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Welcome to ‘The Tuesday Tipple’ our new bi-weekly feature showcasing our favourite tipples. From wine to gin – you can expect tips, tricks and little-known facts in easily digestible chunks! The popular white wine created with the Sauvignon Blanc grape is first in line.
An Introduction To Sauvignon Blanc
Where Does it Come From?
As you might expect, there is a long history of Sauvignon Blanc wines in France. This white wine owes much of its popularity to winemakers in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, with over 71,000 acres in France being planted with the grape.
Of course, it is not only the French that produces quality Sauvignon Blanc. It has quickly made New Zealand it’s second home – putting the country on the wine-making map in the 1980’s with Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Although it’s a grape variety that prefers cooler climates, there are over 275,000 acres planted throughout the world… With Chile topping the charts on the value stakes!
What Does It Taste Like?
While the ‘home’ of Sauvignon Blanc might be France, this is one grape variety that can produce stunning wines in a variety of different climates. Depending on the ripeness of the grape, the final wine can range from tart to tropical. This means wines from cooler regions like France will have the flavour of lime or green apple, while hotter climate wines can taste more like passionfruit or if the grapes are very ripe, peach.
What makes Sauvignon Blanc unique from other white wines is the wide variety of herbaceous notes that can be found in the wine. Bell pepper, jalapeño, tarragon and lemongrass are but a few of the aromas that can be detected. These flavours come from aromatic compounds called pyrazines and are the secret to Sauvignon Blanc’s taste.
No introduction to Sauvignon Blanc, or indeed any grape variety would be complete without some advice on food pairing. And Sauvignon Blanc is no stranger to a nice meal – welcome from the start of the meal as an easy going aperitif, right through to accompanying a variety of savoury dishes. The classic pairing for a Loire Sauvignon blanc is a slightly stinky, exceptionally creamy goat’s cheese; The wines crisp acidity and citrus notes refresh the palate between each mouthful – meaning both the wine and the cheese can be enjoyed to its full potential. But the grapes food pairing talents do not end there. Creamy chicken dishes can benefit from Sauvignon Blanc’s charms, as can almost any form of fish or shellfish. Sauvignon Blanc’s herbaceous characteristics also need to be taken into consideration when pairing the wine with a dish. If a dish has parsley, rosemary, basil, cilantro or mint, chances are Sauvignon Blanc will make a great pairing.
A Few Bonus Facts
- Interestingly, while Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine, the crossing with Cabernet Franc created another noble grape, Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Sauvignon Blanc is now the world’s 8th most widely planted grape. For white wines, only Chardonnay is more popular.
- The grape is now so popular, it has its own holiday! International Sauvignon Blanc Day is celebrated on the 4th of May. Any excuse for an extra glass!
- In Bordeaux, it is believed that the grape was given the name Sauvignon Blanc from the French word sauvage, which means wild, because the grape grew like a weed throughout the region.
Have a favourite Sauvignon Blanc to share? Or perhaps a recipe that matches the variety perfectly? Reach out to me on Twitter. I’d love to hear about it.