Dry and Off-Dry Chenin Blanc pairs best with salads and lighter meat-based dishes, including Ham, Roast Pork, Chicken Kiev, Grouper, Fish & Chips and Shrimp Scampi.  For spicier dishes like Kung Pao Chicken, spicy Ceviche or curried chicken salad, go with an off-dry Chenin Blanc.  Meanwhile, for a dessert level sweet Chenin Blanc, pair up with fruity desserts (peach cobbler, apple crumble), blue cheese or foie gras.

Chenin Blanc might also be oaked, unoaked, or sparkling, so it runs the entire spectrum of wine styles.  For the most part, Chenin Blanc is medium-bodied and high in acidity with flavours of flowers, honey, peach, pear, melon, minerals, wet wool, green apples and lemon.

The most popular style of Chenin Blanc is called Vouvray, which hails from France.  For the most part, Chenin Blanc and Vouvray pairings are interchangeable, however, I have a separate wine pairing blog on Vouvray and food pairing.  South Africa, California, and Australia also produce excellent Chenin Blanc.

Best Food with Chenin Blanc

Chicken Kiev & Chenin Blanc Pairing

Chenin Blanc is a fantastic wine pairing with Chicken Kiev as the high acidity of the wine cuts through the oily breading of the Chicken Kiev keeping your mouth refreshed in between bites.  Meanwhile, the medium flavours of apricot, pear, peach and honey aren’t too sharp or fruity to drown out the tender chicken flavours.

Chenin Blanc is a mellow white wine with lots of versatility when it comes to food pairing.  However, the white wine can also offer up complex notes of minerals, brioche, caramel and almonds that bring an extra level of enjoyment to the Chicken Kiev.

Chenin Blanc & Ham Pairing

An off-dry Chenin Blanc is an excellent wine pairing with Honey Glazed Ham as the slight sweetness of the wine complements the salty-sweet nature of the Ham.  Honey, pear, apple, and apricot are classic foods that pair well with Ham, and Chenin Blanc is dominant with these flavours.  Meanwhile, Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley of France is known for its mineral notes, which complements the earthy sweetness of your Ham.

Grouper & Chenin Blanc Pairing

The minerality found in Chenin Blanc makes it an excellent wine to pair with Grouper as it complements the sea kissed flavours of the fish.  My preference for Grouper in this instance is with a dry Chenin Blanc where notes of chamomile, apricot, apple, tropical fruit and melon offer up plenty of refreshment.  Grouper that has been poached or broiled and served up plain is mild in flavour, so the addition of a lively wine that isn’t overwhelming offers enough excitement to keep you interested in your meal.

If you are serving Grouper in a cream sauce, seek out a slightly oaked Chenin Blanc, which will complement the weight of the cream sauce.  With an oaked Chenin Blanc, notes of vanilla, brioche and caramel will shine through making the combination of wine and food very delicious.

Chenin Blanc & Salade Niçoise Pairing

Salade Niçoise is salad that contains tuna, tomatoes, capers, potatoes, cucumbers, black olives, anchovies and hard boiled eggs.  All of these ingredients are tossed in a garlicky Dijon mustard vinaigrette making for some very complex flavours that do not need to be interrupted by a complex or rich white wine.

Chenin Blanc makes for a great wine pairing with Salade Niçoise as it’s medium-bodied and laid back enough to offer a refreshing break against the tornado of flavours Salade Niçoise serves up.  Instead of fighting with the garlicky dressing or sharp caper flavours, Chenin Blanc sits back and chills out, teasing you with its notes of pear, peach, apricot and apple when you need them the most.

Butternut Squash Soup & Oaked Chenin Blanc Pairing

A dry Chenin Blanc that has been oaked makes for a wonderful wine pairing with Butternut Squash Soup as the creamy texture of the wine matches the rich texture of your soup.  With notes of mineral, almond and cream, an oaked Chenin Blanc gets along great with the earthier flavours of squash.  Meanwhile, flavours of honey, pear and apple offer plenty of refreshing but contrasting flavours.