What does it mean to be savvy? If you google savvy for a definition, it means to have common sense and good judgement. When it comes to wine, and specifically Sauvignon Blanc, savvy will make the difference between a good and a great one!
Do you remember the first time you tasted New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? The experience for me was outstanding. The bottle was Kim Crawford, vintage maybe 2006 (just shortly before his brand was purchased by Treasury and commercialized for global domination). I had never tasted a fresh white aromatic white wine with such freshness yet aromatic beauty.
What stood out were the aromas and flavors of my favorite tropical taste sensation – passionfruit. The pairing to this stunning glass was a tempura prawn dressed in a chili lime mayo on a bed of fresh poke – thin, rich layers of avocado, dice of ahi tuna and juicy julienne of mango. A mouthful of the crunchy and fleshy prawn followed by a crisp sip of freshness took the meal from bodacious to brilliant.
A few things to know about Sauvignon Blanc so that you too can be savvy: this is a white grape variety that is widely planted, that grows well, has thinner green skins and is sweet and juicy. It’s the 8th most planted grape variety in the world and 3rd among the whites. It usually plays second fiddle to Chardonnay and like Chardonnay can be cheap and uninteresting to complex, simple to complex and for many a more reliable choice than Chardonnay.
Sauvignon Blanc is a fairly reliable wine choice. Its flavour profile can capture a wide range depending on whether it’s growing in cool or warm regions. Aromas range from greengage, fresh cut grass, asparagus, bell pepper, gooseberry, citrus, tropical fruit notes (passionfruit, guava). Its structure is medium to full bodied, medium alcohol, dry (except for Sauternes), and usually high acidity (especially cool climate) styles which makes it really a great food pairing with fresh grilled prawns on a chili coconut mango slaw.
There are three styles that are classic and available in the market. These are: Sauvignon Blanc famously called Sancerre from the Loire Valley in France; White Bordeaux famously blended with up to 50% Semillon; and Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand recognized around the world by producers like Cloudy Bay and Villa Maria, for crisp freshness and distinctive aromas and flavours. In fact, in New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc is so important they hold a Sauvignon Blanc conference every year.
Here are recommendations for our upcoming Thursday evening session with Mark Shipway. These bottles are available at the BC Liquor Stores (website) and Marquis Wine Cellars (website).
Blue Mountain Sauvignon Blanc 2018 $28.35 | Marquis Wine Cellars
Pouilly Fume - Joseph Mellot Le Troncsec 2018 $39.99
Chateau de Sancerre - Sancerre 2017 $32.99
Domaine Franck Millet – Sancerre 2018 $41.65 | Marquis Wine Cellars
L’esprit de Cheval Blanc 2016 $55
Chateau De Fieuzal Blanc 2015 $85
Astrolabe Province Marlborough 2018 $23.49
Greywacke Marlborough 2018 $32.99
TOHU Marlborough Single Vineyard 2019 $24.99
Mulderbosch Sauvignon Blanc 2018 $25.13 | Marquis Wine Cellars
Sauvignon Blanc - Duckhorn Napa 2018 $38.99
St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc Napa 2017 $37.30 | Marquis Wine Cellars
Recommended food pairings from Fiona Beckett: https://www.matchingfoodandwine.com/news/pairings/best-food-pairings-for-sauvignon-blanc/
Cheese: Goat Cheese (Saltspring Island) & Chevre