Pacific Rim
February 27, 2023 | wine | Pacific Rim

The Taste of Chenin Blanc vs. Sauvignon Blanc

Two famous French white wines that are popular globally include Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon Blanc. Both these wines tend to have moderate alcohol content and be high in acidity, while the flavor profile does vary on how the wine was prepared. What are some of the differences and similarities between Chenin Blanc vs. Sauvignon Blanc?

Chenin Blanc vs. Sauvignon Blanc


Chenin Blanc taste is known for its rich flavors, which include nuts, honey, and quince. It pairs well with shrimp and lighter seafood dishes, pasta, and poultry dishes. If you are looking for a wine to serve with complex dishes, the Chenin Blanc taste will be your “go-to” choice because of its richness, its flavor variety, and the fact that it makes a good balance between dry and sweet foods. Chenin Blanc can be found as a dry wine or a sweet wine; you can even find Chenin Blanc sparkling wine.  On average, it has a fuller body than Sauvignon Blanc with a slightly higher alcohol content. Typically, the Chenin Blanc taste seems to appeal to more people.


The flavors of Sauvignon Blanc can generally be described as crisp with notes of grapefruit, gooseberry, and passionfruit which pair well with cheeses and more fatty dishes.  Some wine connoisseurs consider Sauvignon almost always a dry wine, while others describe some Sauvignon Blanc wines to be slightly sweet.  Once again, personal opinion and preference reign supreme. Sauvignon Blanc tends to have a crisper, fresher taste. Warm weather occasions that occur outside are ideal to serve Sauvignon Blanc.


Unlike other grapes, when weighing Chenin Blanc vs. Sauvignon Blanc, both types of grapes can be finicky, and growth can be unpredictable. However, with the right environmental conditions, these two wines have unique flavors that can mimic sake, coleslaw, or jasmine. And, unlike other white wines, both Chenin Blanc vs. Sauvignon Blanc have higher alcohol concentrations, reaching close to 15 percent in some blends.


The 2018 Hahn Hill Vineyard Chenin Blanc is an exquisite choice because it hails from one of the best vineyards in the region of the Columbia and Yakima Valleys.  The grapes are grown among some of the oldest vines in the valleys.  Native yeasts are used in the fermentation process and the usage of stainless-steel tanks helps maintain the crisp character of the grapes. It is especially appealing when served with Mediterranean foods, soft cheeses, and grilled fish.


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