This is what was being bantered around noteworthy wine circles twenty five years ago when New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc first appeared on these shores. The acclamation was loud and fairly unanimous because of the universal high quality displayed by the wines and probably in part because of the suddenness of their arrival here. Everyone likes an overnight sensation.
New Zealand's overnight success actually began in the 1850's with Roman Catholic missionaries (of course) who produced ordinary table wines along with ports and sherries for themselves and those local to them. Beer and liquor had the same kind of grip on the New Zealand culture that they had here in twentieth century America. That kind of ordinary everyday beverage culture continued through most of the century until about 1970 when England, their former colonial master state, joined the European Economic Community (EEC) thereby ending historic trade agreements between the two partners. Those agreements, interestingly enough, had to do with meats and other food products since European wines were the obvious preference for everyone, British included.
Faced with this loss of trade the New Zealand government urged landowners to utilize their marginal grazing land for other purposes and wine grapes that had a history of thriving in infertile soils were given a chance in part because of their perceived higher possible return. Coincidentally at that same time increased travel to Europe for pleasure and work by young New Zealanders resulted in their eventual return with tastes for finer foods and wines and...Voila! A star was born...the best Sauvignon Blanc in the world!
Join us on Friday for our Cabernet Sauvignon wine tasting which will coincidentally include a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc and a California Pinot Grigio. The tasting requires a $10 fee which is applicable toward a $30 purchase. If you cite this article the white wines will be 20% off the regular retail.