I am seriously having trouble finding things that I like and I need new ideas. I think my problem is that I like French whites, but I am totally intimidated by French wine and feel like I have no idea what I am doing when I choose something (or I like wine that is more expensive than I want to pay)! I like Sancerre, but they are usually over $20/bottle and for my everyday wine I prefer to be like $10-15. So what is a cheaper version of a Sancerre, but similar in taste? I want something that is dry, not boring like most Pinot Grigio is, but also not so tart like I’m finding most Sauvignon Blanc. Thoughts?
Your timing is very good because I was reading a couple of articles and blog posts where others were lamenting something very similar…that most “everyday” Sauvignon Blancs have become one-dimensional, esentially having a lot of grass and a lot of tartness (lime-like acid), but not much else. Unfortunately, no one had a good resolution or a go-to Sauvignon Blanc to suggest. I just reviewed the 2012 Simi Sauvignon Blanc, and it was a solid, refreshing white that offered a nice alternative to the over-bearing grass and acid. That said, it was a little unusual for a Sauvignon Blanc (probably because it was 2% Semillion and 1% Viognier grapes), so I’m not sure it will fill the bill for a Sancerre lover.
In order to stay in the under $15 price range while keeping the quality, I would actually recommend branching out away from the Sauvignon Blanc grape. A close-held secret of mine (that I’m leery about sharing for fear that everyone will run out and grab these whites) is that the Spanish white wine Verdejo is a delicious, food-friendly, and cost-effective alternative to Sauvignon Blanc. In fact, while I used to automatically gravitate towards a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc, I actually now prefer Verdejos. Chances are, if I see one on a menu when Hubby and I are at a restaurant, that is the wine I will order for the evening.
Another option that tends to be a little more flowery than Sauvignon Blanc, but still is a subtly complex, refreshing, and affordable white wine is an Austrian Grüner Veltliner. The Austrians do a lot with the grape, including making sparkling and sweet wines, but a regular bottle of still Grüner is a fabulous alternative to a Sauvignon Blanc.
That all said, you’ve made me realize I need to review more Verdejo and Grüner Veltliner. They tend to be the white wines I order at restaurants rather than buy for home because my wine refrigerator is always full of Sauvignon Blancs. Clearly, I need to remedy that because they are grapes I love, and I’m sorry that I don’t have more reviews to share with you.
I hope this helps, and I’d love to hear back on whether you find an alternative that works for you.
Question of the Day: Are you a Sauvignon Blanc lover? Which ones do you tend to drink?