Kiwi sauvignon blanc rules OK?
New Zealand sauvignon blanc – aka Kiwi SB – is a favourite among British drinkers with the majority of supermarket Kiwi SB following a high volume/low price/low margin model.
There’s nothing wrong with that – wine is a drink like any other – and if it means more people enjoying themselves then great.
If you’re looking for something beyond the ordinary though, we’ve created a surefire way to try something new, find your style, and have a bloody laff.
Each wine selected highlights Kiwi SB’s differing characteristics, enabling you and your friends to explore what it is you like about Kiwi SB, while learning more about you like in wine overall.
Win. Win. Win.
The characteristics of Kiwi SB are:
- crisp green fruit – e.g. gooseberry
- yellow stone fruit – e.g. apricot
- ammonia – e.g. cat’s pee
- acidity – sometimes from adding acidity
- sweetness – often from adding plain old sugar, like they do with coke
Wines to explore include -
Loire sauvignon blanc (Loire SB)
The wine Kiwi SB is based on. Loire examples are typically greener fruited and very dry. Many Kiwi SB’s have residual sugar which is why many of us find them so easy to drink/moreish. Loire SB is leaner and less easy going than Kiwi SB’s taking the crunchy green fruit to 11.
From the village of the same name in the Loire. These are salty, tangy whites that are made for drinking with fish. Straight up Muscadet is full of crisp and crunchy green fruit with a salty tang. Muscadet sur lie is proper bonanza, excitingly weird with a yeasty off-note (it is nicer than it sounds). Muscadet is typically drier than Kiwi SB.
Picpoul de pinet
Similar to Muscadet but further south in France. It’s warmer and the wines are richer with more sugar as a result. Very friendly and perhaps the most straight up comparison to Kiwi SB combining crunchy, green fruit, sweet fruit and acidity.
Non-industrial, pinot grigio is delicious and typically balances fruit and acidity beautifully. Avoid the industrial plonk off the flat land, which includes most supermarket examples. Instead seek out producers who are in the northern hills of Italy, the Veneto. Pinot grigio has similar balance to Kiwi SB with sweetness, yellow stone fruit and green fruit.
The Rating Game
Pour each wine and rate 1-5 relative to the listed characteristics (1 is low and 5 is high).
Once everyone’s rated, the moderator reveals Ourglass’ ratings*, allowing tasters to compare with their conclusions
The idea is to to learn about the wines, your own taste, and the joy of taking part
*Ourglass ratings are not ‘objective’ fact but are intended as benchmarks to stimulate informal, alcohol fuelled debate (and not pistols at dawn)
We Go Again
Retaste in a different order, re-score and compare with interest (easier said than done!).
A contestant is asked 5 questions, with their aim being to guess the correct wine. Questions are, is the wine featured:
- Old world or new world?
- Younger or older than 5 yrs old?
- More or less than 13.5% alcohol?
- Is the wine blended or not?
- Is the wine [insert featured wine] or [insert a.n.other wine*]?
*You can be as tricksy or helpful as you choose