It seems as though I was just writing about the unending cold and suddenly we are indulged with a tempting taste of summer. Instead of mild spring winds sweeping us into beach weather we got a heat wave. No complaints here–it was perfect for the Sauvignon Blanc I’ve been saving. There’s no better time than a hot, sunny day to sip a crisp, green, grassy cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc. Let me explain “green” here. First, as a cluster of grapes clinging to the vine, indeed it is a white grape but it is softly tinged with hues of green, and in the glass that same shade swirls around. Green here does not echo anything on the eco- friendly front, though there are plenty of organic producers out there, and you can definitely bring your own reusable shopping bag to carry home a few bottles. When I endow the term to this juice I simply mean young, vibrant, fresh, and last but not least- herbal.
As we continue the search for alternatives to the esteemed Chardonnay, inevitably the surge in Sauvignon Blanc’s popularity has also seen some backlash. Some critics (probably salty Chardonnay fans) deem it a watery, one note, lemon-laden sip. I couldn’t disagree more; this grape has lots of different ways to strut its stuff. Whether it’s the hands of talented winemakers or the flavors of the earth from which it sprung Sauvignon Blanc is far from one note. Don’t believe me? Pick up the three SB’s from Sauvignon Republic. The 2008 vintages from Marlborough, New Zealand, Stellenbosch South Africa, and California’s Russian River Valley each pour up their own interpretation of this little grape. Taste them side- by- side for a memorable lesson in terroir and find which Sauvignon Blanc suits you.
My fave- Sauvignon Republic, 2008, Sauvignon Blanc from—drumroll please–New Zealand, $20. I just couldn’t get enough of this one. It had tropical fruit flavors ribboned with minerality and a tongue-teasing acidity that made it too easy to go back for more. They all look great in the bottle and each have a unique identity but they all come with a screwcap–perfect for yard-work weary hands.