Sauvignon Blanc

Apparently from Bordeaux to begin with, this versatile grape is responsible for everything from tart, grassy wines in New Zealand to rich, full-bodied ones in the Loire Valley and California to the world-class dessert wines in Sauternes and Barsac (for which they are usually blended with sémillion). Other regions of France, as well as Spain, Italy, Australia, Chile and Argentina, and many other countries have done a good job with the grape. In California, some sauvignon blancs are labeled "fumé blanc" (literally "smoked white"). This terminology was invented by Robert Mondavi, on the model of the sauvignon-blanc-based Pouilly-Fumé of the Loire, a rounder, softer, less grassy wine than those of, say, Sancerre (some perceived a "smoky" character), and is used today in America to suggest a wine of that type. Sauvignon blanc has been shown to be one of the parents of cabernet sauvignon, the other being cabernet franc.

Serve With

Clams and oysters, lobster and other crustaceans, grilled vegetables, and grilled or fried chicken (for acidic, grassy sauvignon blancs); baked or roasted fish, cream sauces, dishes flavored with lemon or lime, and pork or veal (for richer, rounded sauvignon blancs).