When it comes to white wine, the choices are varied and vast: sweet Riesling, light Pinot Grigio, spicy Chardonnay, aromatic Gewürztraminer, etc. I’m a fan of them all but there is one that consistently has a place in my top ten – the lovely Sauvignon Blanc.
Sauvignon Blanc’s origin is from the Bordeaux region in France where it is typically blended with Semillon. Head up north to the Loire Valley and you’ll find Sancerre, the most famous Sauvignon Blanc of the region. In California, Sauvignon Blanc is sometimes referred to as Fumé Blanc. Robert Mondavi came up with this term in the late 1960’s after barrel aging Sauvignon Blanc to improve the negative reputation of the wine.
Light, fresh and intended to be consumed young, Sauvignon Blanc pairs perfectly with shellfish, such as crabs, oysters, and mussels. It is also a quintessential pairing for chèvre.
An outstanding characteristic of Sauvignon Blanc is it’s grassy component. It literally shares the same chemical compound found in freshly mowed grass. This peculiar feature may be difficult for some to overcome but makes it easy to discern.
The tasting profile of Sauvignon Blanc varies greatly depending on the origin of the wine. French Sauvignon Blanc has citrus notes of lime and gooseberry with a good hit of minerality. Washington, California and Oregon Sauvignon Blanc have similar citrus notes with grapefruit and white peach showing up in the warmer climates. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has tropical flavors coming forth, like passion fruit and also has a dominant presence of pungent green capsicum (green pepper).
No specific recommendations this time because I have not met a Sauvignon Blanc I did not like. Grab one with a cool label, from your favorite appellation, or the right price. I am sure you will not be disappointed.