Sauvignon Blanc is the perfect wine for August. It’s bright flavors of cut grass, grapefruit and lime transform simple summer fare into memorable meals. And it’s crisp acidity and medium body make it the perfect quaff on a hot afternoon. Just don’t limit it to the season. Reliable, consistent, yet never, ever boring, this grape makes a tasty impression all year round. Serve it fearlessly at any occasion.
In France, its ancestral home, Sauvignon Blanc creates two styles of dry wine: a fuller, more substantial version from Bordeaux, and a steely, lean one from the Loire Valley. Those from Bordeaux, herbacious and rich from oak ageing and the semillion grape, are best known from Graves, Entre de Mers and Pessac-Leognan. By contrast, those from the flinty Loire Valley, most famously Sancerre and Pouilly Fume, express the tight minerality of the extraordinary terroir. Big ticket wines worthy of their stellar reputation, similar examples from Cheverny and Touraine offer terrific alternatives.
For decades, even centuries, these two French regions served as role models for growers in California, Italy, South Africa and Chile. But then, in 1973, two brothers from New Zealand planted a few vines at their fledgling vineyard and created a whole new style. In just a few short years, the cool climate and modern technology combined to create a uniquely kiwi wine that took the world by storm. Intense, but not overpowering, New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs are packed with pure fruit flavor, clean acidity and a surprisingly delicate body. And talk about summer-ready, they almost always come with screw caps.