Wondering how Chardonnay vs sauvignon blanc vs Chenin blanc white wines compare in taste, alcohol content, and food pairings? These popular white wine varieties offer a variety of tastes. Find out which white wine grapes are suitable for your next meal.
Chardonnay wine is a popular white grape variety usually made as a dry wine. Multiple wine regions produce this wine, including France, California, and Canada. Wine connoisseurs who focus on French wines tend to like Chablis and white Burgundian wines in particular.
The presence of oak influences the range of flavors in Chardonnay. Oak-aged styles (i.e., the wine is aged in oak barrels) introduce additional flavors like notes of vanilla, toast, and spices. The fruity flavors of Chardonnay include green apple and notes of lemon, pineapple, and mango.
Unoaked Chardonnay, usually fermented in stainless steel tanks, usually has notes of green apple and lemon. The residual sugar content in Chardonnay is generally low (i.e., 2-7 grams per liter). Find out more in this post: Does Chardonnay Have A Lot Of Sugar?
As a Chardonnay wine drinker, you have plenty of food pairings to enjoy. Chardonnay is a versatile grape, so it works well with a wide variety of foods.
Chardonnay Food Pairings
- Pasta with butter, pesto, or cream sauces
- Chicken and fish in cream sauces
- Cheeses like Brie or Monterey Jack
Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine grape variety that comes in a variety of styles. The taste of the wine changes significantly when it is produced in a cool climate vs a warm climate. In contrast to other white wine types, the main fruity flavours of Sauv Blanc are passion fruit, lime, and white peach.
Originally from France, white wine drinkers describe Sauv blanc as having a light or medium body, above medium acidity and
Do yourself a favor and pick up a wine bottle from the Loire Valley. The winemaking style in the Loire often has tropical fruit notes, refreshing acidity, and mineral notes.
Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairings
Asking the wine director at a quality restaurant for food pairing tips is a great idea. The variety of flavors in Sauvignon Blanc means it can pair well with a range of dishes.
- Green vegetables and salads
- Sauces with herbal flavors like pesto sauce
Chenin Blanc is the final grape to explore in our Chardonnay vs sauvignon blanc vs. Chenin blanc comparison. The fruity flavors in this wine include yellow apple, baked apple, passion fruit, and peach. Other flavors include notes of ginger, honeysuckle, and hay.
In terms of grams of sugar, it depends on the bottle. Of the three bottles, I checked, the sugar content ranges from 2 to 6 grams of sugar per liter.
South Africa’s Robertson Winery Chenin Blanc has 6 grams of sugar. However, there are other Chenin Blanc options in Chenin Blanc, like The Pavilion which has 2 grams of sugar per liter.
Chenin Blanc Food Pairings
Asking the wine director at a quality restaurant for food pairing tips is a great idea. The variety of flavors in Sauvignon Blanc means it can pair well with the following foods.
Chardonnay vs Sauvignon Blanc vs Chenin Blanc Top Wine Regions
There’s a big difference between wines made in cooler climates, warm climates and maritime climates. The best way to discover which type of wine you like to have white wine glasses from different bottles. Get started with the following wine regions.
Chardonnay Wine Regions
While it is made in a range of styles, most Chardonnay today is made in a dry style. Look for wines in the following wine regions when you visit your local wine store.
- Warmer regions: Napa Valley (California), Burgundy (France), Mendoza (Argentina)
- Cooler regions: Loire valley (France), Oregon and Washington State (United States), Marlborough (New Zealand)
Sauvignon Blanc Wine Regions
This popular white wine is produced in wine regions across the world. It is typically made in a dry style. Typically, Sauvignon Blanc thrives in cool regions. Therefore, it is less useful to compare warm vs cool regions. Instead, compare how this wine is produced in Europe (i.e. Old World) vs the rest of the world (i.e. New World).
- Old World Regions: the Loire Valley is well known for producing excellent Sauvignon Blanc.
- New World Regions: New Zealand and the United States (i.e. California) are popular places to grow this grape.
Chenin Blanc Wine Regions
This lesser known white wine grape variety may not have the same fame as Chardonnay. Yet, this grape also has a global following and you can find it in numerous wine regions.
- Old World Region: France’s Loire Valley is a major producer of this variety.
- New World Regions: Chenin Blanc is South Africa’s most planted white wine grape variety. It is also grown in New Zealand, South America and Israel.
It is also important to note that Chenin Blanc is sometimes considered a blending grape. Therefore, finding a 100% Chenin Blanc bottle can be difficult in some regions. Instead, this grape is more likely to be used as part of a white wine blend, especially in California and South America.
Chardonnay vs Sauvignon Blanc vs Chenin Blanc Conclusion
These versatile wines come in a wide range of flavors and styles. You can find these wines in sweeter styles, dry wines, and beyond. Some grape varieties – especially Chardonnay – are also used to make sparkling wines.