Sauvignon Blanc Wines

Written by Blaire Chandler-Wilcox
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The delicate green Sauvignon Blanc grape, often referred to as being "nervous," is the foundation of many wines throughout France, California, and quite impressively of late, in New Zealand. This "nervous" quality is related to her tight, compact bunches, which under the wrong circumstance can lead to rotting. However these very bunches are what concentrate the Sauvignon Blanc's flavors, making her the perfect foundation for a wide variety of wines, all with very different natures and characteristics.

In France, the Sauvignon Blanc can be found along the Loire River, as well as within the boundaries of Bordeaux. For a taste of the Sauvignon Blanc grape in its simplest form, try the Loire's Poully Fume and Sancerre. On the other end of the Sauvignon Blanc taste spectrum is the sweet Sauternes wines of Bordeaux. A California producer made a version slightly drier than the traditional and renamed it "Fume Blanc." Though all three of these wines use the Sauvignon Blanc by itself, the differences between them illustrate the breadth of character this little green grape commands.

The Sauvignon Blanc grape responds quite strongly to the environment in which it is planted. It takes on the characteristics of its soil and air, which are very different from California to France to New Zealand. Instead of finding this delightful, it seems all this dizzying variety has left the consumer somewhat confused. Sauvignon Blanc is nowhere near as popular as other whites like Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, and wine experts say that's a shame. Chefs in particular praise Sauvignon Blanc for being flavorful, complex and well matched to nearly any kind of food, particularly Asian cuisines, like Chinese and Thai.

Gooseberry Flavors Add Goosebumps

Outside of France, New Zealand has packed the most mighty punch of late with Sauvignon Blanc. Many critics actually praise this tiny island nation as perfecting the form. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has all the essential flavors of the traditional, plus the impact of local flavors like gooseberry and other tropical notes.

New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and the French Poully Fume and Sancerre are all said to pair beautifully with poultry, fish, and shellfish. Likewise, all three are said to be surprisingly delicious with goat cheese. Serving temperature for all Sauvignon Blanc wines is said to be around 45 to 50 degrees.


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