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Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc: Setting the pace for spice

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This is a sensory tale of tropical fruit, citrus, and spicy oak that incredibly leads right up to a big plate of Mexican food. You may say, not so, a Margarita, Sangria, or a beer is best mate for south of the border cuisine. But in this case, a wine alternative may come out on top.

This is especially true with a wine like Mulderbosch’s Chenin Blanc that sports a briefly creamy initial blast followed by crisp acidity and a peppery finish. But the tropical fruit bouquet is what makes the Mexican pairing work.

Just the aromas rising from a freshly cooked Mexican dish compliment the tropical fruit of this Chenin Blanc perfectly. Maybe it is something brought about by our learned appreciation of cuisine. But whatever it is, it’s great to know there are wines that work just as well with Mexican food (especially with enchiladas and fish tacos) as the standard bar fare.

But you have to understand one thing about wines that have a peppery finish; they enhance the spiciness in foods, accenting the whole experience. However, they won’t help at all if you overdo it and need to “cool down a pepper that went too far”. That’s a job for a Margarita!

Priced at $11.99 (Total Wine) this is a real value for wine that has been produced with such loving care from harvest to bottling. It’s a South African wine with an interesting combination of Chenin Blanc grapes (Stellenbosch and Swartland), making it one of the most unusual varietal combinations for an under $15 selection.

Chill down really well before serving Chenin Blanc. Its tropical fruit and citrus bouquet will jump out of the glass just right when it is served really cold.