Next week finally marks the start of college football, and soon after that, pro, and that means one thing: tailgating season has finally arrived. Being outdoors in the fall is one of the most spectacular experiences. Everything is starting to cool off and white wines that are simply refreshing, but also have a bit of complexity, become what we’re looking for.
We’ve written before about how much we love Chenin Blanc in the fall – it’s the perfect balance of fall flavors and aromas, while still having a great acidity for those warmer fall days. And it’s the perfect pairing for classic tailgating foods.
There are exceptional Chenin Blancs from the Loire Valley in France, but those tend to be around $20 a bottle, and when we’re thinking of tailgating we tend to think about providing more than one or two bottles for the crowd. Finding affordable Chenin Blanc that still delivers the flavors and aromas we desire can be tough, but a good place to look for great, affordable Chenin is South Africa, which is how we discovered Indaba.
The wine pours a pale yellow in the glass and you actually can smell one of Chenin Blancs quintessential aromas very clearly, barley-sugar. Barley-sugar basically smells like the sweet scent you encounter anytime you enter a brewery or home brew. If you haven’t had these experiences before, the smell might not be immediately recognizable – which is totally ok – you’ll still pick up the scents of pears and apples. It’s these strong aromas that really make this a great wine for the fall.
A sip reveals flavors of citrus and honey with a nice acidity. While there are flavors of honey, this isn’t a sweet wine, as the acidity gives it a very nice balance. Grab a whole case and head to the tailgate.