When I first started drinking wine over 25 years ago, I only drank white wines and my favorite was Chablis. Over the years my friends, and my desire to educate my palate, pushed me toward red wines as well as other whites. Today, about three quarters of the wines I drink are reds and the rest are whites.
After my Chablis days one of the first white wines I started drinking was Sauvignon Blanc. I found it was a great wine to sip on a hot sunny afternoon and it pairs wonderfully with seafood and various salads. Seafood and Sauvignon Blanc are one of my favorite food and wine pairings. As a side note, I also like to pair a Viognier or Sémillon wine with seafood. Give them a try when you can. Sauvignon Blanc also pairs well with some cheeses.
Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most popular white wines in the United States. It shares the spot with Chardonnay. The Sauvignon Blanc is a green-skinned grape that originated in the Bordeaux region of France. It continues to be grown in France as well as the U.S., New Zealand, Australia, South Africa and Chile. In France the wine is also known as Sancerre (san-ser), named after the region it was born in.
As the wine began to travel around the world it found a home in New Zealand. When the New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc wines hit the international market, their wines were recognized as bright, crisp, refreshing and affordable. The rest of the major wine growing countries took notice of New Zealand’s excellent, vibrant wines. Soon after, other states and countries such as California, Washington, Chile and South Africa began making top quality Sauvignon Blancs.
Whether the wine is called Sancerre, Sauvignon Blanc, Blanc Fume (France) or Muskat-Silvaner (Germany) it is recognized as a refreshing dry wine that has minerality and offers aromas of berries, fruit, citrus, flowers, spice and earthiness on the nose. On the palate it often tastes of herbs, lime, peach and grass. The finish is crisp and offers medium to high acidity levels. In some blends there is a hint of earthiness and usually offers a mouth feel that often prickles your cheeks.
Sauvignon Blanc is generally consumed at an early age as it doesn’t benefit from aging. Because of Sauvignon Blanc’s dry and crisp character it is often considered an alternative to Chardonnay wines.
A final tidbit: along with Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc was one of the first wines to be bottled with a screw cap in commercial quantities. Several of my winemaking friends are now even providing half bottles in cans! They claim it is great for the pool or beach and the cans have been accepted very well by consumers. They intend to increase can production with their next vintage.
I recommend that you try Sauvignon Blancs from various countries and wineries in order to educate your palate and find the perfect one for yourself.
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Until next week,
Calendar of Events
- August 18th – International Pinot Noir Day
- September 3rd – International Cabernet Day
- September 15th – International Grenache Day
- November 7th – International Merlot Day
- November 12th – International Tempranillo Day
- November 15th – International Zinfandel Day
- December 16th – National Wine Club Day
- December 20th – National Sangria Day
- December 31st – National Champagne Day