Sauvignon Blanc translates to “wild white,” and the grape is one of the most widely planted because of the variety and wide range of tastes and styles. The popularity of Sauvignon Blanc is largely due to the master winemakers in the Bordeaux and the Loire Valley, both in France. The grape has origins that trace back to the South of France. Sauvignon Blanc is mainly a dry wine, though there are some regions, such as California, that produce Sauvignon Blanc that leave just a gram or two of residual sugar for a texture that is richer. The most commonly associated fruit notes in Sauvignon Blanc are peach, passion fruit, lime and green apple but what really distinguishes this wine from other whites, such as Chardonnay, is the presence of greener flavors. Some Sauvignon Blancs feature notes of jalapeno, bell pepper and grass. It is these notes that put Sauvignon Blanc in a category of it’s own.
Because Sauvignon Blanc has interesting herbaceous tastes, this wine is excellent to pair with “green” food items as well.
Citrus Sauvignon Blanc
For a citrusy Sauvignon Blanc, asparagus and artichokes are an excellent choice. These vegetables can be hard to pair with other wines as they can leave a metallic finish, but they pair beautifully with Sauvignon Blanc featuring notes of citrus. Grill or roast with herbs like rosemary for a perfect, light accompaniment to your Sauvignon Blanc. Vegetables are certainly not your only option for a Sauvignon Blanc with citrus notes. Prepare some authentic fish and chips or grill some chicken with rosemary, thyme, basil and white pepper. If you prefer something with a bit more heat, consider pairing citrus Sauvignon Blancs with Mexican food. Avocados and tomatoes work perfectly with Sauvignon Blanc. Alternatively, you can go Greek and pair your Sauvignon Blanc with olives and feta cheese.
Herbaceous Sauvignon Blanc
One of the greatest features that Sauvignong Blanc has is it’s unique, earthy tones like grass or bell pepper. Enhance this taste by serving your Sauvignon Blanc with green foods. Salads are an excellent choice and provide virtually limitless combinations to pair with Sauvignon Blanc. Meats that pair well with Sauvignon Blanc include chicken, lobster and crab among many others. A simple grilled chicken with spinach salad and an herb vinaigrette makes for a wonderful meal. Another way to pair Sauvignon Blancs with green notes is to prepare a light meal of fish such as Halibut or Tilapia. If you don’t feel like cooking, call your favorite Japanese restaurant and order an assortment of sushi. For those who are a bit more adventurous, make your own sushi at home.
Sauvignon Blanc is a unique, complex white wine that features notes perfect for preparing summer foods. Prepare a great spinach salad for a daytime affair or have an ethnic feast with foods from Japanese, Greek and Mexican cultures. If you simply want to serve your Sauvignon Blanc with a bit of cheese, look for softer cheeses like goat’s milk cheese or creme fraiche.