Sauvignon Blanc


saw-vin-yawn blonk

A popular and unmistakable white wine that’s loved for its “green” herbal flavors and racy acidity. Sauvignon Blanc grows nearly everywhere and thus, offers a variety of styles ranging from lean to bountiful.

Primary Flavors

  • Gooseberry
  • Honeydew
  • Grapefruit
  • White Peach
  • Passion Fruit

Taste Profile

Dry

Medium-light Body

None Tannins

High Acidity

11.5–13.5% ABV

Handling


  • SERVE
    45–55°F / 7-12°C

  • GLASS TYPE
    White

  • DECANT
    No

  • CELLAR
    3–5 Years

Food Pairing

When in doubt, go green. Sauvignon Blanc makes a wonderful choice with herb-driven sauces over chicken, tofu, or fish dishes. matched with feta or chèvre, or paired with herb-driven asian flavors such as Thai or Vietnamese cuisine.

Avocado Toast wine pairing with Sauvignon Blanc illustration by Wine Folly

Meat Pairing: Keep your preparations light and try chicken, turkey, pork, halibut, crab, lobster, haddock, bass, cod, salmon, oysters w/ mignonette, calamari, or smoked salmon

Cheese Pairing: Seek out soft, flavorful cheeses like this warm goat cheese salad. Goat cheese, burrata, mozzarella di bufala (in a caprese salad), goat gouda, feta, parmesan, ricotta salata, yogurt, crème fraîche, or sour cream.

Vegetable Pairing: Inspirations include cucumber dill salad, fried zucchini, asparagus risotto, and Greek pasta salad. Try green peas, arugula, tomato, artichoke, lemon, lime, zucchini, bell pepper, eggplant, leek, and green bean.

Spices & Herbs: Mint, dill, cilantro, chive, rosemary, basil, thyme, bay leaf, caper, pesto, garlic, and green olive.

Sauvignon Blanc wine taste profile infographic by Wine Folly 2019

6 Fun Facts About Sauvignon Blanc

  1. On the Wine Day Calendar, May 3rd is International Sauvignon Blanc day.
  2. Sauvignon Blanc likely derived its moniker from the french word “Sauvage,” meaning wild, as the vines are reminiscent of wild grapevines.
  3. Surprisingly, Sauvignon Blanc is a parent (progenitor) of Cabernet Sauvignon (the other is Cabernet Franc)!
  4. The “green” aromatics in Sauvignon Blanc come from compounds called Methoxypyrazines. By the way, Cabernet Sauvignon also has these same flavors (it runs in the family!)
  5. Until the 1980s, most of the “Sauvignon Blanc” in Chile turned out to be rarer Sauvignon Vert (aka Sauvignonasse), mistakenly brought over from Bordeaux.
  6. A real tasting note for Sauvignon is “cat pee!” Caused by a unique chemical compound, “4MMP,” there aren’t many other scents like it!

Tasting Sauvignon Blanc

On the nose, expect pungent, in-your-face aromas ranging from freshly cut grass, peas and asparagus, to tropical and ripe passion fruit, grapefruit, or even mango.

On the palate wines taste light bodied with racy acidity and moderate alcohol.

Occasionally, Sauvignon Blanc ages in oak. This rounded, more lush style offers more creamy or waxy aromatics and an oily feeling on the palate. Wines made in this way are often blended with bolder Sémillon.


Where Does Sauvignon Blanc Grow?

  • France: ~69,300 acres / 27,931 hectares – Loire Valley, Bordeaux (2013)
  • New Zealand: ~49,500 acres / 20,027 hectares – Marlborough, Nelson (2015)
  • Chile: ~37,100 acres / 15,000 hectares – Coastal Chile (2016)
  • South Africa: ~23,600 acres / 9,551 hectares – Coastal Region, Breede River Valley (2013)
  • Moldova: ~20,100 acres / 8,151 hectares (2013)
  • United States: ~16,300 acres / 6,584 hectares – California, Washington (2013)
  • Australia: ~16,000 acres / 6,467 hectares – Adelaide Hills, Margaret River, Victoria (2013)
  • Others: Romania, Spain (Rueda), Argentina, Hungary, Russia, Austria (2013)

The roots of Sauvignon Blanc are thought to lie in the Loire valley, where the grape was first mentioned in 1534 by writer François Rabelais (it was called “Fiers”). Apparently it was a good cure for constipation – really!


Wine Regions to Explore

About Madeline Puckette

James Beard Award-winning author and Wine Communicator of the Year. I co-founded Wine Folly to help people learn about wine. @WineFolly

We're current fixing our commenting platform.

Please reach out to us on Twitter.