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Sauvignon Blanc
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The ABC "Anything but Chardonnay” is often heard by people insisting they don’t like Chardonnay but go onto say they love white Burgundy, not realising it’s the same grape.

Sauvignon Blanc is another popular grape variety which many claim to dislike, often due to the high acidity of some of the wines.  However, whilst producing fabulously fresh, zingy and utterly delicious wines there are also many other styles it produces with softer acidity.  Having witnessed several non-Sauvignon Blanc fans enjoy some of the following wines recently, if you think you don’t like Sauvignon Blanc then have a try of some of these and you may be surprised.

Pouilly Fumé is a world-famous wine produced from Sauvignon Blanc and coming from The Loire Valley in France.  Renowned for its gunflint and smoky aromas, whilst it’s not mandatory, many producers are ageing their premium cuvées in oak.Try La Perriere Pouilly- Fumé from Waitrose, currently on offer at £13.39

Fumé Blanc was created in the 1960’s by Robert Mondavi.  Using the word Fumé to depict smoky characters, these Sauvignon Blanc wines are traditionally aged in oak.  This softens the wine without being overpowering and produces a deliciously fresh wine with more depth of flavour and complexity.  Try Fox Gordon Abby Fumé Blanc from Oddbins, currently on offer at £14.50.

Look out for Sauvignon Blanc which has some "lees maturation”.  This is when the fermentation has finished, the dead yeast cells known as "lees” are left in contact with the wine before being bottled.  The process softens the wine and gives it a more creamy, complex and biscuity character.  Try Errazuriz Costa Sauvignon Blanc which has had 3 months on lees and has some delicious tropical fruit characteristics.  A wine which has converted many non-Sauvignon Blanc fans. Find it in Waitrose for £11.99. 

Sauvignon Blanc makes some excellent sparkling wines and often appears amongst others in Crémant de Loire.  We’re also seeing it used in some of the superb English Sparkling Wines we’re being spoilt with these days.  Try Greyfriars Vineyard Sparkling Fumé,produced by the traditional bottle fermented method used in Champagne.  This wine has undergone a malolactic fermentation which softens the acidity, producing more creamy characters.  Excellent value at £18.50 it’s available direct from the vineyard or come and see Greyfriars at Fizz Feast on 16 November where they’ll also be holding a masterclass. 

If you enjoy Champagne & sparkling wine then don’t miss Fizz Feast "A Celebration of Sparkling Wine & Artisan Food” in Edinburgh on Saturday 16 November see www.WineEventsScotland.co.uk for details. (D. Thompson) 

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