13 Chenin Blanc Food Pairing Ideas You Can Make Tonight

tacos - chenin blanc food pairing ideas

Whether you’ve just discovered Chenin Blanc, or have been enjoying it for years, Chenin Blanc crafts beautiful food wines.

Chenin Blanc’s naturally high acidity acts as a palate cleanser for flavorful dishes. This white wine expresses pure, crunchy tree and stone fruits that complement lighter dishes, like salads, seafood, cheese starters, and even Asian fusion. Chenin Blanc’s subtle herbal and ginger notes work well with raw vegetables and herbed white fish. Here are fantastic ideas to pair your next bottle of Chenin Blanc wine. 

What’s Chenin Blanc wine like?

chenin blanc wine profile infographic

Delicate, refined, and refreshing, Chenin Blanc wines are versatile whites that can come in dry, off-dry, and even sparkling styles. Chenin Blanc wines are typically light- to medium-bodied wines with medium alcohol (12%-14% ABV) that showcase pear notes as their signature flavor.  Most Chenin Blanc wines have high acid with pure fruit notes, including peach, apple, lemon, and lime. You may even detect subtle chamomile, lemon verbena, ginger, and even honey in your Chenin Blanc wines. 

As a general rule of thumb, if you’re wondering what to eat with Chenin Blanc wine, know that the foods that work well with Pinot Grigio will pair well with Chenin Blanc.

Both white wines are lighter whites that showcase fresh tree fruits. From salads to seafood, and cheese to ceviche, you’re in the right place when looking for the best Chenin Blanc food pairings for any occasion and any season.

Helpful Tip: Here’s a deep-dive into Chenin Blanc tasting notes that will give you a full overview of the range of styles and flavors this little white grape can off you.

Here are everyday food pairings that work well with Chenin Blanc wine.

A general guide to Chenin Blanc food pairing

Chenin Blanc wine and food pairings don’t need to be stressful. Use the wine’s light, fruity profile to enhance the flavors in your food. Here’s what you need to know:

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  • The delicate layers of flavor in Chenin Blanc will enhance the earthy and citrus notes in your food.  
  • Some excellent Chenin Blanc wine food pairings include zesty vinaigrettes, herb rubs, smokey flavors, and sweet and sour combinations. 
  • Chenin Blanc’s tartness will lift up heavier dishes that use cream sauces, enhancing the subtle flavors of different ingredients. 
  • The tartness of Chenin Blanc wine will lift up heavier dishes and rich sauces, enhancing the subtle nuances of different ingredients.
  • Chenin Blanc pairs beautifully with delicate flavors like herbs and savory spices, making it great for mild curries, spring vegetables, and hors d’oeuvre.

A general best practice is to avoid pairing light, delicate white wines with heavy red meat dishes, rich gravies, or hearty red tomato sauces.

But your Chenin Blanc can stand up to cream sauces like alfredo or even carbonara.

As you can see, Chenin Blanc food pairings are versatile and you have plenty of options to experiment. Here are some helpful ideas to get you thinking about Chenin Blanc food and wine pairings.

Helpful Tip: Here’s a quick post that gives 6 easy steps and a complete rundown of food and wine pairing basics if you’re curious.

15 of the best Chenin Blanc food pairings 

There are an endless number of ways to combine Chenin Blanc food pairings, but here are 15 of my favorites.

Helpful Tip: If you’re just getting started out with wine, I put together this helpful overview of food with wine pairing to get you started. Side note – I spend just as much time thinking about food with wine pairing as I do deciding what I’m going to eat every night. Utter hedonism. What can I say?

Chenin Blanc Food Pairing #1 – Cheese

chenin blanc cheese pairing

The classic food and wine pairing, cheese and Chenin Blanc, is always worth trying. Pair Chenin Blanc with herbed goat cheese, brie, gruyere, tangy yogurt, or even cheddar. 

Add some almonds or walnuts to your cheese plate to bring in earthy complexity and harmonize the tang between your Chenin Blanc and favorite cheeses. 

Experiment with other types of cheese pairings with Chenin Blanc. A nutty parmesan or an aged cheddar will pair beautifully with Chenin Blanc. Keep in mind that you want to pick flavorful cheeses that will contrast with the pear, apple, and citrus in your Chenin Blanc. A cheese with a nuttiness and some tang can help balance out your white wine. 

