New Zealand For The First Time…

I know I’ve mentioned it already, but this week was the beginning of my busy season at work. Partly, things are busy because it’s “conference season,” which means people come to DC and want to meet while they’re here, and partly things are busy because people are in the process of putting together budgets for next year, which means they need input before they can finalize those plans.  Either way, this means they want to meet with me, which in turn means that I have days filled with back-to-back 30-minute meetings and lots of caffeine to make sure I’m awake in these meetings.  By the time the marathon workday is over, my brain is full, my palate is on overload, and I crave a light wine and episodes of Heros or 30 Rock.  So, yesterday after work, I opened a bottle of Kim Crawford 2008 Sauvignon Blanc and settled in to Monday’s episode of Heros  

Recently, I read about a guy who shied away from New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc because of his dislike for wines that tasted like asparagus (I wish I could remember where I read it—maybe Food & Wine or maybe on a blog), but as he’s gotten older, he has started to appreciate these flavors in a  wine.  The Kim Crawford 2008 Sauvignon Blanc was my first foray into the world of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and the timing of reading that article and tasting this wine, while accidental, couldn’t have been more perfect.  I was prepared for the vegetal aromas and tastes, while being open-minded about having those be pleasant dominant flavors in my Sauvignon Blanc wine. 

Kim Crawford winery is a mass-market wine, so they do a significant amount of advertising, although, as you can see from the write-up at The Good Grape, they try to take a different approach.  I think that’s interesting, and speaks to my overall experience with the wine–reliable, with a little bit of unexpected.

The 2008 Sauvignon Blanc (vineyardsnooth) is made of grapes from Marlborough and had a clear, greenish-yellow color that just screamed “refreshing white wine” when I looked at it.  As I swirled the glass before smelling it, I could caught a wiff of the wine and was very excited by both the pronounced smell and what that smell offered.  On the nose, I found a strong green bell pepper and asaparagus aroma, followed by white flowers and citrus.  There were strong bell pepper and asparagus flavors when tasting the wine, as well, but the flowers did not appear in the mouth.  Instead, there was a nice blend of grass, lime, and peach.  Overall, the acidity made for a nice, crisp wine that lingered in the mouth.  

Is this wine worth a glass after work? Definitely!  If you see this wine in the store, grab it; you won’t be disappointed. For $18, this wine would be great with a salad or some shrimp cocktail, as the fresh crispness of the veggies and the shellfish will accentuate those characterisitcs in the wine without overwhelming it.  I happened to have paired the wine with some salty cashews, which was a great pairing as the saltiness of the nuts added an almost creamy texture to the Sauvignon Blanc.  The guest blogger, Britt, over on The Wine Whore paired the Kim Crawford with  sushi.  The paring completely changed his impression of the wine, and “the sushi mixed with a touch of wasabi followed by the Sauvignon Blanc was unbelievable.”  With all of this in mind, if you like a fruit-forward wine, this one  isn’t for you.  However, if you’re opening to explore whites that offer a little something extra, you can’t go wrong with the Kim Crawford 2008 Sauvignon Blanc.   

Overall: 4 corks


  1. Courtney says

    I too enjoy this wine. My current go-to is the Oyster Bay because it’s cheap and has a screw top for easy transportation

  2. Alleigh says

    Courtney–You may not be able to tell from the picture, but the Kim Crawford is a screw top , as well. I’ll keep my eye out for the Oyster Bay. Thanks for the recommendation!

  3. Mark says

    I’m a big fan of NZ Sauvignon Blancs, in particular, from Kim Crawford. I also agree with Courtney that the Oyster Bay is a good alternative. I look forward to reading more posts.

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