Is Chenin Blanc the New Riesling?

An old new wine variety is starting to gain some traction in this country and it’s time to add it to your wine list. The wine in question is the Chenin Blanc variety, which is grown primarily in the Loire Valley and has a similar flavor to that of Rieslings, which have become all the rage these days for the white wine crowd.

The thing that seems to make Chenin Blanc less popular is actually the thing that would seem to make it something that every serious sommelier would want on their list and in their cellars. In essence, unlike the more popular Riesling, Chenin Blanc is grown primarily in the Loire Valley and in few other places, making it somewhat harder to come by.

Also known as Vouvrays, Chenin Blanc is a rather dry wine, though there is a hint of sweetness to the vintage, making it a perfect accompaniment to a wide variety of meals (especially seafood) – which of course is traditionally served with whites anyway. The wines are available from a number of vintners.  However, the most popular ones do seem to come from Huet Clos du Bourg.

It is worth noting for your restaurant’s sommelier that not all Vouvrays are actually quite so dry and as such one really needs to read reviews in order to find the right wines to stock in the wine cellar and to recommend to diners looking for that something new. Still, given the fact that Chenin Blanc does seem to be gaining in popularity, it does make sense to add a few cases to your cellar and possibly even to run the gamut of dry to slightly sweet in order to satisfy the palettes of a wide variety of your customers, some of whom just want to taste something different but don’t necessarily enjoy very dry wines.

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