Wine Pick Photo Credit: Protea

Holy Hell, This $14.50 Bottle of Chenin Blanc is a Dream Come True

A panel of BC sommeliers told us to buy it and they nailed it.

Protea Chenin Blanc $14.50

I’m going to be honest with you—I’m not 100% monogamous when it comes to Western Living. A big chunk of my time is dedicated to our sister publication, Vancouver Magazine, where I deal with much of the same pressing issues: corkage at restaurants, the difference between beluga and ossetra, and the like.

It was on one these sojourns that we asked a slew of local sommeliers the answer to a bunch a screwball questions like “You and your Boss are entertaining clients after a big day. The clients are likely—but not for sure—picking up the tab. What under-$100 bottle do you order for the table?” and “You and your pals are heading to the beach and are bringing a few contraband bottles because you are civilized people—but there’s always a chance they’ll be seized by some overzealous bylaw officer. What two bottles for $50 do you get?”

It was a fun exercise and throughout it there were a few bottles that kept popping up regardless of the question we asked the somms. This bottle of South African Chenin Blanc was one of them and I confess I’d never tried it. Partly it was that I don’t buy much South African wine at all, partly it was because I can be a price snob (in both directions though), but I was curious and snagged a bottle last week.

What an absolute delight of a wine—it’s 100% going to be my new go-to wine when someone needs to buy a case for a party.Chenin is such an under-loved grape and this is a very nice introduction to it: you have some nice ripe melon (which might appeal to a Chardonnay drinker) tempered with some nice biting citrus peel (that would appeal to the riesling drinker) and even some notes of cut grass for the Sauvignon Blanc fan. And it’s a wine that’s not only really well priced, it’s cheaper here than almost anywhere else outside of South Africa (Total Wine in the US is selling it for $21 US!). And it comes in a beautiful bottle—really what more could you ask of a $14.50 wine?

 

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