Sauvignon Blanc: Australia’s Favourite White Wine
Celebrating International Sauvignon Blanc Day 2023, Friday 6th May.
Why is it that so often the things that women prefer are mocked and derided? Best selling novels that find themselves selected for book clubs become ‘chick lit’. Films that are created with a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars starring some of the world’s leading female acting talent are dismissed as ‘chick flicks’.
When a product or service attracts a strong female following our cultural lens views it as somehow tarnished or inferior. Some marketers actually fear their product becoming too closely associated with ‘the female consumer’ lest it conjures negative associations.
It appears that, somewhere along the line, sauvignon blanc has suffered such a fate. Once regarded highly enough to be included as one of the world’s noble grape varieties (alongside such vinous dignitaries as chardonnay, riesling, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and merlot) it has gone – in this country at least – to being commonly referred to as ‘bitch diesel’ and ‘cougar juice’. Two of the more horrendous nicknames used to describe the preference women have for Savvy B.
Women buy and consume the vast majority of Savvy B, and in blokey middle Australia, it’s only a confident man who will ask for a glass of sauvignon blanc at a barbecue.
Sauvignon blanc is the highest selling white wine in Australia. And NZ Sauvignon Blanc makes up the vast majority of those sales. 67% of the Sauvignon Blanc we drink in this country is imported, and New Zealand accounts for just under 2/3 of those imports. The dominance of New Zealand Savvy B, and in particular that from Marlborough, is staggering and not reserved to Australia alone. The UK, USA and Canada are also markets where NZ Sav is making its mark.
So why does it have such an image problem? Particularly among wine buffs? Possibly because the underlying problem is one that has plagued women for millennia and is going nowhere fast – blatant sexism.
There’s a strong argument to suggest that sauvignon blanc is widely derided by wine types precisely because it is a wine predominantly enjoyed by women. It’s brushed with contempt simply because ‘chicks’ like to drink it. And women’s choices are regularly viewed as inferior.
But why does something preferred by women need to have its reputation lowered? Why doesn’t it have the opposite effect of making the product even more esteemed and revered?
Think about this: there’s plenty of rubbishy, simple, cheap, over-made, over-oaked shiraz and cabernet being bought and consumed around the world today by middle aged men and I’ve never heard it referred to as ‘pompous douchebag juice’.
So let’s hear it for Savvy B, and reinstate it where it deserves to be – as the ‘superior’ wine choice.
Take your wine knowledge further: Understanding the different styles of Sauvignon Blanc produced in Australia
Sauvignon Blanc is actually an old varietal which is native to France. Its name originates from the French word sauvage, meaning “wild” and it is the parent grape of Cabernet Sauvignon.
Australian Sauvignon Blanc is known for its unique expression of the grape, showcasing a combination of tropical fruit flavors and herbaceous notes. In this blog post, we’ll explore the different styles of Australian Sauvignon Blanc and help you understand what makes them stand out.
Sauvignon Blanc from Adelaide Hills is known for its citrus and herbaceous notes, along with a pronounced minerality. The cool climate of the region produces wines with a bright acidity and flavors of lime, green apple, and grapefruit. Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for those who prefer a more elegant and refined style of the varietal.
Sauvignon Blanc from Margaret River is characterized by its tropical fruit flavors, such as passionfruit and pineapple, along with a hint of grassiness. The wines are often medium-bodied with a balanced acidity, making them approachable and easy to drink. Margaret River Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for those who prefer a fruit-forward and refreshing style.
Sauvignon Blanc from Yarra Valley is typically more restrained than other regions, with subtle notes of herb and white peach. The wines are known for their balanced acidity and round mouthfeel. Yarra Valley Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for those who prefer a more understated and elegant style.
Sauvignon Blanc from Hunter Valley is often blended with Semillon to produce a more complex and textural wine. The wines have flavors of lemon and lime, along with a hint of grassiness.
Sauvignon Blanc from Tasmania is known for its cool-climate influence, producing wines with a vibrant acidity and flavors of green apple, citrus, and gooseberry. The wines are often more restrained than other Australian Sauvignon Blancs, with subtle herbaceous notes and a long, crisp finish. Tasmania Sauvignon Blanc is a great choice for those who enjoy a refreshing and elegant style.