On Sauvignon Blanc and How It Tastes
The word sauvignon is derived from the French word sauvage (which means wild) and the Latin word silva (which means forest or woodland). In its most emphatic examples there is something wild in a glass of sauvignon blanc, often described as an insistent savory note on the nose and on the palate. Grassy and herbaceous, with limes, maybe apricots, even passion fruit and kiwi in some New World examples - sauvignon blancs are anything but subtle. And no wine tastes better on a hot summer day than sauvignon blanc.
Where is sauvignon blanc grown?
The Loire Valley’s Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume are ground zero for sauvignon blanc. Crisp, savory, dry, citrus flavored, and often expressing a smoky or flinty note, a Loire Valley sauvignon blanc is the measure for enthusiasts around the world. But not the only style. You’ll also find sauvignon blanc in Bordeaux, where it is not only blended with semillon but also aged in oak. And the exuberant examples from New Zealand’s Marlborough District, with their exotic tropical fruit notes framing their herbaceous flavors, can rival its French cousins at least in popularity.
Some of sauvignon blanc’s greatest examples?
What food or dishes should you pair with sauvignon blanc?
Unoaked citrus flavored sauvignon blancs will shine with raw seafood such as oysters, sushi or sashimi, poached or steamed fish with delicate flavors, salads, and raw tomato-based dishes. Unoaked herbaceous examples can stand up to more flavorful dishes like roasted or grilled chicken, even grilled or smoked salmon. The woodsy notes of asparagus, artichokes, green beans, or green peppers will overwhelm everything else but the flavors of a savory sauvignon blanc. And the oaked versions from Bordeaux call for a chicken, veal, or pasta dish accompanied by a cream sauce.