The Sauvignon Blanc grape is one of the most widely planted wine grapes in the world. While the Sauvignon Blanc grape is most famously associated with the France's Loire Valley regions of Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé, it most likely originated in Bordeaux. Today, this versatile grape is successfully producing great wines throughout the world including Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Romania, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Argentina, and the United States.
Like many other grapes with "Blanc" in their name, it is a light-skinned grape that produces white wine. The literal translation of "Blanc" is white while "Sauvignon" is derived from the French word sauvage, which means wild, because the grape grew like a weed throughout the region. So, Sauvignon Blanc is a wild white grape.
Sauvignon Blanc, like many other wines, can take on different flavors depending on where it is grown. In France's Loire Valley it tends to have the distinctive flavors of freshly cut grass, green apples, lime, kiwi, green melon, gooseberry and earthy minerals associated with the regions limestone soil. In France's Bordeaux region, Sauvignon Blanc can have flavors of white peach, lemon curd, and nectarine. But when grown in cooler climates like New Zealand, the Sauvignon Blanc grape produces wines with flavors of pink grapefruit, lemon, lime and passion fruit. Regardless of the region, Sauvignon Blanc is a highly acidic wine, but considered light-bodied.
In somewhat of a twist, the Sauvignon Blanc grape, that produces white wine, naturally crossbred with the Cabernet Franc grape, that produces red wine, during the 18th century in Bordeaux to create what we now call Cabernet Sauvignon. Both the parent and the offspring have become two of the most widely planted wine-producing grapes in the world.
So, there you go. Sauvignon Blanc is a nice, tangy, "zingy" wine that can be enjoyed on its own or with a variety of meals. And, by the way, it's a great beginner's wine. Give it a try! Cheers!
Behind the Cork™ Wine of the Week - Simi Sauvignon Blanc ($13)
This Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc has zesty notes of tangerine, lime and grapefruit. It is produced in stainless steel tanks that retain the refreshing, full and vibrant fruity flavors of the wine.