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Personally, I’m a great believer in drinking what you enjoy with what you like but there is something to be said for generations of experts and their opinions.  There is little doubt that certain drinks bring out the best taste of certain foods and while it isn’t a rule, it never hurts to know – plus it sounds great at parties when you can serve the ‘right’ wine with meal!  Sauvignon blanc is one of the most popular white wines so what food does it pair with?

About Sauvignon blanc

Sauvignon blanc is a green-skinned grape that came originally from the Bordeaux region of France, that most famous wine area, but is now grown around the world including in Chile, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and California.  While all the wines have their own taste, generally they share the basic character of being crisp, dry and very refreshing.

Sauvignon blanc grapes

Sauvignon blanc grapes – By User:Vl (my private archive) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

No-one knows for certain who first harvested this type of grape but its origin is perhaps associated with the Savagnin.  By the 18th century, a family named Carmenere had paired it with Cabernet Franc to create Cabernet Sauvignon while by the 19th century, Sauvignon vert were often grown alongside it.  French vineyards suffered terribly with insect plagues in the 19th century so many cuttings were taken to Chile to be grown in the fields there.  The plant was first taken to California by Charles Wetmore, the founder of the Cresta Blanca Winery in the 1880s and were planted in the Livermore Valley.  It was introduced to New Zealand in the 1970s.

Taste of the wine

The main tastes involved in a bottle of Sauvignon blanc are green apple, lime, passion fruit and white peach.  How ripe the grapes are when the wine was made reflects in which end of the flavour spectrum the resulting wine is – less ripe will taste more of lime while more ripe will be towards peach.  The other main flavour group in the wines is what makes it different from other white wines, the herbs.  Everything from gooseberry to bell pepper and even grass are said to be tasted in the wines, coming from aromatic compounds called pyrazines.

The main flavours of sauvignon blanc – green apple, lime, passionfruit and white peach

Food pairings

Because it has an herby taste to it, Sauvignon blanc is recommended for anything that also contains green herbs, particularly parsley, rosemary, basil or mint.  Dishes made with spices such as white pepper, saffron, turmeric, coriander and fennel will pair nicely.  Likewise green vegetables make a good pairing, particularly fatty vegetarian dishes that allow the acidity of the wine to work its magic such as white lasagne, asparagus quiche and cucumber and dill yogurt salad.

The classic regional pairing for the wine is a type of goats cheese called Crottin de Chavigol that is known to be a remarkably smelly and creamy cheese that is made near where the grapes originally came from.  Other types of sour cheese, yoghurt and crème fraiche based dishes are a good match.

White wine is typically paired with white meats such as chicken and turkey.  Fish also work well with this wine, particularly tilapia, sea bass, haddock, trout and cod as well as crab, mussels and clams.

Food inspiration from http://winefolly.com/

What Food Does Sauvignon Blanc Pair With?