Think Green! 30 Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairing Ideas

Have I ever taught you guys my trick with pairing wine with Sauvignon Blanc? When I’m at a restaurant and I don’t recognize any of the wines on the wine list (rare, but it happens), I always go for the Sauvignon Blanc. Why? Because it’s hard to screw it up! It’s a consistently good grape with consistent aromas and flavors. You always know what you’re going to get. That’s part of what makes Sauvignon Blanc food pairing so easy and reliable.

sauvignon blanc food pairing

Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairing

Here is everything you need to know about Sauvignon Blanc food pairing and how to make sure you’re matching your wine with your meals to maximize flavors. But first, some background information about Sauvignon Blanc.

Where is Sauvignon Blanc from?

The famous wine region of Bordeaux in France is also the birthplace of Sauvignon Blanc. The “spiritual home” of Sauvignon Blanc is also in France, in a small wine region in the Loire Valley called Sancerre. Yet, today, wine production has moved all around the world, including countries such as New Zealand, Argentina, the United States, and South Africa.

Best Regions for Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc thrives in cool to moderate climates worldwide. Still, some regions stand out for the quality of Blanc they produce. These are:

Bordeaux: the birthplace of Sauvignon remains a top region for SB production. In Bordeaux, Sauvignon Blanc is blended with Semillon.

Sancerre: Sauvignon Blanc here takes on a mineral character that resembles seashells and flint do to the terroir of the region

New Zealand: almost 80% of the wine produced in New Zealand is Sauvignon Blanc! NZ SB has flavors of gooseberry and grass (sometimes they even smell like cat pee! not joking!)

Sonoma, California: Sauvignon Blanc is the second-most planted white wine in Sonoma County. Can you guess the first? (Sauvignon Blanc vs Chardonnay)

Chile: winemakers in Chile give Blanc a light and refreshing aftertaste that’s extra citrusy

South Africa: the wine here has a green tint that comes from the use of green fruits

What does Sauvignon Blanc Smell like?

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the more aromatic grape varieties, meaning it gives off a lot of smells. Although it depends on where its planted, Sauvignon Blanc usually has lemon, lime, grass, and grapefruit notes. But that’s just the beginning. Tropical notes like passion fruit, papaya are often found in Sauvignon Blanc, too. And then there’s the completely weird smells. Take New Zealand, for example, where they make the wine smell like cat pee! It’s definitely the weirdest tasting note ever but once you smell it, you can’t even deny it. This scent derives from organic compounds that derive from sulphur.

Is Sauvignon Blanc dry or sweet?

Sauvignon Blanc is one of the driest white wines you can find. This means that Sauvignon Blanc has almost no residual sugar after fermentation. Although you will find juicy and fruity notes in Sauvignon Blanc, the wine is almost always made bone dry where no sweetness is detectable.

What does Sauvignon Blanc taste like?

Sauvignon Blanc has a distinctive lime and grapefruit taste that complements its lemon aroma. At the same time, notes of passion fruits, bell pepper, and white peach are all tastes you’re gonna sense on your palate. The green bell pepper note is also a clue that this grape variety is related to Cabernet Sauvignon (Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc got a little frisky in the vineyards and created Cabernet Sauvignon). The bell pepper smell is due to aroma compounds call pyrazines. When Sauvignon Blanc is aged in oak barrels (sometimes called Fume Blanc), you may notice notes of custard, vanilla, or tropical fruits.

sauvignon blanc food pairing

Characteristics of Sauvignon Blanc to Consider when Pairing Food

Sauvignon Blanc is a light to medium-bodied white wine with high acidity. Hence, it pairs great with light food like chicken, sushi, and white fish but then can extend to heavier foods like pork. Sauvignon Blanc has medium levels of alcohol and distinctive notes of grass, citrus, and mineral. Sauvignon Blanc is bone dry. My best advice is to pair Sauvignon Blanc with any foods you would squeeze a lemon on.

Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairing List

Based on the wine characteristics above, here are some recommendations to pair Sauvignon Blanc with the right dish on every occasion. A good clue with Sauvignon Blanc food pairing is to the think green. Green vegetables, green salads, green herbs, and green fruit almost always pair very well Sauvignon Blanc.

appetizers with sauvignon blanc

Appetizers for Sauvignon Blanc

Green hummus: made from spinach, onions, and cilantro, green hummus is a delicious appetizer for Sauvignon Blanc, especially if you have some breadsticks to use as a dip.

Prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks: you will love how easy they are to make and how well they complement Sauvignon Blanc.

Cured salty olives: once you place raw olives in salt for a prolonged time, you take their bitterness out of the equation and create a delightful appetizer for your Sauvignon Blanc.

