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Big Easy: A Winning Chenin Blanc

big easyChenin Blanc is getting a lot of attention these days – and it should! Although not a well-known variety to many American wine consumers, it has a long and often glorious history in a many regions around the world, including South Africa. Gail Appelson offers a good précis on the grape in her St. Louis Post-Dispatch “Wine Finds” column this week, and tastes and selects the Ernie Els “Big Easy” as a favorite.

Appleson says the Big Easy “had floral aromas and tasted of pineapple, melon and other tropical fruits with hints of ginger spice and honeysuckle” and calls it a food-friendly wine “that would go with a variety of dishes including fish, chicken and vegetables.” Comparing it to another South African Chenin, Appleson writes: “Although they were similar in style, the Ernie Els Big Easy, which is unoaked, is a bit softer and better balanced. While Els is most famous as a golfer, his wines have won high praise from critics. In fact, the Sotheby’s Wine Encyclopedia says he owns “possibly the most serious of the so-called celebrity wineries.” Els, who developed his fondness for wine through his international travels, founded his Stellenbosch winery in 2004.”

You can read Appleson’s entire column on the Post-Dispatch site.

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