Education Tips Wine

Sauvignon Blanc: The Go Anywhere, Do Anything White

It’s nice to have a friend that loves to do everything you like to do. Traveling through far off countries by bike? Yes! Seeing live music whenever possible? Yes, yes! Taking a fermenting course to learn to make your own pickles? Sure, why not! It’s rare to have these kinds of friends, which is why we love Sauvignon Blanc. With this dry white wine at your side, you can drink it with most foods, order it to just sip on as a stand alone drink, and feel comfortable bringing it to any gathering because it’s always welcome. It rolls with you no matter what the situation. Really, doesn’t Sauvignon Blanc read like your new best [wine] friend?

If you aren’t convinced as of yet to give this white wine a try because you’d never betray Chardonnay (especially during the summer months), read on and let us try and convince you of Sauvignon Blanc’s worthiness as your go-to white wine.

FOOD FRIENDLY

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Photo: Oyster Bay Wines

Of all the white wines, Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with nearly everything. Let’s call it the Kate Winslet of wines. It goes well with your meats, and it loves your grilled fish. There isn’t a veggie it’s met that is hasn’t liked. And as for cheese, it likes a lot, but goat is its most favorite pairing.

But more about that food. Specifically, we recommend pairing Sauvignon with fish tacos, a hummus and tabouli salad, anything on the Mediterranean diet: capers, olives, lemon-drizzled dressings, and grilled chicken and lamb galore. Thai and Vietnamese food are also where it’s at, especially when there’s cilantro. Hola, guacamole!

VERSATILE STYLES

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While this grape was sired in Bordeaux, France, sauvignon blanc is grown all over the world. It does especially well in specific regions of France, New Zealand, and California.

To get to know this wine, it’s best to start with a Sauvignon from France, in and around the Loire Valley. This grape loves to grow in Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, arguably two of the greatest regions for its production and subsequent taste. These regions have soil that is chalky and gravely, so the resulting wine flavors teem with gunpowder, flint and green-ness, along with a strong minerality. Yum!

In California, this dry white wine tends to be less earthy and more fruity, as do most New World wines. Find a bottle from Napa and Sonoma, and prepare yourself to get hits of white peach, grapefruit, honeydew melon, and pineapple as you drink it.

Lastly, and fittingly, the Kiwis, produce Sauvignon (the most planted grape in the country) that is fruity as well, but more herbaceous. The majority of their vineyards can be found on its South Island in the region of Marlborough. Get ready to taste the likes of grapefruit, guava, mango, lemongrass, passionfruit, and green pepper on your palate, that you’ll also notice is effortlessly lightweight.

(CAN BE) INEXPENSIVE

Now that you know what to expect from the three major Sauvignon Blanc regions, you can decide which bottles are for you. We’ve listed a few starters below. Unfortunately, the list doesn’t include any French Sauvignons, as the good ones are over $20. Luckily, California and New Zealand make plenty of amazing wines for $15, listed below. We recommend the Oyster Bay, just because it is the bottle that put the New Zealand Sauvignon on the map. But since they are all such great value, why not try them all?

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Chateau Laulerie, Bergerac Blanc, France, 2016, $10

  • – A perfect everyday white wine.

Oyster Bay, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2017, $12

  • The wine that started it [the New Zealand craze] all.

Frenzy, Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough, New Zealand, 2017, $13

  • Succulent mango, melon and tangerine flavors are fleshy and lush, with dried floral hints and a touch of matcha green tea on the finish.

Mount Nelson, Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, New Zealand, 2016, $19

  • Crisp and bright, grapefruit and herbal notes of tomato leaf and grass. A light, refreshing take on classic NZ Sauvignon Blanc.

Have we convinced you to try this amazing and versatile white wine yet? If you’re already a Sauvignon lover, what is your favorite style? Tell us all about it in the comment section below!

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