Woman on Wine with Amy Reiley
I sincerely like Sancerre. A few years ago, lauded wine critic Lettie Teague called it the Tom Hanks of wine. In other words, it’s the wine everyone likes. It may not knock your socks off, (but every once in a while, it does). And it probably isn’t going to linger in your mind as a part of some great gastronomic experience. Though you never know when you might strike gold. But you always know you’re going to enjoy it. It will go well with your meal. And you’re going to have a nice night. And as far as I’m concerned, Sancerre is a summer wine.
Sancerre is made from Sauvignon Blanc grapes, but that wasn’t always the case. Until the late nineteenth century, the region was primarily planted with Pinot Noir and Gamay. When the vines were destroyed by phylloxera, some genius replanted the region with Sauvignon Blanc—and then things took off. (I should mention that there still are red Sancerre. A small quantity of vineyards were replanted with the Pinot Noir grape.)
Quality in the region remained generally high—one secret to the success for sure. But that’s been changing a bit. A few producers with more of an eye on the bottom line than on French pride are diluting the market with some less than quality wines. But, there’s still plenty of good and even great Sancerre out there.
So, if you’re inclined to sip Sauvignon Blanc, why wouldn’t you want to drink Sancerre? It’s gentler than its New Zealand counterpart. The wines often have a mineral or flinty note and bright but bitter acidity. Here are just a few of the Sancerre I like to pair with summer.
My Sancerre recommendations
2014 Barton & Guestier
Made by a popular wine company well known for good value wines, it offers hints of oyster shells and a lemongrass and lime acidity. Ok, it’s kind of like starter Sancerre but what’s wrong with a wine you can always count on?! Anyway, this Sancerre is definitely a wine for summer.
2014 Alain Gueneau “Le Guiberte”
This wine offers a brilliant balance of sweetness and bitterness. The way the flavors of honey and sweet, cut grass play off one another on the tongue makes for a delightful tasting experience.
2014 Domaine des Brosses
This Sauvignon blanc offers a perfectly harmonized blend of citrus and hay. My favorite part is the finish, which shows classic minerality and a surprise of jalapeno pepper-like heat.
FREE APHRODISIAC NEWSLETTER
Subscribe to our free aphrodisiac newsletter