While the cooler temps may have you reaching more often for red wine, don't count out your favorite whites just yet. Attending the J-Class regatta at America's Cup this year with Cloudy Bay, I learned more things about wine (on boats, no less) than I thought I ever would. And while their fresh and vibrant sauvignon blanc had me pouring glass after glass, I was taken in by their Te Koko, a style that is a bit creamier and savory and that made me go "wait, this is sauvignon blanc?"
Spoiler: It is. Which made me think—what else don't I know about the things that I already drink?
Chatting with Mario Dussurget, Cloudy Bay Brand Experience Manager, I nailed down three things you—yes, even you with a glass in hand—probably didn't know about your favorite white wines. Take heed:
1. White wine *can* be paired with heavy foods:
Think white wines can only be paired with light foods, like fish? Think again. "The one trademark of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, being a bright, fresh grape variety from a cool climate is its crisp acidity," says Dussurget. "Acid cuts through fat in food, like butter or cream beautifully, so while it's never going to be the best choice with red meat, for rich foods like pasta, chicken, fried fish—it will absolutely work."
2. White wines in the same style can taste *drastically* different:
If you're a newly minted wino, you probably think of white wine as just "crisp" or "buttery." But like ALL wine, whites have subtle (and huge) differences that are fun to explore. Take Cloudy Bay's Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc, for instance. "The most unusual white wine we make is definitely our Te Koko Sauvignon Blanc. The signature style of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, which Cloudy Bay helped introduce to the world is known for its bright, bracing acidity – and flavors of lime, gooseberry, and passionfruit. This is the benchmark style for Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc and these wines are almost always unoaked, they are fermented in stainless steel tanks to keep that acidity sharp and bright and protect those fresh, green, citrus flavors and aromas.
Te Koko is full-bodied alternative style of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. It is fermented with wild yeasts, it also undergoes a process called malolactic fermentation or 'Malo' that changes the nature of the acid from one you would typically find in an apple, to a softer acid like you find in milk. And lastly it is fermented in barrel, (not stainless steel tank) which creates a complex, savory wine with a rich texture." Basically, if you think there's only one style of anything, even a specific varietal, you're missing out.
3. You're probably chilling your wine wrong:
"If you are in a hurry to chill your bottle, put it in a bucket or bowl with water and ice. The key is water *and* ice, not just ice alone," recommends Dussurget. "It's a question of surface area—if you think about it, only a few parts of the ice actually touch the bottle where cold water surrounds the bottle completely, chilling it faster."
BUY THEM: wine.com.
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Samantha Leal is the Deputy Editor at Well+Good, where she spends most of her day thinking of new ideas across platforms, bringing on new writers, overseeing the day-to-day of the website, and working with the awesome team to produce the best stories and packages. Before W+G, she was the Senior Web Editor for Marie Claire and the Deputy Editor for Latina.com, with bylines all over the internet. Graduating from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University with a minor in African history, she’s written everything from travel guides to political op-eds to wine explainers (currently enrolled in the WSET program) to celebrity profiles. Find her online pretty much everywhere @samanthajoleal.
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