Chenin Blanc Food Pairing #2 – Grilled, Roasted, Raw Vegetables

chenin blanc food pairing vegetables

Chenin Blanc’s lighter body and green tree fruit and citrus core beg to be paired with vegetables. Grilled and roasted vegetables develop a slight caramelization and sweetness that balances out the wine’s tang. Alternatively, drizzle your vegetables with a little balsamic vinegar or lemon-infused olive oil for a bright twist.

Helpful Tip: Are you a white wine lover? Check out this side-by-side of Chenin Blanc vs Riesling.

Raw vegetables add an earthy crunch that will magnify Chenin Blanc’s flavor profile. Add a creamy herbed cheese dip to your vegetable platter for the best Chenin Blanc food pairing combination. 

Recipes that call for vegetables, like zucchini, carrots, asparagus, peas, cucumbers, and cabbage, will all pair seamlessly with Chenin Blanc wine. 

Chenin Blanc Food Pairing #3 – Ceviche

chenin blanc food pairing ceviche

If you have a citrusy Chenin Blanc with a little sweetness in it, I recommend indulging in a bright, acidic bowl of ceviche. Chenin Blanc makes the perfect wine pairing option for ceviche starters. Chenin Blanc’s apple and pear backbone will wash through your mouth with the briny citrus seafood for an indulgent experience.

Tasting Tip: Learn how to figure out if your wine is dry or sweet with this helpful post.

Chenin Blanc Wine Pairing #4 – Pasta

pasta - chenin blanc food pairing

Pasta can pair well with all different styles of Chenin Blanc wine. Chenin Blanc pairs with creamy pasta dishes, savory pasta with truffles, or even a pasta salad with fresh veggies. For a memorable meal, try pairing Chenin Blanc wine with a spaghetti carbonara.

Stay away from tomato-based sauces with heavy meat sauces. The acid in tomato sauce will clash with the acid in your Chenin Blanc wine for a doubly tart experience.

An easy pasta and Chenin Blanc pairing is a little garlic, fresh herbs, olive oil, parmesan cheese, and freshly ground black pepper. Add a side salad or roasted squash and your meal is complete. Wine and pasta heaven!

Chenin Blanc Pairing Idea #5 – Fish

Many different kinds of fish will pair well with Chenin Blanc wines. The wine’s delicate pear and apple add layers to white fish that are more subtle with their flavor profile. Try white fish such as tilapia, trout, sole, sand dab, halibut, tuna, sea bass, or even cod. Sushi and sashimi will pair well with Chenin Blanc if it has a little sweetness to it.

Prefer takeout? An easy Chenin Blanc wine pairing is fish and chips or a fish sandwich with french fries!

Chenin Blanc Pairing Idea #6 – Salad

bowl of vegetable salads - chenin blanc food pairing

Almost any kind of salad makes the best Chenin Blanc food pairing. Add a tangy vinaigrette or lemon-infused olive oil with raspberry balsamic reduction for a flavor bomb. Dress your salad up with nuts, feta cheese or shredded cheddar, egg, mushroom, tofu, or grilled chicken to help balance out the wine’s acid. 

Chenin Blanc works well with a range of salads, from pasta salad to bean salad, even summer fruit salads, as long as the salad includes herbs or green vegetables like avocados, bell peppers, or green mangos.

This will balance out Chenin Blanc’s floral and lemon verbena herbal notes. 

Alternatively, sprinkle some fresh lemon thyme or dried dill on your salads to give it that earthy note that will work well with Chenin Blanc. 

What to Pair with Chenin Blanc Wine #7 – Sweet and Sour Asian Fusion

chenin blanc food pairing asian sweet and sour

If you love Asian take-out, then Chenin Blanc should be your go-to wine. Sweet and sour foods marry two classic tastes together. Chenin Blanc pairs with sweet and sour foods thanks to the wine’s tang and pure fruit. 

Helpful Pairing Tip: Do you like a little heat, too? Look for Chenin Blancs that are off-dry to balance out the spice in your meal.

Street noodles, sweet and sour pork, and even sweet pickled vegetables make excellent pairing partners.

