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When the weather is hot and sunny I reach for white wine rather than red and during our current hot spell I have been enjoying ‘Wishbone 2016’ Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough, New Zealand. Marlborough lies on the north eastern tip of New Zealand’s southern island and has the reputation as being one of the great Sauvignon Blanc regions of the world. Sauvignon Blanc is an aromatic grape with high acidity and when grown in cooler climates produces wines with flavours of apple and citrus. However, although Marlborough vineyards are cooled from sea breezes there are also hours of intense heat from the sun which give the wines a feisty and vibrant character with tropical flavours and this one has lower acidity than some others I have enjoyed. In the glass, Wishbone was a pale lemon colour with a strong green tinge and the nose was nettles and elderflower. Lovers of Sauvignon Blanc will know the familiar ‘cat pee’ aroma associated with high quality Sauvignon Blanc but this wine did not have that aroma. On the palate, it was punchy and refreshing with passion fruit, a hint of invigorating pink grapefruit and an enjoyable freshness with refreshing lime on the length. The taste suggested to me that this wine is a player; high spirited, fun and vivacious, not understated like a classy Sauvignon Blanc from Burgundy in France but sassy. Yet, the flavours were not overpowering. I paired this wine with Eggplant Parmigiana served with salad. The ingredients in the Eggplant Parmigiana were: aubergine in Italian breadcrumbs served on a traditional tomato sauce made with fresh tomatoes and garlic. Topped with three types of cheese; ricotta, manchego and parmesan which had been lightly beaten with 2 eggs. You may be surprised by the match with the fresh tomato sauce. Cooking the tomatoes reduced their acidity and brought out the sweetness of them and by adding olive oil to the sauce the acidity was reduced further. Sauvignon Blanc is generally considered to have high acidity but Wishbone’s acidity was medium to high and therefore the reduced acidity in the tomatoes through the preparation of them facilitated the match and brought out the crisp, fresh flavours in the wine. Eggplant Parmigiana is delicious served hot or cold with salad and the wine matches both.
I purchased ‘Wishbone 2016’ Sauvignon Blanc from Asda at Castlepoint, Bournemouth. I paid £8 for it.
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