When the days are warm and the menu lightens up for summer it’s prime time for Sauvignon Blanc. I think its just about the perfect summer sipper any time, yet it is the versatile way Sauvignon Blanc embraces food that really turns me on. One of the special way it pairs up with food is that it evokes the place it calls home. I love letting go of my imagination when I sip, and Sauvignon Blanc takes me on a journey. This wine gives me a sense of place and experiences because of the stylistic differences offered from each of the main wine growing regions which produce it. Allow me to generalize a bit:
- New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc sipped with steamed mussels is an invitation to visit the Marlborough wine country on the South Island. It gives me the travel bug! I find the Sauvignon Blanc of New Zealand to have an aroma of new mown hay and I can’t help but taste kiwi – the fruit, not the bird!
- A chilled Sancerre from France’s Loire Valley puts me in a village on a hill, sitting at an outdoor table for a mid-afternoon respite from wandering the magnificent chateaus of the region. When I sip I think of stone fruit like white peach and often there are aromas of fresh cut flowers.
- A citrusy and tropical Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc transports me to a shady grove in a winery picnic area as we share olives and cheese along with a salad of just picked greens and heirloom tomatoes. The Californians are riper tasting with grapefruit or even pineapple accents along with fresh melon.
All Sauvignon Blanc do share one key characteristic – they’re sassy. Yep, sassy because of the acidity. It’s this sassy factor that makes them so drinkable with so many foods. They are terrific with salads and veggies, a great match for richer seafoods like scallops or prawns, perky enough to handle spicy offerings like gazpacho, dry and tart to accent the briny flavor of fresh oysters, and they’re nibble friendly too – pick a couple of cheeses and set out the olives! Risotto with peas, chicken with lemon and capers, grilled sea bass – that’s versatility. And what’s not to love about a white wine like that? In a lot of ways Sauvignon Blanc is the anti-Chardonnay – it’s not oaky, lower in alcohol, crisper, lighter bodied, refreshing and easy to kick start a gathering or a dinner as a crowd pleaser.
Whether you’re packing the cooler for a summer concert on the lawn, hanging on the patio with friends, having a casual summer supper for two or you just want a glass of white to sip, make sure to chill the Sauvignon Blanc.
Every Day Sip
2014 Ferrari Carano Fume Blanc $14
2014 Groth Sauvignon Blanc $18
2015 Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc $14
2014 Nobilo Sauvignon Blanc $12
2014 Pascal Jolivet Sancerre $23
2014 Hall Sauvignon Blanc $25
2015 Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc $25
2014 Chateau Montelena Sauvignon Blanc $30