bloem, chenin blanc + viognier

So I’ve been reading this book, “Wine. all the time.” and I’m obsessed with it. Marissa Ross does an incredible job of explaining wine in a way that I personally understand and can relate to. Reading her book is like watching Project Runway or Nikita. At the end of an episode, I either want to go out, buy fabric, and begin designing clothes OR fill out an application to join an elite spy network. Bet you can see where I’m going with this… I was reading it yesterday and felt inspired (and I’m only on chapter 3!). I needed to drink and taste some wine, any wine, new wine, all wine. I put on my outside clothes and began the trek to the Trader Joes Wine store.

For those who don’t know, in New York City, it’s illegal to sell wine and liquor at grocery stores. Yes, there is a surplus of wine and liquor stores in the city because of this, but nowhere as cost friendly as TJ’s so I made my way from the UES down to Union Square. 100% worth it. I walked in and grabbed a basket (mistake, shoulda grabbed the cart) and perused up and down the aisles. Some people might take an hour to an hour and a half in a store like this, but not me. I was in and out in 20 min and found a variety of 12 different wines to taste. As I was carrying the wine through the store though, I realized there was no way I was going to be able to carry these wines back on the subway with me. Oh right, thank goodness for delivery!! Yes, please. And 12 bottles of wine for under $100, that’s like finding a unicorn in the City.

As I pranced out of the wine store, thrilled over my purchase, I realized I was in the same predicament as before. I still had no wine. WTF, of course, I let that happen. Time to problem solve. Where should I buy wine? Anywhere else I go is going to be expensive, so I decided if I’m going to spend money on wine, I don’t want the regular selections all stores have. I want something either natural or from a smaller producer. Some Good Wine, an incredible and cute store off of 8th, was in the opposite direction and I wasn’t about to go to Henry’s in Brooklyn, so I turned to Google. Google, you rarely steer me wrong.


There’s this super cool Chenin blanc called Folk Machine that I’ve been wanting to try. It has a picture of a skateboarder on the front and is by a company called Hobo Wines. Side note: every boy I’ve ever had a massive crush on from 6th grade to 11th (I shouldn’t kid myself, even now) was a skateboarder. So I obviously needed to buy a bottle of this wine. I found a place on the UES that carries Hobo Wines and figured it’s one subway stop further, BUT I can get a nice walk out of it on my way home, so I started my journey there. Upon arrival at Eastside Cellar Wines, I walked in and the store was poppin and the folks working there still immediately acknowledged my presence. Rare and really cool especially considering my outside clothes made me look like a cross between homeless and a hippy. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the wine I wanted, but somehow I left with three more wines (if you’re doing the math I’m up to 15 bottles now). I, of course, bought a popular bottle produced by Hobo, another red, and the needed Chenin Blanc to fill my craving.

I got home and popped this bottle open. I’ve never tried a Chenin Blanc + Viognier blend before, especially from South Africa. The two grapes are well known there and produce such interesting characteristics. Chenin Blanc tends to have a more citrusy taste to it with high acidity. Viognier, on the other hand, can be very tropical with lots of honey and peach flavors.  Knowing that I jumped into my tasting!


wine name: bloem

vintage: 2018

style/type: 72% chenin blanc + 18% viongnier blend

country/region: western cape, south africa

price: $12


  • clarity: This wine is clear. Like almost way to clear. I poured it into my wine glass thinking I’d take a photo of it and it looked like water. A little disappointing.
  • intensity: Because the wine is so clear, it’s also super pale. Once I poured more wine into my glass some of the color started to appear.
  • color: Being so pale and clear it was difficult to asses what color this wine was. Can I just call it water? I mean water isn’t a color though. What color is water? Clear? Well, this brings me back to square one. It definitely had a little color to it, just not a lot. I’d say it was more of pale lemon, waterlike, color.


  • condition: Ohhh and this wine is clean. It’s that refreshing clean that you get from smelling laundry straight out of the dryer.
  • intensity: It also has a light+ intensity. It’s not super intense, but there is something there. It’s subtle, like a penny hiding under a rock shining in the sunlight. It’s there and it wants you to know its there but it’s not gonna go out of its way to be found.
  • aromas: And if you remember earlier, I said it reminded me of clean laundry coming out of the dryer. Or better yet, maybe you own the “Clean Cotton” Yankee Candle. It’s what I remember that smelling like. It’s fresh and clean with tropical fruit notes.


  • sweetness: This wine is dry.
  • acidity + tannin level: It also has high acidity with no tannins.
  • body: When sipping this wine it started out with a very light body to me, but the more I drank the wine throughout the night the more of a medium body it started to have.
  • flavors: As I described this wine on Instagram, it’s like an afternoon sail through the Caribbean; light, breezy, and tropical (with a hint of lemon), yet still refreshing.
  • finish: Overall this wine had a medium finish. It didn’t just drop by and leave, but it didn’t overstay its welcome either. It was just right.

conclusion: I’d give Bloem a 4. I highly recommend it for the price. I think there’s still more out there that I haven’t tried, so I don’t want to give it a 5 in hopes that there’s an incredible 5 out there waiting for me to swipe right on it.

❤ happy tasting

One Comment Add yours

  1. steveleuck says:

    Wonderful story! I appreciate how you incoporate your TJ’s experience and the whole NYC liquor and wine store ordeal into your wine choice and purchase process. Also, love the skateboarder label (and connection) 🙂

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