Salads with Sauvignon Blanc

Green salads: although any green salad is an excellent match to Sauvignon Blanc, add a generous amount of vinaigrette or lemon dressing to match Sauvignon Blanc’s acidity.

Citrus Salad: mix orange, tangerine, grapefruit, and a bit of mint to create a citrus salad like no other. You will love how great it pairs with the citrus notes of Sauvignon Blanc itself.

Chicken salad: if you are looking for a healthier alternative to a chicken Caesar salad, take a wine-poached chicken, side it with savory cheese, and serve it with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc. It’s the definition of harmony.

Pizza and Sauvignon Blanc

Any pizza with lots of tomato sauce and cheese makes an excellent match with Sauvignon Blanc especially Margherita pizza or pizza with green peppers and onions. However, a personal favorite is Sauvignon Blanc with pizza Bianca or a pesto-based pizzas.

Chicken and poultry dishes that pair with Sauvignon Blanc

Poultry dishes are a food category where Sauvignon Blanc shines. Although any chicken recipe can be a great match, here are three plates you have to try with Blanc:

Garlic Chicken with white sauce: take chicken thighs, brown them in olive oil for a while and place them in the oven with lots of garlic. And if you want the best combo, make sure to use Sauvignon Blanc in the sauce itself.

Lemon braised chicken: The acidity and taste of lemon perfectly complement the citrus flavors of Sauvignon Blanc.

Chicken Piccata: this traditional recipe of chicken breasts drenched in flour and browned in oil is an excellent pairing to Sauvignon Blanc. And you can make it taste even better with butter or lemon sauce!

sauvignon blanc food pairing guide sandwiches

Sandwiches with Sauvignon Blanc

Here are my 3 favorite sandwiches with Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairing with Pork

The fat of pork meat makes an excellent match with the high acidity of Sauvignon Blanc. Acid cuts through fat and elevates the palate. I’m a big fan of roasted pork loin with herbs and a hint of oregano with SB. Grilled pork chops are also excellent with a Sauvignon Blanc that’s been aged in oak.

Fish with Sauvignon Blanc

Nearly every single bottle of Sauvignon Blanc will state on the back label that it pairs with fish. Why? Because it’s true. You too will love how Sauvignon Blanc pairs with white fish. Tilapia, flounder, and halibut are three types of fish that work great with Sauvignon Blanc, thanks to their mild and flaky taste. Although the combination is already delicious, remember to squeeze a lemon on top of the fish! That extra acidity will make a big difference. 

Shellfish with Sauvignon Blanc

Oysters and Sauvignon Blanc from Sancerre are one of those pairings that seem as they are built for each other. And that applies to other shellfish, too especially if you add a good amount of squeezed lemon. Scallops, crab legs, calamari, and mussels in a white wine sauce are also awesome choice to pair with Sauvignon Blanc.

Vegetarian Dishes that Pair with Sauvignon Blanc

When I say think green when making Sauvignon Blanc food pairings, it especially applies to vegetarian dishes. Vegetarian dishes with spinach, kale, and zucchini will also work well with SB. Pasta dishes such as cheese tortellini with pesto or eggplant lasagna are great vegetarian plates to pair with Sauvignon Blanc. But you don’t need to get that complicated. Any stir-fried vegetable will do the trick.

Sauvignon Blanc Cheese Pairing

If you want to pair cheese with Sauvignon Blanc, opt for earthy and grassy cheeses. The acidity from the wine will bring everything into balance. Here are my four favorite types of cheese to pair with Sauvignon Blanc:

  • Soft Goat cheese (the grassier the better!)
  • Garrotxa
  • Feta
  • Pepper jack
  • Gouda
  • Muenster

Serving Suggestions for Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc should be served chilled and kept cool in an ice bucket. A universal wine glass is just fine for SB. Sauvignon Blanc should be drank within 3-4 years of the vintage. Some exceptional Sauvignon Blancs can age longer but generally Sauvignon Blanc should be drank young.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sauvignon Blanc Food Pairing

What foods go well with Sauvignon Blanc?

You will love how well Sauvignon Blanc pairs with fish and chicken. At the same time, it makes an excellent match to anything you can squeeze a lemon on top, such as oysters. 

What appetizer goes with Sauvignon Blanc?

Green salads, fried vegetables, and cured olives are appetizers that go well with Sauvignon Blanc. But feel free to go wilder too. For example, you can dip prosciutto-wrapped breadsticks with green hummus, and you have a perfect appetizer for Sauvignon Blanc.

What type of cheese goes with Sauvignon Blanc?

Although goat cheese may be the obvious candidate, any artisanal cheese, such as gouda or cheddar, will make a great pairing with Sauvignon Blanc.  

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