What’s in My Glass? Sauvignon Blanc
Now that I’ve recovered from my epic NYC Hangover, it’s back to summer sipper time at Casa Uncorked. This week, I was surprised and delighted by a Sauvignon Blanc sample I received, and got to thinking more about this popular white grape that’s loved and hated by so, so many.
Sauvignon Blanc is the annoying hipster of white wines. It’s herbal, thought-provoking, and sometimes smells like cat pee, but can also be extremely vibrant, play well with others, and offer a refreshing change from oak-laden whites like Chardonnay.
Sauvignon Blanc, like many grapes, is most commonly known for its starring roles in the white wines of France’s Loire Valley and Bordeaux. In the French style, SB has lazer-sharp acidity, plus grassy, green pepper and mineral flavors. It’s refreshing, generally oak-free, and great with fish but not what you’d consider a playful, summertime wine.
The playful, awesome side of Sauvignon Blanc comes out when its grown in the Southern hemisphere, especially in New Zealand, where asparagus and black pepper aromas transform into kefir lime, papaya, and tropcial rainforest scents. It was one of these wines–Jackson Estate Stitch 2013–that got me onto a summertime Sauvignon Blanc grind.
The Jackson Estate, which comes from the Holy Grail of New Zealand winemaking, Marlborough, was extremely tropical on the nose with aromas of kiwi, papaya, white peach and the beach, and was similar on the palate with just a hint of stony minerality. It made for an awesome pairing alongside a crisp, shrimp-covered salad and would do well with most of summer’s light seafood offerings–just nothing too spicy.
Sauvignon Blanc Uncorked:
Laura Loves: Sauvignon Blanc-steamed mussels. Mussels+butter+a glass of wine in the pot+ 3 for you= flawless.
Fun Facts: Sauvignon Blanc is the 8th most-planted grape in the world.
In Napa, many SBs are labelled “Fumé Blanc,” after the smokey aromas the grape sometimes yields.