Wine of the Week: Chasing Venus 2010 Malborough Appellation Sauvignon Blanc

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With the recent burst of spring-like weather earlier this week, it just felt wrong to open up another heavy red, so instead, I picked a tingly New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc from a selection of samples I've received lately.

It was a nice change up from all the red wine I've been drinking lately. Just like the 70-degree temperatures that had us all fooled into thinking we could start going outdoors again, it was crisp, tongue-tingling and tropical.

Produced from grapes grown on family farms in the Malborough appellation, where several of the individual farms have a wide range of soil types, each location lends a nuance found in the wine. The gravelly, well-drained soils impart the grapefruit flavors; heavy clay soils, the herbal aromas; alluvial soils, the kiwi and citrus; and the vineyards closer to the Pacific Ocean impart the minerals found in the finish.

This is one of the most acidic Sauvignon Blancs I've ever tasted, but the balance between the citrus, minerals and herbal qualities make it very enjoyable, while the acidity literally makes it mouth-watering. That's a great quality when you're looking to pair it with food rather than just drinking it solo (although it's great by itself as well).

Considering its name -- Chasing Venus, you may have figured out by now that this wine was sent to me in hopes of a review before Valentine's Day. With that in mind, the marketers recommend pairings with foods that are considered to be natural aphrodisiacs, like oysters (which would be amazing paired with this) and pineapples. I happen to agree with these pairing selections, and if you're looking for a zippy white wine to accompany your Valentine's Day meal (especially if it includes shellfish), you wouldn't be disappointed with this bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.

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