Discover Sauvignon Blanc with these fail-proof food & wine combinations:Posted: June 13, 2014
This month, I encourage you to educate your palate with white Sauvignon. This wine is elegant, subtle and sophisticated. It requires the same application of subtle and sophistication in the food you will serve with it. But the effort is so much worth it! It is a winning choice for the summer. In this post I offer ideas for some refined combo, as well as so more family friendly” ones. I hope you will find the inspiration to please all your guests.
The flavors of the Sauvignon Blanc are on the citrus side (lemon and grapefruit), it is mineral (meaning it is crisp, think crystal, diamond) and a little grassy (think about the smell of a yard after mowing… and decrease the smell a hundred times to just get a light perfume lost in a fresh breeze). This wine is on the dry side, but I assure you the mineral and citrus flavor does enhance the subtle sweetness of it. In fact I find all the elegance is there: in the very subtle balance of crisp dry and sweet… like a Meyer lemon.
So what should you eat with it? If you would like to keep it very subtle and delicate, I encourage you to bet for white fish (sea-bass, trout, bluefish, sole) or lean chicken lightly fried pan in butter / olive oil and a drizzle of lemon with chopped fresh parsley or coriander. Chose to serve you fish or chicken on a bed of al dente vegetables like sliced zucchinis, peppers or asparagus. Alternative vegetables can be orange flavored Vichy carrots (sliced carrots lightly steamed and then stir fried with cream, olive oil and a drizzle of orange juice). My favorite would be to add a side green leaves salad (think combining baby spinach, arugula, whole sage, coriander and parsley leaves) with a dressing made of grapefruit juice, olive oil and a pinch of coarse salt.
Now if you have a hungry bunch at your table, you might choose to go for grilled swordfish previously marinated in lemon, oil and fresh coriander; served with steamed and lightly stir fried thin green-beans, and steamed half potatoes served with a generous drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of coarse salt and a handful of fresh chopped parsley.
Other ideas for the most adventurous of you: ceviche, sea-scallops with wild rice and a grapefruit and white sauvignon sauce, Brie cheese on toast with a green salad (with lemon dressing).
Couple of tips:
*AVOID hot spices, vinegar flavored snacks and sweet flavors (BBQ sauce, chutney… are NO-NO), and super salty snacks (crisps, peanuts…). This would kill the subtlety of the aroma because your palate would be saturated.
*SERVE the wine around 45°F and keep it chilled. Prefer a REAL wine glass (you are a grown-up, leave the plastic cups to the kids).
Now, which wine should you buy?
In the New World, I recommend wine from Sonoma county, CA; New zealand. Look for organic if you have no idea on what to choose, and you should grab something decent starting at $9.
In the Old World, some safe bet are the Loire Valley Pouilly-Fumé, and the Bordeaux region wine from Pessac-Léognan – both are French wines. Unfortunately, to get something good, you will need to start around $16 (if you shop in the US). If you are in France, anything starting at €8 is worth a try.
I tried the best Sauvignon blanc ever (which was a blend but with mostly Sauvignon blanc) when I travelled in France last year: it was the Chateau Smith Haut Lafitte. Yes I know, we are way beyond yours and my budget… But once you have exercised your palate, and you like this wine, keep this name in mind if you want to splurge or celebrate something special. It worths it.
Share your experience!