Sauvignon Blanc Day is on May 6! Woo hoo! What a great reminder that summer is almost here! So the big question is why is Sauvignon Blanc such a great summer wine? Why should we do a summer toast to Sauvignon Blanc?
Sauvignon Blanc is tart, crisp and acidic, which makes it incredibly refreshing. Just what you need on a hot summer day. I like to think of Sauvignon Blanc as adult lemonade.
Summertime in a Glass
Summertime in a Glass (SIAG) is “an advocacy and information group that seeks to promote, educate and entertain wine enthusiasts and the industry itself on the world of Sauvignon Blanc.” Their name is further proof that this wine is a great summer quaffer.
I highly recommend perusing the Summertime in a Glass website, spending the most time on the page called “The Grape,” There, you’ll find:
- History – Did you know that Sauvignon Blanc is the child of Savagnin (also known as Traminer) and Chenin Blanc, and that the grape first had a close association with Loire and Bordeaux but is now grown all over the world, with some of the best wines coming from New Zealand?
- Characteristics – SIAG describes Sauvignon Blanc as “Crisp, elegant, herbaceous, fruity, and fresh.” YUM!
- Production – Sauvignon Blanc is rarely oaked. When it is, it’s called Fume Blanc, a term and style created by Robert Mondavi in the 1960s.
- Common Sauvignon Blanc Aroma/Flavor Profiles – My favorite is cat pee! But very importantly it’s Tom Cat pee, not just any cat pee J
- Pairings – Because of its acidity, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the food friendliest wines. But SIAG has some good recommendations.
More Information about Sauvignon Blanc
- Drink it young – This is a wine that you drink for its in-your-face immaturity. This wine will not benefit from aging. In fact, if you save it for more than a few years, you lose its alluring youthfulness.
- Drink it cold – Many white wines, especially Chardonnay, should be drunk much warmer than refrigerator temperature to get the most flavors. In the spirit of a summer toast to Sauvignon Blanc, drink this wine nice and cold.
- Add a lemon – For hyper-sensitive tasters who can’t handle the tartness of Sauvignon Blanc, licking a lemon before sipping a tart Sauvignon Blanc turns a tasting worthy of a wince into a tasting worthy of a smile.
- Think dry – Sauvignon Blanc is a dry, aromatic wine, with the exception of Sauternes, an amazing sweet wine that has Sauvignon Blanc in it.
- Remember GR words – I came up with a simple word game to remember three of the key characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc. These characteristics all start with the letters GR: grapefruit, grassiness and green apple. Top of Form
I hope I’ve inspired you to get on the Sauvignon Blanc bandwagon, especially on Sauvignon Blanc Day on May 6. If you participate in the May 6 festivities, please be sure to use the hashtag #SauvBlanc on social media.
As an independent wine consultant with WineShop At Home, I absolutely enjoy bringing a taste of the Napa wine country home to you one sip at a time. Whether you simply love to drink wine, would like to host a tasting, seek a special gift, or are in search of a new wine jobs opportunity as a wine consultant, feel free to contact me for a truly unique wine tasting experience!
Betty Kaufman, WineShop At Home
Sauvignon Blanc is one of my favorite varietals!
There are two styles of Sauvignon Blanc. California is generally known for the herbaceous, or grassy style. Semillon, is sometimes blended in to increase the grassiness. New Zealand is known for it’s citrus or tropical fruit style, which can be delightful!
California’s North Coast can produce flavor components of white peach. The Marlborough region of New Zealand’s South Island, will often produce components of passion fruit, kiwi fruit, gooseberry, lime, grapefruit and tomato stalk. However, I’ve also tasted a grassy style from the Marlborough region.
Len, thanks for your great insight. I can spot a lover of Sauvignon Blanc a mile away 🙂
Fume Blanc is a US term. Sauv.Bl. made in oak in France or Italy (i.e.) are never named Fume Blanc, unless they are produced mainly aiming to US market.
Many SB from Loire can be much more mineral and salted than fruity and herbaceous. And it’s a pity to drink them young, because they are, for God’s sake they age… 😉
Yes, Fume Blanc was invented by none other than Robert Mondavi. Good to know that Loire Sauv Blancs are ageable. I never think of ageing a Sauv Blanc. I will need to try, but only with Loire Sauv Blancs. You would never age a CA Sauv Blanc.
Funny you should say Sauvignon Blanc is like and summertime lemonade, that’s how I think of it too. I didn’t know that May 6 was Sauvignon Blanc day though. Good to know. It’s always fun celebrating a wine day 🙂