Sauvignon Blanc: A Stunning Refresher to Both Sip and Savour
Along with Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wines worldwide. And considering its many delectable expressions, that fact should come as no surprise. You can find this well-travelled grape everywhere wine is made, but naturally, there are a few regions that outshine the rest.
Sancerre, the grape’s birthplace, is home to racy, mineral Sauvignon Blancs that prosper in the chalky soils of the region. The wines can take on a flinty character and are noted for their gooseberry, grapefruit and savoury herbal flavours. In a warmer vintage, ripe peach and mandarin make an appearance to enchant the palate. Along with New Zealand, Sancerre makes some of the most aromatic and distinctive Sauvignon Blancs in the world.
New Zealand is an important country for Sauvignon Blanc. Although the grape is very international, it has found the ideal New World home in New Zealand's Marlborough region. More recently it has spread to other New Zealand regions. Planting Sauvignon Blanc here was nothing short of a stroke of genius; the well-draining soils are perfect for allowing the vines to thrive and produce wonderful world class wines. New Zealand has a cooler climate and the Sauvignon Blanc is famous for its gooseberry, passion fruit, and ripe grapefruit aromas and can take on a more herbal or grassy note during a chillier vintage.
Australia is becoming a major player in the Sauvignon Blanc world. In Margaret River, many of the Sauvignon Blancs are blended with Semillon in the style of a white Bordeaux wine. They're equally excellent to their French counterparts, and usually available for a lot less. If you aren't inclined towards blends but love Australian whites, Adelaide Hills produces stunning pure Sauvignon Blanc wines. In many ways, it's similar to those found over in New Zealand, but much riper and showing a lot more peach notes.
Sauvignon Blanc, Always a Safe (and Delicious!) Bet
Sauvignon Blanc is a brilliant go-to wine. It's a fantastic pick-me-up throughout the week, a refreshing wine when temperatures start to rise, and with the incredible, high-quality versions of it being made, a worthy wine for any dinner table.
Like its sometime blending partner Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc is a great candidate for pairing with sushi. Its bright, refreshing acidity and clean citrus fruit flavours work beautifully alongside raw fish. Sancerre is a classic pairing for goat cheese but works equally well with other soft and fresh cheeses. In general, Sauvignon Blanc is delicious with poultry, fish, and many vegetables that can otherwise be hard to pair; that grassiness helps create a bridge between the wine and a tricky asparagus dish.
Looking to Explore Beyond Sauvignon Blanc
If you love the fresh, vibrant flavours of Sauvignon Blanc try Verdicchio. This zesty, high acid, Italian white shares the mouth-watering ripe citrus of a ripe climate Sauvignon Blanc and reasonable alcohol levels. Vermentino is another similar grape from central Italia with the gorgeous ripe peach and pear flavours you'll encounter in Aussie Sauvignon. If you're interested in trying something truly unique, check out Verdelho. This aromatic Portuguese grape is also found in Australia where its tropical fruit character and stunning finesse help make it a wonderful something new for the curious Sauvignon Blanc drinker.