Pairing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Mexican Food


While we’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo in the United States today, our friends in New Zealand are raising a glass to Sauvignon Blanc. Those two celebrations match up nicely. Here are some specific suggestions for pairing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Mexican food:

2016 Staete Landt “Annabel” Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 91 750ml $18

Superbly balanced and appetizing, this wine’s floral, apricot and yellow apple notes will go well with many foods. But those elements coupled with its lightly chalky texture makes me think of soft, fresh corn tortillas. Fill them with gently sautéed—or even deep-fried—seafood and your favorite trimmings to make fish tacos. They’ll be great with this wine.

2016 Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 89 750ml $17

With notes of kiwi, guava and grilled asparagus, the Nautilus Sauvignon Blanc is a good match for lightly smoky or grilled foods. Chicken fajitas, with those caramelized onions and peppers, will do nicely.

2016 Yealands Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 91 750ml $15

The 2016 Yealands offers concentrated flavors of guava and lemon-lime with a relatively rich and textured body. That’s just the thing for a heaping bowl of roughly mashed guacamole. At just 13.0% alcohol, it won’t exacerbate the heat in any chopped jalapeño you may have mixed in either.

2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc, North Canterbury 90 750ml $16

If you sometimes find New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc a little intense, this may be the wine for you. The 2016 Mt. Beautiful Sauvignon Blanc is fruit-focused, especially green and yellow apples, with a dusting of minerality and lees influence. The palate is a little soft and round, though still juicy. It might remind you a bit of un-oaked Chardonnay. And it’s perfect for chicken or cheese enchiladas with green sauce.

2016 Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc, Marlboro 89 750ml $16

The Saint Clair Sauvignon Blanc is all about appetizing citrus and tart peach notes. Those flavors, and its brisk acidity, will match well with citrus-marinated ceviche of white fish, shrimp and/or calamari. The wine’s flavors aren’t overly intense, so nuances of the seafood won’t be overwhelmed.

2014 Greywacke “Wild” Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough 92+ 750ml $25

If your celebration continues into tomorrow morning, go “Wild” with brunch. This 2014 Greywacke, a current release, is beautiful and complex. Along with succulent guava and orange juice(!), there are prominent notes of smoke and feral savoriness. It will be fantastic with runny-yoke Huevos Rancheros on smoky black beans. And bacon.

What are your favorite choices for pairing New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc with Mexican food?

Service Tips for New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc

  • It’s best served cold, at about 45° F.
  • If you don’t finish the bottle, screw the cap on and pop it back in the fridge. It will be good for 3-4 days.
  • Make a tasty white wine spritzer with New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Just mix 3 parts ice cold wine to 1 part equally cold sparkling water.
  • New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc is also great to cook with, especially seafood and chicken dishes.

Copyright Fred Swan 2017. All rights reserved.

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