What to Pair with Chenin Blanc Wine #8 – Greek food 

Chenin Blanc’s bright acidity makes it a lovely companion wine on sultry summer evenings. This logically means that enjoying Mediterranean cuisine with Chenin Blanc wines just works. Traditional Greek dishes, including salads with feta, stuffed grape leaves, briny olives, and marinated artichokes meld beautifully with Chenin Blanc’s green fruit profile. 

Chop up a light cucumber salad with mint leaves, or a simple pita and garlic hummus dip to sip with your glass of Chenin Blanc. Enjoy the sunset and a chilled glass of wine with your favorite dinner companion. 

What to Pair with Chenin Blanc Wine #9 – Smoked White Meat and Fish

chenin blanc food pairing smoked fish

You know that earthy flavors work with Chenin Blanc, so why not try smoked meats? Smoked pork and white fish have a savory, rich flavor to them without being overwhelming.

Chenin Blanc’s citrus, pear, and bright acidity will counterbalance the smoke and refresh your mouth after every bite. 

Whip up an herbed creme fresh spread on some crackers or french bread for a simple, yet decadent, experience. 

Chenin Blanc Wine Pairing #10 – Poultry

Does Chenin Blanc go with chicken? Absolutely! Let your chicken sit overnight with an Italian marinate or herbed dressing, and you’re in for a treat with your Chenin Blanc and chicken pairing. Chenin Blanc goes well with Cornish game hens and turkey, too. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Turkey sandwiches and chicken salad sandwiches with some celery and carrot sticks work just as well. Chenin Blanc’s zippy personality brings life to any meal with chicken or turkey.

Chenin Blanc Wine Pairing #11 – Pork

chenin blanc food pairing pork chops

Pork is the other white meat that will pair with Chenin Blanc wines. Grilled pork chops with a mild spice rub or herbed pork roast work well with Chenin Blanc’s pear and apple core. Think applewood smoked pork for a special treat!

Stay away from BBQ pork with rich, heavy sauces that will overpower Chenin Blanc. You’re looking to marry the earthy, umami quality of the meat with your wine. 

Chenin Blanc Wine Pairing #12 – Quiche

quiche - chenin blanc food pairing

Quiche, the classic French dish, will always make a perfect Chenin Blanc pairing. Chenin Blanc cuts through the savory weight of buttery pastry crust along with the rich protein from the eggs and cheese.

Experiment with different ingredients: mushrooms, sauteed onion, spinach, artichoke hearts, spiced sausage – all bring different textures and nuanced layers of flavor.

Chenin Blanc’s light tang will cleanse your palate after every bite, lifting up the entire experience. Add a simple side salad for a full meal. 

Chenin Blanc Food Pairing #13 – Fresh herbs 

By now, you’ve noticed that herbs make their way into many of the Chenin Blanc food and wine pairing recommendations. Herbs – whether fresh or dried – will enhance the subtle nuances of flavor in Chenin Blanc wines, like white flower, honey, ginger, and lemon verbena.

Herbs pair naturally with Chenin Blanc.

Look for ways to add dill, basil, rosemary, thyme, chives, and parsley to your dishes to build in layers of flavor that will take your Chenin Blanc food pairings to the next level. 

Ready to serve up your perfect Chenin Blanc food pairings?

chenin blanc food pairing

Now that you have a sampling and know what to eat with Chenin Blanc, all that’s left is to get creative!

Whether you keep it simple with a chicken salad sandwich or opt for a full alfredo dinner, Chenin Blanc wines bring pure fruit and elegance to any meal. So, what are you going to try?

Ready to Experiment and Learn about Chenin Blanc?

If you’re looking to learn more about Chenin Blanc wines, or want to experiment while you’re enjoying your dinner, try this side-by-side:

  • 1 Bottle of Chenin Blanc from France – Look for Vouvray AOC
  • 1 Bottle of Chenin Blanc from South Africa – You may find it as ‘Steen’ on the bottle
  • 1 Bottle of Chenin Blanc from California

Even if you just get 2 bottles, one from each region, you’re well on your way to experiencing the full range of this delicious wine.

Thirsty for More?

A quality that’s appealing for Chenin Blanc drinkers is that it often has a little sweetness to it. Check out this post on 13 sweet white wine options if you’re curious about other wines you might like to try.

Probably the best way to learn about wine is by tasting different wines side-by-side. You can do this at home easily.

Here’s a post that explains wine flights and how to set them up. If you’re curious about wine, this is a must-read.

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