Chances are pretty good that since you are reading this blog, you like Chardonnay.
I’m guessing the same would hold true for Merlot.
They may not be your favorite white or red wine, but you likely wouldn’t turn them down if a glass were put in front of you.
Oh, if only the same could be said for Sauvignon Blanc. It’s a variety that people either love… or have never tried.
What about you? Are you a Sauvignon Blanc fan? Today is Sauvignon Blanc Day, so it’s time to find out.
Whether you answered yes or no, the truth is that you may not really know if you’re a fan because the variety has so many different personalities. The key to Sauvignon Blanc’s flavor is its place of origin.
Did you ever have a glass of Cloudy Bay during the 1990s or 2000s? That was the real take-it-or-leave-it rendition, defined by its in-your-face, no-apologies flavors of bell pepper and gooseberry.
At the other end of the spectrum were/are renditions from California’s Napa Valley, which tend to be much softer in mouthfeel and melon-like in flavor.
Why such a big difference? The Marlborough growing region of New Zealand, the home of Cloudy Bay, has what is considered a cold climate for winegrape growing. Napa Valley, conversely, is quite warm. The grapes know the difference.
If you prefer the cold-climate style, the Elgin area of South Africa provides additional bottlings to try. If your palate leans more toward the warm-weather style, Australia and Chile’s Central Valley offer plenty of choices.
Is there a benchmark locale for Sauvignon Blanc? The answer, of course, is purely subjective, but it’s hard to beat the Sancerre appellation of France’s Loire Valley. There, the melon-like flavors of Napa are replaced by lip-smacking grapefruit, while the bell pepper impression of Marlborough gives way to less assertive herb flavors.
So, do you like Sauvignon Blanc? Given the number of styles and sources, the real answer probably is, “I don’t know.”
A great way to find out is with an exclusive Vinesse wine sampler, or by making a few selections from the Vinesse wine store. That’s the best way to determine the type — or types! — of Sauvignon Blanc your palate prefers.