Favorite Foods for Four Under $20 Sauvignon Blanc Wines from Chile

favorite foods for sauvignon blanc

Spring means my garden is full of nasturtiums, lemons, salad greens, mint, lavender, roses, and rosemary! The volunteer tomatoes are just getting rosy. And pairs so well with spring? Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre, in the Loire Valley, it’s ancestral home! Even though it is fall right now in New Zealand where the grape has made its mark, New Zealand and the rest of the world including Chile is paying attention to this zesty, herbal white wine because the first Friday in May is Sauvignon Blanc Day! 

Sauvignon Blanc flowering in Fillmore, Ventura County, CA April 2022

So what are some of our favorite pairings for this food friendly wine?

 

Food Favorites for Sauvignon Blanc

  • Oysters
  • Goat Cheese
  • Sourdough Bread
  • Nasturtium Pesto as bruschetta, on pasta, or a base for a mild white fish
  • Ceasar Salad (with anchovies!) 
This year for Sauvignon Blanc Day, we decided to focus on Sauvignon Blanc from Chile. I had attended a Vine Pair ZOOM with 5.5 oz samples, and was so impressed with how well it went with these dishes, that I convinced Sue we needed to do it with some full sized bottles for readers! 
 
Plus did you know that nasturtiums are native to Chile? My mom loved them so we always grew them but it wasn’t until a few years ago that I learned you could make pesto out of them! A lot cheaper than buying basil, for sure! And this pesto is so good with Sauvignon Blanc, especially from Chile! What’s the recipe you ask? Basically substitute nasturtium leaves for basil! 
 
It didn’t take much to convince Sue once I told her about the fascinating flavors of herbs and jalapeños, characteristics that she loves and favors in her wines. We also decided to do a feature Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile, and to do a deep dive into the region, topography, and characteristics. Read about four Cabernet Sauvignon from Chile here.

 

Sauvignon Blanc from Chile  

As I mentioned, I recently attended VinePair’s “Exploring Aconcagua” seminar where we tasted six Sauvignon Blanc wines from the region in small 5.5 oz bottles sent by Master The World. The Aconcagua valley, located in the Andes mountain range, has vineyards in the coastal zone where the higher altitude brings cooler temperatures for greater acidity, and rocky soils produce distinct  characteristics for Sauvignon Blanc.

Long and slender, Chile’s distinct topography offers 3,000 miles of coastline; no matter where you are in Chile, you’re never further than 100 miles from the sea with the icy Humboldt current flowing north! The ridge of the Andes lies along the Eastern edge, with desert to the north and polar regions south. 

Two of the wines in the VinePair tasting were also organic, including this one, and since I was very impressed with it, I reached out for a sample, and that, as well as access to two other sustainable Sauv Blancs plus one I had in the sample cellar, inspired this post. 

Wines from the VinePair tasting:

Wines from our tasting and pairing:

  • Veramonte Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2021 SRP $12
  • Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc Rapel River 2021 SRP $15
  • Cono Sur Organico Sauvignon Blanc 2021 SRP $11
  • Valdevieso Sauvignon Blanc DO Valle de Leyda 2015 SRP $17

Veramonte Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2021 SRP $14

Veramonte Organic Sauvignon Blanc 2021 SRP $12

SRP $12
ABV 13.5%
Importer: Gonzalez Byass
sample for my review

Organic Veramonte grows grapes and makes wine in the Casablanca Valley in Chile. Free of pesticides, herbicides and synthetic fertilizer, sustainable Veramonte wines help the planet and the people who drink them and make them. 

Veramonte partners with the non-profit “Kiss the Ground” which focuses on healthy soils to create a symbiotic relationship with the earth by promoting Regenerative Agriculture to increase biodiversity, enrich soils, improve watersheds, and enhance ecosystem services, because these practices eventually also increase yields and vigor for vines and farming communities alike. 

We will be writing soon about Veramonte’s Organic Chardonnay 2020 and Organic Carmenere 2020 — both also widely available at an affordable $12.  

