Always celebrated on the first Friday each May, this year International Sauvignon Blanc Day falls on Friday, May 1. Sauvignon Blanc is one of the most widely planted grapes in the world and produces a beautifully aromatic white wine known for its luscious fruit notes of citrus, peach, apple, passionfruit, and herbaceous notes of bell pepper, gooseberry, and grass. Sauvignon Blanc in the glass is typically medium to medium-high in acidity, which gives it that wonderful mouthwatering refreshing quality. Where the grape grows and where the wine is produced, however, makes all the difference in the world as far as what ends up in the glass.
Very popular in France, Sauvignon Blanc is thought to have originated in the Bordeaux region. When you are enjoying a bottle of white Bordeaux, you are enjoying the Sauvignon Blanc grape, often blended with Semillion and in some sub-regions, such as Pessac-Léognan and Graves, aged in neutral oak barrels, resulting in a fuller bodied, richer style wine with aging potential. Further north in the Loire Valley of France, Sauvignon Blanc is the white grape of Pouilly-Fumé and Sancerre, which can be described as crisp, fresh, and elegant in the glass.
New Zealand produces some of the most well-known Sauvignon Blancs to consumers in the United States. Unlike French versions which offer aging potential, most Sauvignon Blancs from New Zealand are intended to be consumed young and fresh. These wines display intense and pungent notes of grapefruit and gooseberry, as well as distinct green flavors of cut grass, bell pepper, and passionfruit. Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand has a recognizable zing of crisp acidity, whereas their French counterparts offer a bit more richness and roundness on the palate.
When I was sourcing the wines for our portfolio at Sail to Trail WineWorks, I felt it was very important to source a Sauvignon Blanc that fell somewhere in the middle of both the French and New Zealand styles and offered the perfect balance. I looked to the Central Coast of California, and found exactly what I was looking for.
Our Sauvignon Blanc is delightfully crisp without being overpowering. With lively notes of citrus, candied lemons, and stone fruits, this is a refreshing wine that can easily stand alone as a porch sipper. In the tasting room, this is the wine I see fly out the door more than any other, as it appeals to dry and sweet white wine lovers alike, as well as red wine lovers. Although a dry wine, the fruit is so pronounced, some might interpret that as a touch of sweetness on the palate.
I find Sauvignon Blanc one of the easiest wines to pair with food, regardless of its region of origin. With its pronounced herbaceous notes, it is a homerun when paired with foods featuring various herbs such as cilantro, basil, or mint. With its high acidity, herbed goat cheese is a perfect and effortless match. Lighter fare such as seafood and salads are fail-proof go-to pairings.