Sauvignon Blanc Wine – A Beginners Guide
Sauvignon Blanc Wine
Sauvignon Blanc wine originates from the region of Bordeaux, in France. As far as the name, many believe that it comes from the French word “Sauvage” which translates into “the wild”. This is because the grape was all over the region, growing where no one would expect it, much like wild weed would do.
Other than in France it is produced in Italy, Moldova, Spain, Chile, North and South America, and Australia and is one of the more popular grape varietals.
Until some years ago, it was made only in stainless steel tanks but more recently some producers started using oaks, to look forward to another side of it – enhancing complexity and increasing depth.
The main flavors of Sauvignon Blanc wine include white peach, passion fruit, green apple, and lime.
Much of the flavor profile is dependant on how ripe the grapes were when the wine was made and bottle and therefore the flavor can range from flowerish peach to zestful lime. Unique to sauvignon are its herbal flavors such as grass, gooseberry, pepper, and jalapeno – those specific compounds are what makes it so distinct and in a way the secret ingredients. These flavor compounds can actually be categorized scientifically, and are recognized as “pyrazines”.
Here is an overview of foods that match the Sauvignon Blanc:
- Meat Pairing – Chicken, pork, and fish (sea bass, trout, redfish, etc.). As noted below, herbs and spices pair well with this wine so be careful to check what you’re cooking the meat or fish in first. We find dill can be slightly overpowering to most lighter Sauvignon, so take care here.
- Herbs & Spices – Green herbs bring out the best in a Sauvignon, so any dish with a healthy helping of Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme, or Basil will make a brilliant pairing.
- Cheese – When pairing Sauvignon Blanc wine with a cheeseboard, opt for the softer cheeses which have ‘briny’ notes, such as goats milk cheeses, Crème fraîche, and even yoghurts.
- Vegetables – Green hummus, zucchini, asparagus, white lasagne. Go for a ‘fatty’ vegetarian dish – this will allow the natural acidity in the wine to shine through and help bring out the best in both flavors.
Is Sauvignon Blanc wine a dry wine?
A large percentage of this variety is made to be thoroughly dry. However, there are some winemakers in California and New Zealand that traditionally put some residual sugar to create a lavisher texture with more sweetness.
Wine with a romantic twist
Some centuries ago, in a dreamy vineyard in Bordeaux, Cabernet France went on a romantic date with Sauvignon Blanc. It was a love at first sight that would last for the ages and the result was the now famous Cabernet Sauvignon.
A great introductory wine
If you are new in the world of wines, then this is a great way to jump into it. The fruity flavors and zesty vibes make it ideal for any newbie looking for an introductory wine. If nothing else, it will get you excited to explore some more and we’d recommend it as a great first step.
As a word of caution however, in recent years Sauvignon has gained a reputation as being the “more expensive” to cheaper types of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio. While this may have been true at one point, many bars and resturants now use this as a marketing ploy to serve cheap (and subjectively worse) Sauvignon wine for higher prices. Always be careful, and ask to try the wine before you buy yourself a bottle if possible to make sure you’re getting the best return for your money!
Final notes on Sauvignon
In France, the wine was initially known as “Sancerre”, after the area where it came from. But no matter what you call it, it is the same refreshing dry wine that has a great aroma, excellent minerality, and fruitiness. Also, regardless of the region where it is grown and produced, the wine hardly gets the chance to age and is typically consumed young.
The Sauvignon Blanc wine quality and price are unmatched almost everywhere where it can be found. Each region brings a different flavor to the mix – but that’s not a downside and should be instead seen of as a strength, making the wine even more appealing. Fans of this wine often like to compare the varieties from other regions and discuss the differences as they can be as varied as different grape varieties themselves!