In continuing with a “wines of summer” theme, this ubiquitous number from New Zealand should not be overlooked. Yes, you’ve seen it at Costco, Total Wine, and a bazillion other places. Well, there’s a perfectly good reason why. Everybody’s drinking it! Why? Because it’s a bargain, and a very tasty and refreshing one, to boot. Lower in alcohol at 12.5 percent, it’s one of those perfect summer quaffs. It’s also ideal for picnics and concerts because there’s no need to pack a corkscrew. And, you can enjoy it as an aperitif, with snacks or with a meal.
It should be noted that the sauv blancs from New Zealand (as a group) tend to be more herbaceous than those from California or even France. It also helps to know that it’s ideally suited to shellfish, especially oysters, as well as cold salads and the always-difficult match—asparagus.
Sauvignon blanc grapes (from the French words sauvage (wild) and blanc (white) from all over New Zealand’s Marlborough Region, are used in this blend. The fruit is night-harvested, when the temperatures are cool, to minimize oxidation, and the wine retains lovely flavors of melon and lemon-lime, to accompany its crisp acidity. Available at Total Wine, Hi Time Cellars, and The OC Wine Mart, for $14 or less.