When you picture yourself stepping into the light again and getting together with friends, what’s in your glass? If you said “Sauvignon Blanc,” you’re not alone. It’s a huge favorite among both white wine and red wine lovers. That might be because it has a well-polished profile that’s reliable on the palate and extremely food-friendly. Of course, the Sauvignon Blanc you love might be different from the one your friend adores. Today, in honor of International Sauvignon Blanc Day, we’re getting at the root of all things Sauvignon Blanc. Join us for a white wine journey.
A Sauvignon Blanc story
According to Tastings.com, “Sauvignon Blanc is a bit of a chameleon of a variety, as it changes its character depending on where it is grown.” Leslie Sbrocco, our Director of Sommology, agrees, and likens Sauvignon Blanc to a world traveler. A world traveler herself, she’s had the opportunity to experience the many styles of Sauvignon Blanc.
“I’ve traveled the world in search of great examples. I’ve visited its homeland in France’s Bordeaux region (it is the parent of the famed red grape, Cabernet Sauvignon). I’ve also explored the Loire Valley region of Sancerre where the wines express taut minerality. Once, I was strolling through a vineyard in Sancerre with a famous winemaker after a long lunch of his wines and amazingly fresh goat cheese (chevre in French). In his Sauvignon Blanc vineyard goats were grazing. He said, ‘What grows together, goes together.’ And it’s so true!”
Sauvignon Blanc is my favorite white wine varietal! I call it a “white wine for red wine lovers” because it is not sweet, and has a lot of flavor. This vintage of Jitterbug might be my favorite – it is so well balanced! Not too tart/acidic, and lots of flavor!Debbie Allen | Traveling Vineyard Wine Guide
You may commonly see Sauvignon Blancs that hail from New Zealand, France, and California … each unique in their own way. Tastings.com describes the varietal as follows: “Many styles of Sauvignon Blanc – especially those from New Zealand–are aged in steel tanks to preserve the aromatic qualities, while some producers in Sancerre or even in California age in wooden barrels; this for added texture and spice. Medium-full in body, Sauvignon Blanc is especially excellent paired with shellfish or seafood or lighter poultry with herbs.”
Sauvignon Blanc’s herbal, citrus side shines through in New Zealand and Chile’s coastal regions where I’ve tasted bottlings that pucker the palate. I live in California, though, where from Lake and Sonoma counties to Lodi, its juicy, fruity flavors shine.Leslie Sbrocco | Director of Sommology, Traveling Vineyard
How do I choose the right Sauvignon Blanc for me?
Sauvignon Blanc is a varietal that comes in a wide range of styles and knowing which ones suits your personal taste is important when deciding what to buy. New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is almost universally racy with intense mouth-watering acidity and vivid grapefruit grassy notes. Leslie Sbrocco, our Director of Sommology, says the New Zealand version is quite herbal—locals refer to it as “savvie.” Other styles, such as those from Bordeaux, tend to be softer and fuller with a richer mouthfeel. Sancerre and Pouilly-Fume are Sauvignon Blanc wine appellations in France’s Loire Valley. Both wines are known for their crisp herbal notes and floral aromas—these wines also tend to be less intense than their Kiwi counterparts. California yields a fruitier, zesty Sauvignon Blanc with “succulent freshness,” says Leslie. “California’s juicier style makes Sauvignon Blanc ideal to pair with a variety of foods from spicy and salty to tangy and tart.” In fact, Sauvignon Blanc is becoming more and more recognized for its food identity.
Best Food Pairings for Sauvignon Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc is so versatile in style, and makes great pre-dinner cocktails or dinner time pairings. Wine Guide Robin Berseth always has some on hand because of its food versatility. “Sunday brunch with shrimp cocktail, or Netflix movie night with popcorn … this wine is a must!” Wine Guide Jessica Kent agrees, “It pairs so well with just about anything I would order in a restaurant.” So, what does it pair with best? Leslie Sbrocco suggests “playing up the food aspect of this wine with take-out dishes and various cuisines, from spicy Mexican burritos to sweet Hawaiian pizza.” Here are her top picks for the best foods to pair with Sauvignon Blanc:
Appetizers & Snacks
- Fried calamari and shrimp
- Fruit salad
- Chicken satay with peanut sauce
- Chips and salsa
- Grilled shrimp
- Goat cheese salad
- Brunch dishes from egg casseroles to salty ham
- Hawaiian pizza with ham and pineapple
- Pesto pasta with vegetables
- Fresh tangy cheeses like Feta, Mozzarella, Goat cheese
- Lightly sweet desserts such as sorbet, lemon bars or berry tarts and cobblers.
Discover more perfect pairings for Sauvignon Blanc with our Sommology tool!
About Our 2019 Jitterbug Sauvignon Blanc
We work hard to source the perfect Sauvignon Blanc to receive our Jitterbug label and corresponding Good Stuff Guarantee. Our latest vintage is the result of that effort. 2019 Jitterbug, Lodi Sauvignon Blanc is a 100% Sauvignon Blanc, aged in stainless steel, that delivers a variation on the Loire Valley model, or if you’re a “USA only” fan, the Lake County model. This is a prettier, more delicate, refreshing take on the varietal. It’s also more accessible with less herbaceous-ness and acidity. Jitterbug is a light-to-medium bodied white with a floral, integrated nose of herbs, pineapple, and grapefruit in equal parts. It has a good weight, feel, balance, and extraction—and tastes as it smells with grapefruit dominating. The wine is quite integrated and balanced, the acidity and finish are both less assertive—perfect when paired with goat cheese. 2019 Jitterbug Sauvignon Blanc received a Silver rating from Tastings.com, earning 85 Points as a Highly Recommended Sauvignon Blanc.
Why We Love It
Our Wine Guides say that Jitterbug is one of their favorite white wines. Wine Guide Molly Blanchfield reaches for Sauvignon Blanc in warm weather months. “Sauvignon Blanc is like the perfect beach hat for the red wine lover’s trip to the beach. It’s a great way to stay cool in the heat of summer without sacrificing bold flavors. Its bright acidity is refreshing and quenches the palate with a citrus profile that is a smooth sipper alone or a delicious base for a variety of wine cocktails!” For Wine Guide Denise Gotwine, it’s a summer must-have: “Crisp and fresh but certainly not lacking it’s beautiful grape-fruitiness. My summer sipper always!”
What do you love about Sauvignon Blanc? Go to our Facebook page and comment with your review of 2019 Jitterbug Sauvignon Blanc, or your favorite food pairing. Cheers to another Sauvignon Blanc day in the books.