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We know that understanding wines can be tricky; there are lots of them and there can be big variations within a variety. If, like Ellie, a wine list baffles you, if you aren’t sure what a Chardonnay offers compared to a Sauvignon Blanc, or a Riesling to a Pinot Gris, or you just want to buff up your knowledge on your favourite type of wine, then have a read of the ‘Wine 101’ blog posts to learn with Ellie as she delves into the world of wine!
A firm favourite amongst my friends, Sauvignon Blanc is the second white wine I am focusing on to further my limited wine knowledge. Found at higher latitudes where the temperature is cooler, or in warmer climes but where there is a cooling influence, Sauvignon Blanc vines grow with great vigour and thus require more management than others. As seems to be the way with most wines (unsurprisingly!) it’s homeland is France, more specifically the Loire valley, but today popular Sauvignon Blanc also come from New Zealand and cooler areas of South Africa where the influence of the ocean provides ameliorated conditions for these grapes.
Sauvignon Blanc is an aromatic wine and you will find flavours reminiscent of green pepper or elderflower to name a couple. It is a dry wine - meaning that there are no residual sugars, so it is not sweet to taste. Unlike the Cabernet Sauvignon in a previous 101, Sauvignon Blanc is one to drink and enjoy when young, to avoid the flavours fading.
So if you want to try Sauvignon Blanc, here are some of ours that you could give a whirl.
Hamilton Russell Southern Right (2017, £12.99): this South African Sauvignon Blanc is a great wine to pair with salmon, or maybe a goat’s cheese salad. The acidity of the wine will work perfectly with the flavours of a sharp cheese and can cut through the fatty nature of the fish, with its fruity flavours pairing well with salmon.
Finca Constancia Altozano Verdejo Sauvignon Blanc (2016, £7.99): this is our cheapest Sauvignon Blanc and a good basic wine if you are looking to try something new without blowing the budget. With flavours of exotic citrus fruit and stone fruit, this wine hailing from Spain is another to try!
Greywacke Marlborough ‘Wild Sauvignon’ (2015, £27.99): this Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand is made by ex Cloudy Bay winemaker, Kevin Judd. This is a fabulous sauvignon blanc with lemon curd flavour, along with stone fruits such as nectarines and peaches. It is divine and well worth the extra investment!