Chenin Blanc on fringe — enjoy it while it’s available – Metro US

Chenin Blanc on fringe — enjoy it while it’s available

One of the best white wines at the LCBO is soon to disappear because not enough people buy it. It’s not the first time this has happened and I’m sure it won’t be the last. There is always some good stuff that goes unnoticed — not just in wine.

Even those just on the fringe of the subject know Riesling, Chardonnay and Sauvignon, but what about Chenin Blanc? With only one example available, it never stood a chance of surviving.

Lack of familiarity scares us. Choosing Chenin would have been a lot like playing fringe music and having the conviction to say you like it.

It takes a strong minded person to stand behind what nobody else is drinking.

The Chenin Blanc grape is grown mainly in the Loire region of France, where it produces good, bone dry sparkling wine. Fruity but extremely tart. South Africa is the only other sizable grower of Chenin and, in this hot climate, the wine is crafted in a variety of styles from light and crisp to super rich and luscious. Simonsig is luscious.

It could be likened to a blond bombshell. X-rated for sure. Move over Chardonnay. Expect huge richness and tropical fruit and honey flavours. But it finishes dry.

Wine this lush and flavourful is best sipped after dinner. I suggest summer evenings on the porch with your sweetie. It would also be a lovely lazy afternoon, pre-nap, sipper.

So get some Chenin before it’s gone. Enjoy the fun of the fringe.

Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2007, a guide to the best wines at the LCBO, available in bookstores or through www.billysbestbottles.com. Sign up for his free wine e-letter at www.billysbestbottles.com.


Simonsig 05 Chenin Blanc

South Africa

LCBO No.: 610907

Price: $9.95

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