The Lowdown on Sauvignon Blanc

By: Stephen John

You can ask any wine connoisseur as to what is one of the most popular and finest grapes to ever grow on earth and chances are they’ll immediately say it’s the Sauvignon Blanc. This grape variety is a prime pick for making some of the most exquisite wines.

There is quite some history attached to this celebrated fruit. Like many other wine grapes, its origins can be traced to the country of France. The earliest that wine historians can trace its roots (no pun intended) is back in the 1800s in the famed Bordeaux Regions as well as the Loire Valley. Later on, as history tells us, the fruit was adopted and cultivated in other winemaking regions like New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. In the state of California, the first cuttings of this grape variety were transported there in the 1880s.

Popularly used to make dry wine (in wine parlance, dry means having less sugar content), Sauvignon Blanc grapes, also called Sauv Blanc by many a wine enthusiast, are ideally grown in regions with a warm climate. Depending on the climate of the area where it is grown, its flavors can vary. Its vines have the natural tendency to grow quickly, which is the reason why vignerons (‘vigneron’ is a term used for someone who cultivates a vineyard) carefully cut the leaves and thin the shoots so that all the energy of the plant is aimed towards ripening the grapefruit. If the plants are not properly cultivated, they may not yield excellent flavors, which is why much care is given when growing them.

The Sauvignon Blanc grapes raised in the Bordeaux Regions of France are typically sweet and are therefore made into dessert wines. Again, depending on the prevailing climate, other winemaking regions yield dry flavors. In the land down under, the wines that are produced from the fruit can be highly acidic, which makes some wine experts to describe it as being “grassy.”

As for food pairings, and following the traditional wine pairing rule of thumb that whites go with fish or and reds go with meat, Sauv Blanc would pair really well with fish or fish dishes, especially that Japanese delight called ‘sashimi’. However, don’t let the pairings stop at those sea creatures. This wine can also pair well with vegetable dishes, different types of salads, poultry, and even some select Thai food. It has earned a reputation for being the best dry white wine to go with the widest variety of food or dishes.

Sauvignon Blanc is also known by many other names, and some of them are Bordeaux Bianco, Fume Blanc, Puncechon, Genetin and Sarvonien. If you’re not quite sure how to pronounce these names, then you can just settle for what it’s popularly known for. Just say ‘saw vee nyon blahnk’ with a French accent.

The next time you reach out for a bottle of dry wine or dessert wine made from this fabulous fruit, knowing the things mentioned here would then give you a much better appreciation of it and perhaps you can even share what you know with your wine-drinking friends.

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Stephen John is a food and wine enthusiast. He blogs about food, wine, and culture and writes wine reviews for a living. He loves to travel and try exotic cuisines of different countries. Visit this site Stephen recommends to find the best Sauvignon Blanc online.

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