Home and away
Six intriguing white wines, which you can compare and contrast their different styles based on where in the world they come from. Taste along with our wine expert and then have your say. Read the tasting notes, buy the wines and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
Paul Hopkins from MMI has chosen these six whites and suggests some great food matching ideas (he’s a keen home cook too).
Six wines, two hemispheres, two classic grape varieties – Sauvignon Blanc and Chenin Blanc. The three French wines all come from the Loire valley region, in fact Sancerre and Pouilly are very close to each other, just across the river Loire. The difference in the terrain where the grapes are grown is noticeable in the wine styles. Typically a Sancerre is fruitier with notes of cut grass and a Pouilly Fumé is weightier with more minerality and a slight smokiness (hence the term fumé). Each wine has unique characteristics depending on the villages involved. Compare the Domaine Rix Sancerre and Pascal Jolivet Attitude and see what you think.
Then we take an international journey with these grape varieties that are traditionally grown in the Loire and visit New Zealand, South Africa and Australia. Compare the French wines with those from the New World.
Domaine de Vaufuget Vouvray
This Vouvray is clean with a crisp finish. It is easy to enjoy with a fish such as turbot where the high acidity and crisp apple flavours of the wine cut through any oiliness in the fish.
False Bay Chenin Blanc
You’ll find a few more tropical fruit flavours than the previous wine in this Chenin Blanc, meaning it is the perfect partner for something spicy like Thai spicy chicken with basil (see kapow gai recipe here).
Domaine Rix Sancerre
An elegant and sophisticated wine which overcomes the difficulty of finding something to drink with with asparagus. Whether you have soup or simply steamed asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, this complements the strong flavour perfectly and demonstrates well that, with food and wine matching, not all Sauvignon Blancs are the same.
Craggy Range Te Muna Sauvignon Blanc
Taste this Sauvignon Blanc and your mouth will be filled with zesty citrus, stone fruit, herb and floral flavours. Try it with pan-fried salmon and roasted potato wedges (or plain old fish and chips). Tony Dodds was really impressed with Craggy Range on his recent visit to the winery and it’s one of MMI’s ‘Oz Picks’ (by famous wine expert Oz Clarke) for March.
Pascal Jolivet Attitude Sauvignon Blanc
The beautiful freshness of this wine goes brilliantly with seafood and if you have a freshly shucked oyster try an oyster shot. Place the oyster in a glass and pour a small amount of Attitude over it – this is oyster heaven.
Shaw and Smith Sauvignon Blanc
At our ‘Taste with Oz‘ evening last December, this Sauvignon Blanc from Shaw and Smith was one of the most popular with our tasters – probably because it’s perfectly balanced and to be enjoyed just needs great company.
What do you think? Are the French wines better, more complex or do they go better with food? Which ones did you enjoy the most? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.
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