while it may not be a banner time for the finest in South Africa’s wines, this is an excellent resource for wine drinkers to consider the material Asimov provides, see what is available from your local vendors, and try something outside your norm- I had only heard of the Badenhorst, now I really want to taste it!  Chenin Blanc is an excellent summer wine grape and is fun to share with friends and family alike.

What have YOU tried this summer that’s outside your norm?

à votre santé!

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