Whether it’s music (Leslie), movies (Orly) or food (Jeremy), one comes to rely on a good source.  And, once I find that source (or two), I tend to be very loyal.  It’s my nature.  If I like something, I like it – and I honor the code through both good times and bad times.  For instance, after I saw Evita I thought, “Huh!  Madonna really can act and sing!”  Then, I saw Swept Away and thought, “Huh!  Madonna really isn’t a very good actress.”  Nonetheless, I own both Evita and Swept Away on DVD.  I’m veering from my original point here…which was…oh, a good source!

So, there’s a small wine store – Chill Wine – a few blocks from where I work and I have come to rely on the guy that works there for honest, solid recommendations.  I know, I know: he’s still a salesman.  But, also an enthusiast (there are surely damn good appliance salesmen out there, but are they really enthusiastic about washers & dryers?).  In any event, on my first visit, he pointed me toward some viogniers and, in particular, an Australian one – Shinas Estate Voignier.  And, to seal the deal, the label art was cool.  Sold. 

A few more visits, and nothing but a few more great recommendations.  Then, he points out a chenin blanc from South Africa.  Chenin blanc?  I had never heard of it, but given his description of the Ken Forrester Petit Chenin Blanc (crisp fruity flavors) and the price point (under $15), once more, I was sold.  Now, I am loving the chenin blanc.  I’m no expert on wine, so I can’t give you much more of a review than “I really like it, and it doesn’t give me a headache,” but I hope you try it 🙂 

From the International Herald Tribune:

Among grapes, only riesling rivals chenin blanc for versatility. The range extends from the steely dry yet profound Savennières to the lusciously sweet, honeyed wines of Quarts de Chaume and Bonnezeaux.

The reason for chenin blanc’s versatility, as with riesling’s, is the grape’s remarkable acidity. Far from being a flaw, acidity gives a white wine structure, length and integrity, allowing it to exhibit its aromas and flavors without collapsing into a fatiguing puddle. A well-modulated acidity keeps a wine refreshing even if it is sweet. Too much acidity, though, can make a wine harsh.

 Read the entire article here.