Story by Naked Wines
Pronounced SO-vin-yon BLONK… and otherwise known as Sauvingon Janue, Muskat-Silvaner and Fumé Blanc, this green skinned grape produces the UK's most loved white wine (well, perhaps a close second to Pinot Grigio).
What does it taste like?
Grapefruit, lime and melon are a few of the delicious tropical fruity aromas typical of a tasty Sauvignon – coupled with quite a lot of acidity, which makes it rather distinct.
Sauvingons produced in cooler climates, will often have more of a freshly-mown grass aroma – and tart gooseberry flavours are common too.
Other words used to describe a good Sauvignon… zesty, tangy, fresh and crisp i.e. perfect for quenching a strong thirst, and some fantastic food-friendly characteristics.
Will you like it?
Ummm, the majority of white wine drinkers do, so if you enjoy a good glass of tasty, crisp white, then probably!
Where is it from?
This feisty grape is originally from the Loire and Bordeaux regions of France, but it's really New Zealand that's boosted sales and put Sauvignon on the map of recent years. Producers identified the key flavour component (called '?????') and noted how volatile it is. Any exposure to oxygen and sunlight when picking can really affect the flavour, so you'll find that the most conscientious producers pick at night, and pack in small boxes filled with carbon dioxide to keep the flavour locked in. The result… all the freshness of the grape in the bottle. Awesome.
What food to match it with?
As mentioned, Sauvingon Blanc is a fairly acidic wine, and although the word acidic might not sound too attractive… it works wonders with a lot of ingredients and dishes!
Whether you're having a lovely big plate of shellfish, a juicy roast chicken or you're tucking into a rich cheesy dish, the acidity in the wine will really help to bring out the flavours in your food.
And a few tips…
“¢ Drink it young. Definitely not one to lay down and gather dust
“¢ If you're tempted to try a pricey bottle of Sancerre, the original style of Sauvingon, save yourself Â£10 and go for a Sauvingon Blanc instead. It's the same grape variety, the same climate, the same soils, but half the price.
“¢ Again, another one to avoid if you don't want to pay through the nose is New Zealand's world-famous Cloudy Bay. Fantastic back in the day, but now owned by a
French multi-national, you really are paying more for the name than the quality…
“¢ Looking for real value for money? Chile and South Africa produce some fantastic Sauvingon, and it tends to be cheaper than their French or New Zealand counterparts.