Sauvignon Blanc is a white wine that owes much of its popularity to winemakers in Bordeaux and the Loire Valley in France. The Sauvignon Blanc taste is very different from other white wines, like Chardonnay, because of its green and herbaceous flavors. The name Sauvignon Blanc means “Wild White” and the grape is related to Traminer with origins in the South of France. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world and because of this it has a wide range of styles and flavors. Below we will investigate the fundamentals of its taste, learn the regions where its produced and get a few creative ideas for food pairings.
SAUVIGNON BLANC TASTE
The primary fruit flavors of Sauvignon Blanc are lime, green apple, passion fruit and white peach. Depending on how ripe the grapes are when the wine is made, the flavor will range from zesty lime to flowery peach. What makes Sauvignon Blanc unique from other white wines are its other herbaceous flavors like bell pepper, jalapeño, gooseberry and grass. These flavors come from aromatic compounds called pyrazines and are the secret to Sauvignon Blanc’s taste.
SAUVIGNON BLANC WINE CHARACTERISTICS
Fruit Flavors (berries, fruit, citrus)
Lime, Green Apple, Asian Pear, Kiwi, Passionfruit, Guava, White Peach, Nectarine
Other Aromas(herb, spice, flower, mineral, earth, other)
Bell Pepper, Gooseberry, Basil, Jalapeño, Grass, Tarragon, Lovage, Celery, Lemongrass, Box of Chalk, Wet Concrete
Oak Flavors (flavors added with oak aging)
Vanilla, Pie Crust, Dill, Coconut, Butter, Nutmeg, Cream
Medium – Medium High
Unoaked: 46 ºF (8 ºC)
Oaked: 52 ºF (11 ºC)
SAUVIGNON BALNC FOOD PAIRING
Go Green. Sauvignon Blanc with its herbaceous notes pairs well with similar green herbs. If it has parsley, rosemary, basil, cilantro or mint, chances are Sauvignon Blanc will make a great pairing.
There is also one classic pairing of Sauvignon Blanc that started in the Loire Valley. Close to Sancerre there is a goat cheese produced called Crottin de Chavignol and it has an international reputation as an outstanding stinky-creamy cheese. A bite of Crottin with a splash of Sauvignon Blanc is considered a classic perfect pairing.