Twas a bit of a surprise to find out that there’s such a thing as Chenin Blanc day, but I guess the old girl deserves one for its tenacity at least. Its always been a curious grape with dedicated fans and lots of detractors, particularly when faced with the French versions but then South Africa came along.

Instead of focussing on sparkling or sweet wines as in the Loire valley, the South Africans started to produce cheap and cheerful styles or dry fruity wines which over the years have got better and better. In addition, more and more vineyards started to experiment with oak, and fermentation resulting in an increasing number of quality versions each year.

Ive watched this progression with fascination for decades and its been a real thrill to watch the grape go from being the master of 3 for a tenner to having the capability to rival the most complex of Chardonnays. Yes, I really did say that, because ive had the pleasure of trying some gorgeous, most of which come at a fraction of the price of their chardonnay rivals.

Anyway, Chenin Blanc day is nigh, so here’s a couple of wines that might just put a smile on your face.

Boschendal 1685 Chenin Blanc 2022

Hints of lemon zest on the nose with crisp refreshing exotic fruits on the palate and a very refreshing finish. Great with salmon but I also found it to be a cracking partner to vegetable curry. £9.00

Old Road Wine Co ‘Anemos’ Chenin

Gorgeous! Dried apricots and white peaches on the palate with hints of toasty vanilla on the finish. I could go on but Id rather just drink it. £19.95

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