Best food pairings with sauvignon blanc
Sauvignon blanc is many people's favourite wine but what type of food pairs with it best?
As with other grape varieties its style varies markedly from one part of the world to the other - from the crisp minerally whites of the Loire to the exuberant gooseberry and passionfruit flavours of sauvignons from New Zealand's Marlborough region.
Although many are interchangeable so far as food pairings are concerned others suit specific types of dishes and ingredients
Sauvignon blanc food pairing guide
Minerally sauvignon blancs
For instance: Sancerre, Pouilly Fumé and sauvignon blanc from Tasmania
This is the style I’d pair with simple, barely seasoned ingredients such as raw and lightly cooked shellfish like oysters and shell-on prawns, fresh crab and simply grilled fish such as sea bass.
They also go well with dishes that contain raw or barely cooked tomato such as gazpacho, tomato consommé or tomato vinaigrettes and young goats' cheeses - or salads that contain goats cheese and have an affinity with fresh herbs especially dill
And this style of sauvignon is a good wine match with Japanese dishes such as sushi and sashimi, seafood-based steamed and fried dim sum and smoked salmon, particularly if the smoke is delicate.
Citrussy sauvignon blancs
For instance: unoaked white Bordeaux, sauvignon blanc from the Adelaide Hills and Chilean sauvignon blanc.
I like this more citrussy style with grilled fish , especially oily fish such as sardines and mackerel, big garlicky prawns and chargrilled squid. They also pair well with fried fish like goujons, whitebait and fish and chips and with simply grilled chicken or lamb (without a powerful marinade)
In terms of ethnic cuisines they work well with Greek and Mexican food and other fresh-tasting dishes with avocados, tomatoes, green onions, olives and sharp cheeses like feta (though be careful not to neutralise their character with over-lemony dressings)
They also pair well with cheeses flavoured with garlic and herbs such as Le Roulé and Boursin. And this, in my view, is the best type of sauvignon blanc to drink with globe artichokes.
Aromatic/grassy/’herbaceous’ sauvignon blancs and sauvignon blends
For instance New Zealand sauvignon blanc and wines from cooler regions elsewhere such as South Africa's Elgin region
I tend to reach for these with salads especially if they contain seafood and/or ‘grassy’ ingredients such as asparagus, pea-shoots, green peppers and herbs.
You can drink them with similar dishes to minerally sauvignon blancs but where the flavours are more pronounced e.g. seafood with south-east Asian flavours such as lime, chilli and coriander or Thai fish cakes. Try them with pea soups and dishes accompanied by pea purées too.
Oaked sauvignons and sauvignon/semillon blends
For instance: oaked white Bordeaux and fumé blanc styles
You can drink these where you might reach for a chardonnay or straight semillon - with white meats such as chicken or veal especially if accompanied by a creamy sauce or with spring vegetables such as asparagus and peas. Pasta dishes with spring vegetables and buttery or creamy sauces work well too.
They also suit simply grilled or pan-fried salmon, scallops and lightly smoked fish such as smoked eel and trout.
Top image © HLPhoto at fotolia.com
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