Sauvignon Blanc is usually a very dry white wine. Some Sauvignon Blanc brands leave a bit of sugar – no more than a gram or two – for a more complex texture. Either way, what you drink is definitely going to be on the dry side.
This dryness complements the flavors exceptionally. Lime, green apple, passion fruit, and peach are primary fruit flavors. You may also find elements of kiwi, pear, or passionfruit, among others. Herb aromas influence taste. They’re brought out by compounds called pyrazines. These might evoke bell pepper, basil, tarragon, lemongrass, or even gooseberry and jalapeno. Some people love these herbaceous elements; others are more wary.
Where in the World…
These wines vary by region, too. Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc tend to feature lime and grapefruit flavors with mineral aromas. Compare this to California varieties, which tend to be more moderated and taste more like melon or peach.
France is the largest producer of Sauvignon Blanc. Theirs tend to be very acidic and mineral-intense. South African varieties can intrigue with herb and green pepper tastes. Varieties also come from Australia, New Zealand, Spain, and Italy.
Some of of the most popular Sauvignon Blanc brands come from Chile. These are more citrus forward. They focus on grapefruit, passionfruit, and lime flavors. Their tastes are constructed more simply, with pairings given priority over elements like grasses and peppers. This makes them perfect for those who want a dry white wine but feel the herb elements are interruptive.
Dry White Wine Pairings
Meal: Whatever your choice, the high acidity of Sauvignon Blanc makes it an exceptional pairing with foods that have elements of fat. That means it’s delicious with fish and shellfish. Clams and oysters are particularly good pairings, but a buttery lobster or crab can make for equally mouth-watering pairings.
Snack: If you want to enjoy a lighter snack, goat cheese loves Sauvignon Blanc. The way the high acidity in the wine cuts through the lingering flavors of goat cheese is one of those pairings that seem to make the mind ascend to a higher plane for a few seconds.
Vegetarian & Vegan: For vegetarian options, Sauvignon Blanc is best with roasted Brussels sprouts. Try it with green beans or zucchini – raw or lightly cooked. It’s superb with basil pesto. Or if you’re just having a salad, it pairs well with tomato, mild onion, greens, and cilantro. Basically, almost any crunchy and tangy vegetable will pair well.
Who else is craving a chilled glass of Sauvignon Blanc (and that buttery lobster sounded pretty good too!)?