I clearly remember my first glass of Sauvignon Blanc. And unfortunately I cannot admit to love at first sip. My first memories of a Sauvignon Blanc are of surprise. Surprise why anybody would prefer this grassy smelling lightly coloured liquid to the beautiful smooth red wines that I had grown up with.
NZ Sauvignon has only been around for the last 40 years, which is obviously a blip in time compared to some of the old European wine chateaux. The early NZ wine pioneers knew they had a great moderate climate to play with, but they had to start from scratch in a very small market. So with their sassy pioneer spirit and typical ‘make do’ Kiwi ingenuity, like stainless steel tanks and screw caps, Sauvignon became the typical NZ flavour that quickly established itself as the benchmark for this type of wine.
My first taste of Sav was a long time ago and luckily, I tried again. And this time, I was getting it. It might have been the combination with another NZ great, Marlborough Salmon that did it, but I was sold. In my last visit to the Netherlands, it was clear, I was not the only one that had fallen for it. NZ Sauvignon is now standard staple in many Dutch and other European and UK supermarkets. Little NZ conquering the world, what a great story!