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Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay

Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay

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Of the thousands of white wine grapes planted around the world, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc are two of the most popular. However, despite running side by side in popularity, these two grape varieties are incredibly different. So much so, that fans of one may entirely reject the other. Let us have a look at the differences between these two noble varieties.

Sauvignon Blanc

Origin: Bordeaux and Loire, France.

Terroirs: Loire Valley, Bordeaux, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, California, Chile, Bulgaria.

Types of wine: Dry, Sweet (rarely).

Styles of wine:

  • Cooler climates: wines with noticeable acidity and "green flavors" of grass, green bell peppers and nettles with some tropical fruit (such as passion fruit) and floral (such as elderflower) notes,
  • Warmer climates: more tropical fruit notes but risks losing much aroma from over-ripeness, leaving only slight grapefruit and tree fruit (such as peach) notes.

Ageing ability: Moderate.

Taste: Green notes range from savory flavors of fresh cut grass, gooseberry, and even jalapeno, to sweeter fruitier green notes of grapefruit, white peach, and passion fruit.

Serving temperature:

  • 9-11°C for unoaked wines,
  • 10-12ºC for oaked wines.

Recommended glass: Sauvignon Blanc Wine Glass: tall and narrow, with a slightly slender bowl concentrating a white wine’s fruity flavors.

Food pairing: Goat cheese, fish tacos, gyros and tabouli salad, Mediterranean style meats with lemon, capers and olives, and chicken pot pie, Thai, and Vietnamese food.

 

Chardonnay

Origin: Burgundy, France.

Terroirs: Burgundy, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, California, Chile, Bulgaria.

Types of wine: Dry, Sweet (rarely), Sparkling.

Styles of wine:

  • Cooler climate: more acidity, citrus flavours, and mineral character, and is lighter-bodied, lighter in alcohol and elegant,
  • Warmer climate: less acidity, with opulent, ripe fruit flavors from yellow peach to papaya and pineapple. Wines are usually fuller-bodied with higher alcohol.

Ageing ability: High.

Taste: Primary fruit flavors of apple, yellow melon, and starfruit. Oaked wines taste of cream, vanilla, or butter.

Serving temperature:

  • 7–9 °C for Champagne/Sparkling,
  • 9-11°C for unoaked wines,
  • 12-14°C for oaked wines.

Recommended glass:

Food pairing: Chicken with chardonnay-cream mustard sauce, crab cakes, lobster, shrimp and linguini, or classic French-style quiche, dishes with creamy-like sauces using almond milk, cauliflower or a nut-based sauces like cashew cream or tahini. Dry sparkling wines are best served with fried foods – vegetables, seafood, chicken; lean meats – pork, lamb, veal; all types of seafood – fish, caviar, oyster; pasta, especially creamy one; soups, especially mushroom creamy soup; almost any type of cheese, as well as fresh salads, pastry, pies, toasts, egg dishes, etc.

16.07.2021

Other articles on Midalidare’s Wine guide:

Classic wine blends

Popular wine blends

Traditional sparkling winemaking

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