Cheap Wine That Doesn't Suck

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

No wine gets a blanc stare faster than Chenin Blanc. It may be the white wine grape of France's Loire Valley, but in these parts, you see it about as often as snow drifts on Ocean Drive. It had a few minutes of fame in the 1960s and 1970s and showed up in more than its share of cheap white wine blends, but unless you go to South Africa or France, your chances of finding Chenin Blanc as a standalone varietal are pretty small. 

This is really quite the pisser, as Chenin Blanc can be made in a variety of styles, from wickedly sweet to dry as a desert sandstorm, and is eminently drinkable in all of them. Delightfully in the middle of those two extremes is the 2008 Chenin Blanc, from Sonoma's Dry Creek Vineyards, one of the few domestic wineries to bottle it on its own. It sells for around $12 most places -- $9.99 at Total Wine & More -- but drinks like it costs a lot more. 

Splash some in a glass and you'll get a good whiff of classic Chenin Blanc -- a bit floral, some ripe peaches and apricots, soft lemon-lime acidity, plus subtle earthy, minerally components. Take a sip and all those flavors roll around and around in your mouth -- "mouth filling," as cork dorks put it -- leaving your taste buds to savor a long, cleansing, lemon-lime finish.  

I served it with quick-fried chow mein with chicken, veggies, and Chinese Lap Xuong sausage, but it would play well with just about any Asian cuisine, as well spicy Mexican dishes or something as simple as roasted chicken. Really, when it comes to pairing this Dry Creek chenin with food, all you have to do is fill in the blanc.

Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.