A Classy Acid Trip

Ever find yourself rummaging in the fridge after a couple late night glasses?  You can thank the acidity in wine for stimulating your salivary glands.  Increasing saliva means you get an increase in digestive enzymes — this is your body signaling to the rest of you “INCOMING!!!!”.   I know that I always get the growls after a glass or two (which explains my ever increasing girth).

What are acids?  Well, some will tell you that acids are substances which concentrate hydronium ions in solution (not that I understand a word of what I just said, but in practical terms, think of acidity as “tartness”).  Grapes that are harvested at lower sugars will make wines that taste more tart thanks to higher acidity and lower sugar in the fruit, they will also have lower alcohol and feel more refreshing in the mouth.

Few grapes express that bright acid freshness better than Sauvignon Blanc.  Its most classic benchmark expressions come from France’s Loire River Valley where these wines show bright lemon-lime, mineral and citrus zest flavors and aromas.  New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc gives a riper show; with lots of pink grapefruit and in California it’s a bit of a free-for-all with a pastiche of flavors and aromas depending on the winemaker at work.    Either way, winemakers for the most part like to keep it clean and fresh, which means minimal oak and minimal second fermentations that soften the primary acids fresh charms.

My advice?  Buy and drink, same grape of course, but from different regions.  Three great places to start are with some of my new favorites; Honig Vineyards Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Utah Code 912696 / $13.99). Winemaker Kristin Belair makes a textbook perfect clean style.  This wine never sees any oak or malolactic fermentation so it tastes fresh and snappy and clean as grapes off the vine.

Phenom Geordie Carr takes an entirely different look at Sauvignon Blanc with his Bump Cellars Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Utah Code 918097 / $14.99) This is a big, juicy, sumptuous fruit forward style that shows the tropical end of Sauvignon Blanc.

Perhaps the most intense of the group is the Saracina Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc 2009 (Utah Code 916733 / $17.99) this shows a stunning leesy richness with a backbone of steel.  This sees stainless steel only but the extended lees contact gives it a thrilling grip.  And just for fun, grab a bottle of one of my perennial favorites and see what all the fuss about New Zealand is about Spy Valley Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2010 (Utah Code 915608 / $14.99) offers up a bracing blast of fresh grapefruit framed by sweet herbs.  Its all a win win win win from here.  Don’t forget to stop by Caputos and grab a little goat cheese (its always a perfect match with sauvignon blanc)

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