You can love – and drink – something too much. If Sauvignon Blanc fatigue is setting in, what alternatives are out there that tickle your taste buds in the same way?
Don’t get us wrong, we love the unrestrained gooseberry smell and punchy green whiffs, and there can be nothing better to hydrate yourself on a summer day. It’s the UK’s most popular wine and general crowd pleaser. But what if Sauvignon Blanc fatigue is setting in – how do you wean yourself off and try something new without getting it really wrong?
Here are four alternatives that will tickle your taste buds in the same way:
First up is Argentina’s Torrontes. We’ve had a few bad experiences with this stuff …then we went to its home land. No, we are not showing off or suggesting a 15-hr flight in economy to get there – but do – it’s just our experience of Argentina’s signature white grape was always a bit … perfumey. So when in Rome – or in this case, Salta – we went for it and were very pleasantly surprised.
Torrontes can have a big nose and that may scare you (it did us). But take a slip and you will find it’s fresh and light-bodied, with a delicate flavour of nectarines.
Nearly every wine has had its outing as the next big thing and Torrontes is no exception. But you do need to be careful; like everything in life – there are a few baddies out there ruining it for everyone else.
One of our favourites: Torrontes, San Pedro De Yacochuya, Salta, Argentina
Grüner Vertliner (GROON-ur VELT-lin-ur)
Grüner Veltliner is to Austria what Sauvignon Blanc is to NZ. Referred to as just “Grüner” by the cool kids and those unsure how to pronounce it (us), it’s similar to Sauvignon Blanc in that most Grüners are light, zesty, with skyscraper heights of acidity.
Some Grüners – particularly those light organic types – have a cloudy fizz to them, intensifying the flavours of green apples, grapefruit and lemons. This is a great wine if you are looking for something interesting and easy to drink solo, but they also work as a perfect palate cleanser for richer foods.
One of our favourites: Grüner Veltliner, Georgenberg, Josef Ehmoser, Wagram
Mostly grown in Sardina, Italy, Vermentino has managed to keep itself well under the radar. We fell in love with the stuff after a trip to this autonomous island and those who enjoy the punchy taste of a NZ Sauvignon Blanc will also revel in this wine – it’s dry, light-bodied, with a slight oily texture and a lot going on. Classic versions have fruits like pear and white peach, and that nice prickly citrus sour tang of pink grapefruit and lime.
You will see more versions of this wine in shops now, but it has still managed to shy itself from the limelight, helping to keep the price down.
One of our favourites: Vermentino di Sardegna, Il Roccolo, Natale Verga, Sardinia
Verdejo is one of Spain’s specialities. Lay forgotten for years until its re- discovery at the end of the last Century, most Verdejos are fresh, crisp, with bright citrus and melon. Some of the older vines give a nutty and creamy texture.
Calling the region of Rueda, north west of Madrid, its home, Verdejo’s popularity (at the moment) lies there more than aboard. It is subject to crueller conditions than you imagine for Spain – higher attitudes, swinging temperatures (it gets pretty cold there at night) and rocky soils. Yet all these helps keep that acidity that is so key to Verdejo’s enjoyment.
Great with tapas – as you would expect – but good on its own, versatility is Verdejo’s middle name.
One of our favourites: El Quintanal Blanco, Cillar de Silos, Rueda