One of the arts of travel is buying wisely while on the trail and one of the classic tokens that I like to bring back to share the experience of the trip with family and friend is wine.
“Yes, a bottle of wine was the ultimate distillation of time and place; a poetic expression of individuality itself.” – Amor Towles, Novelist
While travel is a distant dream for now, you still can enjoy wines from all over the world. But of course, nothing beats the experience of sipping wines in the vineyards or on a cliff overlooking the ocean. Until then, it doesn’t hurt to daydream and sip on fine wine to get inspiration for your next holiday abroad.
New Zealand’s Most Popular Export: Sauvignon Blanc
You may be familiar with Sauvignon Blanc as the French grape variety originated in Bordeaux, France. But did you know that New Zealand has earned its reputation in the 1980s as the Sauvignon Blanc capital of the world? And just recently in 2019, New Zealand reached a new record for its Wine and Spirits export, with Sauvignon Blanc being the biggest export, at 231 million litres worth $1.86 billion.
Ask any wine connoisseur, they’ll tell you that Sauvignon Blanc is widely planted around the world today, however, not all Sauvignon Blanc tastes the same. New Zealand’s top quality viticulture in Marlborough is what has put the country on the international wine map.
Marlborough, New Zealand’s Largest Winegrowing Region
Sauvignon Blanc is highly terroir-driven, which is a French term to say that the characteristics of the wine are influenced by environmental factors such as soil quality, climate, daylight exposure, rainfall and drainage of the respective wine’s vineyard.
Marlborough has low rainfall and consistently high daylight exposure, large diurnal temperature shifts throughout the ripening cycle helps to build flavour and lock them in. It is here in Marlborough that New Zealand-style wines and, in particular, the extraordinary taste of Sauvignon Blanc are produced.
The hallmarks of New Zealand’s Sauvignon Blanc are pungent and crisp, with a hint of passionfruit and other tropical fruits, red pepper (capsicum) and gooseberry. Other notes include fresh cut grass, tomato stalks, grapefruit or lime. Think vibrant tropical fruits with tingling acidity.
New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is best enjoyed with:
- Tangy foods such as tomato, vinegar-based dressing
On its own, Sauvignon Blanc is a mouth-watering aperitif, especially on a warm and sunny day. Depending on your budget and the occasion, here are 5 recommendations to try: