Vouvray wines, at their best, offer an experience quite unlike any other on the market, with some experts in the industry calling them the complete package. The wine has a beautiful history as well as one of the most interesting tastes out of any white wines currently in production.
What is Vouvray Wine?
Vouvray is a white wine that is produced using Chenin Blanc grapes. Although the wine is predominantly created through the usage of these grapes, sometimes the addition of other grapes, such as an Arbois is permitted. Vouvray wines are quite varied with some ranging from sweet to dry and each bottle carrying its own distinct characteristics.
Where is Vouvray Wine From?
The Chenin Blanc grapes used in the process of creating a Vouvray typically grow on the banks of the Loire River in the Touraine district of France. Vouvray is often cited as one of the most respected and famous wines originating from the north banks of the Loire River and has been historically loved in the eight villages of the old medieval town that was once known as Vouvray. Other areas that have also gained a reputation for the creation of Vouvray wine include Montlouis and Anjou.
How is Vouvray Wine Made?
The Chenin Blanc grape is usually harvested in cooler months/years and is picked during these years in order to cultivate drier-tasting wines, such as a Vouvray. Farmers in the area allow for a fungus that is known as ‘noble rot, to grow on the vines in order to significantly increase the sweetness of the grapes being harvested.
Once picked, the winemaking process will vary depending on the type of Vouvray the farmers are aiming to make. Different processes are used for dry, sweet, and sparkling versions of the wine. This is all attributed to the immense versatility of the Chenin Blanc grapes, which is why Vouvray is such a varied drink.
What does Vouvray Wine Taste Like?
Vouvray’s have often been described as quite intense white wines, depending of course on the variation of the wine being drunk. Aromas that are typically associated with a Vouvray include pear, apple, and honeysuckle, while the flavour profile of an average bottle of Vouvray has been described as lean, dry, fruity, and succulently sweet, again depending on the variation of the wine being enjoyed.
Is Vouvray Sweet or Dry?
Once again, these types of questions are difficult to answer because of the varied nature of a Vouvray wine. The aforementioned versatility of the Chenin Blanc grapes means that different types of Vouvray can be produced, and thus if you’re looking for a dry variation you might be better off purchasing a chardonnay or a brut, whereas if you’re looking for a variation on the sweeter side, you would be best placed with a classic Chenin Blanc Gold.
How to Drink Vouvray Wine
As with most good white wines, a Vouvray will be best served chilled but not icy. Experts advise that a bottle of Vouvray should be refrigerated, when at room temperature, for about 20-30 minutes before drinking on a warm spring/summer day. Once again, the variations of Vouvray mean that there will be a different bottle that will suit a different type of occasion. You can enjoy a sparkling Vouvray at a celebration, while on the other hand, you could enjoy a dry, chilled Vouvray on the banks of the Loire River in the French summer.
What Foods Pair Best with Vouvray?
As explained above, Chenin Blanc is an extremely versatile grape that allows for a variety of Vouvray’s to be made from it. Therefore, there are a huge number of different pairing combinations that work well with a Vouvray.
Souffle with Baked Goats Cheese
This combination works so well because the acidity and crispness of a good white Vouvray will cut right through the delicious richness provided by the souffle. The creaminess of a goat’s cheese also pairs beautifully with the fruity and zesty notes commonly associated with a Vouvray, making this a beautiful summery combination.
Chicken Livers with Homemade Apple Chutney
This meal must be enjoyed with an oaked Chenin Blanc Vouvray because this variety of the wine allows for a natural earthiness and fruitiness that comes from maturing in an oak barrel for over 8 months. This pairs perfectly with an apple chutney as all the natural and fruity flavours dance together to enhance the experience of eating buttery chicken livers in a perfect white wine, savoury combination.
Fried Rice Balls
Deep-fried risottos mixed with an intense cheese, such as gorgonzola, make for richness and a creaminess that pairs beautifully with a crisp white wine, such as a Vouvray.
How Much Does Vouvray Cost?
Vouvray is considered an averagely priced wine, with the higher-end bottles going for a lot more than the good quality standard bottle. It isn’t any more expensive than other good quality white wine, with a standard bottle going for around £19.
How to Buy Vouvray
The ideal way to purchase Vouvray wine is to be on the northern banks of the Loire River by visiting the various wineries that have helped create the iconic French white wine. This is obviously not possible for most people who want to enjoy a bottle of Vouvray, so the best way to make sure that you’re picking up a bottle that you enjoy is by doing a bit of research (such as reading this article) on the different varieties of Vouvray out there. This will help you pick a style that you will enjoy.
What Wine is Vouvray Similar to?
Vouvray is made from the Chenin Blanc grape and therefore is most commonly compared to a classic Chenin Blanc. However, due to the wide variety of Vouvray types, it is often difficult to market this wine and give it a distinctness that separates it from all other varieties of white wine. Vouvray has been compared to Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc in the past as well.
Try something new! Sip on a glass of Vouvray and see what you’ve been missing!