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Sauvignon Blanc

Saw-vin-yawn blahnk

The Sauvignon Blanc grape is traced back to the Loire Valley and Bordeaux regions in Western France. But this does not actually imply that the wine originates from Western France; research suggests it descends from the Savignin grape, which originated in the Alps. 

The first vines of the Sauvignon Blanc grape were brought to California. These grew phenomenally in the Livermore valley and the introduction of Sauvignon Blanc in California has flourished ever since. The establishment of the wine in Chile is a more intriguing story- in the 18th century, cuttings of the Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Franc, creating Cabernet Sauvignon, in Bordeaux were transported to Chile before the outbreak of insect disease on the plantations in France, and have grown in their fields ever since. For New Zealand, Sauvignon Blanc grapes were transported to pair with Müller-Thurgau.

Interesting Fact: Sauvignon Blanc grapes originally grew wild in the Loire Valley and Bordeaux until winemakers from the 19th century tamed them-“sauvignon blanc” translates to “wild white” because of this.

Fast Facts

Parents & Origin: Savagnin (Loire Valley, France)

Notable Regions: Napa Valley, New Zealand, Sancerre Pouilly-Fumé, Bordeaux Blanc

Grape: green-skinned, early origins as an indigenous grape in South West France with the French words Sauvage ("wild") and blanc ("white")

Flavors: gooseberry, honeydew, grapefruit, white peach, passion fruit

Sweetness: Dry

Body: Medium-Light

Tannins: None

Acidity: High

ABV: 11-13.5%

How to Serve Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc Serving Temperature

45-55ºF (7-12ºC) 

Wine Glass for Sauvignon Blanc

White

How Long to Decant Sauvignon Blanc

None

How Long to Age Sauvignon Blanc

3-5 years

Flavor Profile

glass of sauvignon blanc

Notable Flavors: Gooseberry, Honeydew, Grapefruit, White Peach, Passion Fruit

Sauvignon Blanc is often blended with Semillon and Muscadelle. The wine is almost exclusively unoaked, but when in the barrel the flavors added with oak aging are vanilla, pie crust, dill, coconut, butter, nutmeg, and cream. The wine is made completely dry, but some New Zealand and California wineries add a gram or so of sugar to create a more unique texture. What distinguishes Sauvignon Blanc the most from other wines is its herbaceous flavors, caused by its aromatic pyrazines.

Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Malbec, Carménère, Sauvignon Blanc, and Cabernet Sauvignon all have two things in common: 1) They are a part of what is referred to as “the Bordeaux varieties” and 2) Each grape has methoxypyrazine, an aromatic compound group that is also found in green bell pepper. This bell pepper compound has traditionally been thought of as a negative component in large amount, describing the wine as having “green” flavors, but winemakers have learned how to reduce it over time to allow more favored aromas like black pepper, green peppercorn, and sage to fill the wine.

Popular Sauvignon Blanc Regions

Loire Valley, France

One of the most well-known areas for wine production and cultivation, Loire Valley encompasses several French wine regions along the same Loire river running from Muscadet all the way to Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume. The wine industry is booming with abundant produce to complete the vibrant culture and stunning views in this region. 

While over 69,000 acres of Sauvignon Blanc is grown in Loire Valley, other popular regions for this wine include New Zealand, Chile, South Africa, Moldova, the USA, and Australia. It is a very global wine. 

Food Pairings for Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon blanc and cheese and crackers

Given the high level of acidity and sweetness, and lack of tannins traditionally in Sauvignon Blanc, it is best enjoyed with food! And by food, we mean dishes with tangy herbs.

For delicious Sauvignon Blanc from around the world, shop Martha Stewart White Wine.

Meat Pairings

Chicken

Turkey

Pork

Halibut

Crab

Lobster

Bass

Cod

Salmon

Oysters

Cheese Pairings

Goat cheese

Burrata

Mozerella 

Goat gouda

Feta

Parmesan

Sour cream

Herbs & Spices

Mint

Dill

Cilantro

Chive

Rosemary

Basil

Thyme

Caper

Pesto

Garlic

Green olive

Vegetables 

Zucchini

Cucumber

Green peas

Arugula

Tomato

Artichoke

Lemon

Lime

Eggplant

Leek

Recommended Dishes

  1. Cucumber dill salad
  2. Asparagus risotto 
  3. Greek pasta salad

Sauvignon Blanc Recap

Since its establishment in the Loire Valley of France in the 1800s, globalization of the Sauvignon Blanc shortly followed. Winemakers worldwide were enticed by its bold and unique nature and thus traveled to the coldest regions to harvest the prized grape. Its zesty, fruity, tropical, and citrusy flavors entice every white wine enthusiast. Whether enjoyed with oysters or goat cheese, it is no surprise that people from Chile to New Zealand lust after the “wild white.”

Don’t forget to shop Martha Stewart White Wine for some of the best Sauvignon Blanc.

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