Our favorite wine writer, the Dallas-based Wine Curmudgeon, Jeff Siegel, has named a South African chenin blanc his Wine of the Week. And since we’ve never featured either a South African wine or a chenin blanc (if you don’t count this delicious 80-percent blend), and it’s available locally for less than $10 a bottle, we think it’s worth noting.
Chenin blanc is among the most versatile of wine grape varieties, producing crisp, dry table wines, like the ones from South Africa, where it’s also called “Steen.” Yet it can also be used in light sparkling wines, dessert wines and even brandy, depending on what part of the world it’s grown. Originally from France’s Loire Valley, chenin blanc is planted in Brazil, Chile, Mexico, and Argentina, where it’s called pinot blanco, as well as in Australia and New Zealand. And it is the third most widely planted white wine grape in California.