I am a wine enthusiast.
Part of my raison d’être is making sure I learn about wine, grapes and regions, not just from reading books and attending tastings, but also through real-life experiences. As a visual learner, I like to connect words and facts with feelings, photos and imagery. Learning about wine is my job – how lucky am I?
I recently flew to New Zealand to attend a three-day wine conference. The focus of this event was about the one and only, Miss Sauvignon Blanc – I call her “Miss” because, well, she is pretty special and also because she is very ‘mis’understood. Many wine lovers are entirely in love with this grape, and there are also those who easily disregard it due to its predictability in taste, popularity and assumed linearity.
Firstly, let’s also talk about how you correctly say the name of the grape. It is pronounced SO-vin-aw -blan (There is no hard C, and you don’t pronounce the N, the C is silent, N is soft, and it is all pronounced as you would if you were French).
Secondly, pour a glass of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and you’ll be welcomed with explosive aromas that entice and lure you inwards. It’s a smell unlike any other. During a sommelier tasting exam, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is immediately recognizable. It is a wine that will make you smile, swoon and salivate. I’ll also admit that after a visit to New Zealand my view of Sauvignon Blanc changed dramatically. Don’t get me wrong, I liked Sauvignon Blanc before my trip to New Zealand, but, I fell in love with the grape after being there.
As we prepare for warmer weather and our palates are more open to white wines, Sauvignon Blanc is the absolutely perfect wine for spring. Bursting with aromatics and acidity, it pairs perfectly with spring fare such as fiddleheads, fresh green salads, and plant-based menu items. Not to mention, it’s an admirable brunch companion pairing with original midday culinary dishes like quiche, omelettes, salmon and lox, eggs benedict, chicken salads and so much more. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is versatile, easy going and fashionable.
Now, many might consider the grape linear and predictable, and much of that is true – but that is part of what makes it so lovable. Being popular is never a bad thing, and if you ask around you’ll find many people love NZ Savvy B and have their preferences on regions, taste profiles, bottle shapes and food pairings. And that is OK, in fact, that is awesome, and it is precisely what it should be! With all of the various different producers available to us in Canada, you’re bound to find at least one bottle of NZ SB that you’re going to like. You might just have to be curious, open and adventurous enough taste through the country to find something you absolutely love and what a hard task that is… 😉
There is also a myth that Sauvignon Blanc is one-dimensional, predictable and unoriginal, and maybe for those unwilling to dive deeper, explore further, and be wine-curious in their journey that statement is true. In fact, SB can spend time in oak, be aged in amphora, age in a cellar and be produced naturally. How’s that for misunderstood?
Even though Sauvignon Blanc was born in the Loire Valley, France her fame and superstar status has happened as a result of her New World beloved personality. She might be misunderstood by a few, but she is also highly adored by many, and that is why she now has her very own day! On Friday, May 3rd, celebrate #SauvBlanc Day with a bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and share it with your friends. With a single sip, you’ll get whisked away to the place where fantasy and adventure both meet on the palate, where citrus scented winds blend with middle earth terroir and sustainable living is truly a lived-in philosophy.
For those of us that love Sauvignon Blanc it’s easy to understand why. For those of you that haven’t learned the full art of appreciation, stop judging the grape and start looking for the saga, start looking for the unique, and start looking for adventure, in life, as in wine, when you start to look for what you want and desire, you’re bound to find it.
Celebrate #SauvBlanc Day by: