Sunday, 17 May 2009

Sauvignon Blanc or Bust?

I’ve always loved New Zealand wines; their Sauvignon Blanc is without a doubt my favourite, though they do produce some fantastic reds with their Merlot and Pinot Noir. So, for me this week’s news in Decanter was delightful! The UK public have finally caught on, but why now?

Traditional wine producing countries such as France, Italy and Spain, have all seen a recent downturn in UK sales. Whilst much of this can be attributed to the current economic crisis and strong Euro exchange rate; the 42% increase in New Zealand wine sales in the UK, in only 12 weeks, suggests there is more going on.

A good Sancerre will cost you between £18 and £20; where as a New Zealand equivalent will cost you a mere £13 in comparison. So, it’s definitely a cheaper option, something which is undoubtedly an advantage in the current market. Add to the price difference, the fact that for a long time New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc has been considered better than its European counterparts, and I think we’ve uncovered the reason for the spike!

People tightening their belts is encouraging them to look at the things they buy, whether that be clothes, shoes, food or wine. Nothing is exempt. So if someone offers something of the same quality, but at a much lower price, its no wonder its selling like hotcakes.

Though I would love to see this continue, an article on The Times Online about the Decanter World Wine Awards, suggests that the 2008 vintage New Zealand wines are “evil, watery, grassy wines.” (Their words not mine!) I guess we’ll have to wait and see…..


  1. besides the excellent wines there are to be found in NZ, I think the people in the UK who are so by and large fed up think they are partaking in a little sunshine from a country with better goverment, immigration rules, quality of foods/beverages oh and lets not forget the scenary- just a thought!

  2. Never a truer word said! Only wish I could move there now!!!

  3. And NZ's Pinot Noirs are good too - see this article where Tim Atkin recommends them ahead of Burgundy:
    Hopefully you've had a chance to taste some of the 08s at the LIWF - although it was a difficult vintage some wines did shine out. Try Nautilus Estate, Thornbury, Century Hill or Clifford Bay, all of which won golds at the International Wine Challenge this week.