17th May marks the international Sauvignon Blanc day. The bleedin’ what, you ask? Precisely my point. Whoever decided that there should be such a thing must have been flying on something. I blame the Kiwis, really. They do, after all, have bucket loads of that stuff to sell. Now, let’s be clear on one point – I intensely dislike Sauvignon Blanc. I hesitate to use the word ‘hate’ as hate leads to the dark side……oh what the hell, I joined the dark side a long time ago. I hate Sauvignon Blanc. There.
A glass of Savvy-B (its street name). Smells oh so wonderful, doesn’t it? Like vegetable soup that you left out of the fridge and the cat found it. She didn’t want it, either, so she peed into it. Nice. Sure, not all Savvy-B is quite so pungent and there are ‘better’ examples that go more into the mineral, flinty or tropical spectrum. Unfortunately the world seems to be enamoured with Marlborough Sauvignon. I don’t get it. I’ve never liked Sauvignon. It’s not just because it’s oh so popular and I am a party pooper who instantly dislikes anything that may currently be trendy. (Though I have been known to do that – there was once a shameful time in my past (when I was less of an ‘expert’) when I wouldn’t touch Chardy coz the mere world Chardonnay always pronounced itself with an Essex accent in my head. Of course I was totally missing the point there and have since seen the light. )
I just cannot see myself coming round to it, ever. Part of it is that it lacks a certain amount of sophistication. Naught wrong with a simple drink here and there, I hear you scream. But if I want simple and fresh, I will reach for an Albarino. It is peachy and smiley and slips down easily. It’s the vegetal character of Savvy-B that I cannot stand. Who wants to drink a wine that tastes like canned peas? As much as I like fresh green asparagus, I don’t want it in my drink. Similarly, I like nettles in a cup of herbal tea….not in wine, thanks. I think the only styles of Sauvignon I can bear to drink are the ones that contain Semillon….and heaps of oak. Ironic. Gimme a Graves or a Pessac and we’ve got a bit more to play with. No asparagus there, all lovely lemon curd, passion fruit, wet wool and a touch of vanilla. More like it.
The Loire seems to have seen the light and has turned away from ‘vegetality’ (I officially decree it a word), some Argentine producers are producing riper styles but geez, everyone else is making aforementioned veggie soup.
Last year I tried possibly the most terrible red wine I ever put in my mouth, a super expensive silly pseudo-natural blend of Pinot/Syrah and…..Sauvignon Blanc. The label didn’t say stupid but it shoulda. I am sure it was an awful wine to begin with but the addition of Sauvignon turned it into an indigestible nonsense, again reminiscent of vegetable soup.
In light of all aforementioned crimes against good taste, I decree that on this fine World Sauvignon Blanc day, we should all celebrate with a glass of Riesling. You know it’s the right thing to do.
Lenka (Evil Monkey)