The aromas and flavor notes of Chenin blanc often include the descriptors of minerally, greengage, angelica and honey. Chenin wines produced from noble rot will often have notes of peaches and honey that develop into barley sugar, marzipan, and quince as they age. Dry or semi-sweet Chenin blanc from the Loire will often have notes apple, greengage, and chalky minerals that develop into more honey, acacia, and quince aromas. New World styles of Chenin, such as those of South Africa, are more often made to be consume young and exhibit rich tropical fruit notes such as banana, guava, pear, and pineapple. The alcohol level for dessert styles Chenin rarely goes above 12%, which keeps the wines more in balance. Drier styles of Chenin are more likely to be around 13.5%.
Chenin blanc can be a very versatile player in food and wine pairings, but the wide range of wine styles needs to be taken into account. Lighter, dry styles can pair well with light dishes such as salads, fish, and chicken. The sweeter styles of Chenin blanc can balance the spicy heat of some Asian and Hispanic cuisines. The acidity and balance of medium-dry styles can pair well with cream sauces and rich dishes like pâté.