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West Coast Sauv Blancs for East Coast Tastes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jacqueline Coleman, BT Contributor   
August 2019

Red, white, and you: Agreeable wine for $15 or less

OPix_Vino_8-19ur East Coast/West Coast rivalry has been going on for years. Which coast is better when there are clear perks to both? Here we have major cities like Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, and Miami, which are arguably some of the world epicenters for education, finance, government, air travel, and culture. We also have East Coast Standard Time, which rules when it comes to TV scheduling. You know this if you’ve ever tried to watch NFL football with breakfast on a Sunday in L.A.

However, the West Coast has, well, the West Coast! Driving the Pacific Coast Highway may be one of life’s most enchanting road trips, even in traffic. The weather in California is usually optimal, especially the further south you go. And the best-kept secret in the world is that Seattle is the perfect place to be when the sun is shining.

Oh! And these Sauvignon Blancs are all from the West Coast. So this month it is up to you to decide which coast is the best as we dive into these economical wines from the West side.

Fans of the HBO television series Big Little Lies are used to the women of Monterey sipping on white wine as they gaze far out into the Pacific from the comfort of a multimillion-dollar mansion deck, and if you close your eyes, you can pretend to be one of them as you sip the 2016 Slow Press Sauvignon Blanc from Monterey County. At $14.99, it’s at the high end of our budget, and as a Sauv Blanc that is sur lie aged (prolonged yeast contact), you’ll get a full body of honey-lemon flavor that lingers on the tongue long after you’ve remembered you don’t own a mansion on the Pacific.

Lodi wines are hot right now, so you may as well jump on the bandwagon and try the 2016 Sand Point Sauvignon Blanc, which impressed me for a sub-$15 wine. Refreshing like a glass of lemonade on a humid Miami summer day, this bottle is packing lots of lemon-citrus and honeydew that will melt the heat away, if only momentarily.

Soft and refined is not how we typically describe people on the East Coast, so let’s take a lesson from the 2017 AVA Grace Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc and practice elegance. Perfumed and slightly sweeter, with a stylish label that will Instagram well at the pool, AVA Grace reminds us that Sauvignon Blanc can be understated, and that’s okay.

For those Easterners who self-proclaim “loud and proud,” you may find a friend in the 2016 Francis Coppola Diamond Collection Sauvignon Blanc, which is bold and zesty from the get-go. This wine reminds me of a roommate who noisily bangs kitchen cabinets making breakfast too early in the morning. It doesn’t mean she has a bad character, only that she is inherently more clamorous than others.

If coastal extremes are exhausting, come to the middle ground and sip on a 2017 Sterling Vintner’s Collection Sauvignon Blanc. This wine is so pleasantly average, it can’t offend anyone. Its flavors are floral and delicately tropical, wrapped in a body that’s certainly not aggressive. In our climate of polar extreme politics, I’m voting for the moderate Sterling Vintner’s Sauv Blanc.

Head up to Washington State if you prefer a more tropical vibe, and try the 2018 Linen Sauvignon Blanc from Bergevin Lane Vineyards. A glass of Linen is like sipping on a pineapple-kiwi salad that gets you buzzed. It’s exotic and refreshing, and would pair perfectly with any Saturday activity that makes you sweat, like sitting outside for five minutes.

Finally, our last stop on our West Coast tour is also in Washington, where the 2017 Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc is produced. If Coppola’s wine is loud, this one is perfectly obedient. A “speak when spoken to” Sauvignon Blanc, Chateau Ste. Michelle is much too modest. At $8.97, it’s hard to find another well-balanced, pleasant, and not overpowering bottle of this varietal for the price. It’s another more tropical Sauv Blanc, with some grapefruit and melon flavors, but none that outshine the others. This wine is a reminder that you don’t have to be the loudest to be the best. Sometimes subtleties can produce the finest outcomes.


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