Color: Pale lemon, bright and clear, 

Aroma: Grassy, green, jalapeno pepper, hot springs, creek side

Palate: Jalapeno peppers, lemon, lots of intensity on the palate, clean and lively, typical of So Africa and So America

Pairing: Fantastic pairing, nothing is tamed by the other. The flavors of each clash and combine each very bright and lively leaving one with a fresh clean pleasing palate. Nice with the pesto, but not an over the top pairing for either the food or the wine. Lovely with the goat cheese bringing out a sweetness in the wine that is not present otherwise. 

Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc Rapel River 2021
DO Litueche

Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc Rapel River 2021
DO Litueche 

SRP $15
ABV 12.5%
Importer: Eagle Peak Estates/Fetzer 
sample for my review

Love this new label on an old favorite that is now “Green-e certified.” Grapes come from the Ucúquer vineyard, 170 meters above sea level on the Rapel River’s southern bank only 15 kilometers from the Pacific Ocean meaning cooling marine influence. 

Color: pale lemon, crystal clear clear

Aroma: Green bell pepper, green grass, chamomile

Palate: Tart lime, key lime, Eureka lemon, bell pepper, grass, acidic 

Pairing: The salad brought out a green apple or asian pear fruit in the wine. Fantastic with the salad, liking the salinity and crispness of the salad. Nice with the pesto. Very nice with the goat cheese. The creamy tart cheese tames the tart crispness in the wine. 

Cono Sur Organico Sauvignon Blanc 2021

Cono Sur Organico Sauvignon Blanc 2021 

SRP $11
ABV 12.5%
Importer Pacific Bay Hopland/ Fetzer
sample for my review

This wine is also part of the Viña Concha y Toro family which achieved B Corp certification last year, becoming the world’s largest winery certified as a B Corp. So yes, and the wine is vegan and certified organic also! And the label is so cute. The organic grapes come from the coastal San Antonio DO’s Campo Lindo Estate and Bio Bio.

Color: Pale straw, crystal clear, 

Aroma: Grass, bell pepper, ocean breeze, chamomile, pollen, 

Palate: Lemon, grasses, fresh, easy to drink, pleasant, very simple

Pairing: Twist off cap, perfect for the beach or poolside. Very nice with the Cesar salad, loves the lemon which elevates the wine. Sue felt it was best with the pesto bruschetta loving the toasty pine nuts, turning the eureka lemon into a Meyer lemon profile adding a sweetness to both the wine and the food. 

Valdevieso Sauvignon Blanc DO Valle de Leyda 2015

Valdevieso Sauvignon Blanc  2015 
DO Valle de Leyda

SRP $17
ABV 12%
Importer: Wine Bridge Imports 
sample for my review

Famous as being the first house to make sparkling wines in South America back in 1879, Viña Valdivieso’s winemaker Brett Jackson makes many other wines including the high end red “Caballo Loco” and this Sauvignon Blanc in their Lontué winery, in the Curicó Valley. The Leyda’s region is within sight of the ocean, and the grapes benefit from the cooling maritime influence.

Color: Golden with a touch of green, still quite clear, more yellow than gold. 

Aroma: Jalapeno jelly, slate, ocean breeze, wet limestone, iron, slight florals, 

Palate: We were not sure how this wine would show due to the age of the vintage, especially since the tech sheet says enjoy young– within two years of the vintage! However it is a very nice wine with jalapeno pepper, eureka lemon, dry, lots of salinity. This wine has aged really nicely. It has all of the elements of a Sauvignon Blanc with a very nice finish. What a surprise for a $17 bottle of wine.  

Pairing: The pesto tames the jalapeno components in the wine, it mellows it. lovely with the Cesar salad and the goat cheese. 

All hail Sauvignon Blanc, wherever it may be growing around the world! But do take my advice, and explore this grape and its expression in CHILE! I know we will be looking to do more with this grape from this region in 2022– possibly retesting and pairing more of the wines from the VinePair tasting along with more about what I learned!

Young head trained Sauvignon Blanc bushing out and flowering in Fillmore, Ventura County, CA April 2022

 

 

 

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