Love-it-or-hate-it wine is not for faint-hearted

The Simpler Side of Sauvignon. This week I’ve been working on my annual Sauvignon Blanc report. I always wait for a hot spell to do this as the wine really shines when you’re a little over-heated: Sauvignon is a great summer coolant.

For those who’ve not yet had the Sauvignon experience, let me tell you what to expect. It could be a thrill, or a bad experience. Sauvignon is not for the faint-hearted. If sailboats, fast cars and other on-the-edge experiences are not your idea of fun, neither might Sauvignon.

I’m not trying to scare you, but be warned: Sauvignon is often a love-it-or-hate-it wine. It’s definitely extreme — special interest. Therefore, what I’ve decided to do is start you off with a pair of “beginner,” mild-mannered Sauvs, and in a few weeks we’ll move up to the heavy rockers.


The first thing you’ll notice about Sauv (that’s the short form) is that it has a very dry and cold feeling, and a spa-like, herbal flavour. It’s super refreshing and somewhat like (my version of) a health drink. New Zealand is currently the top producer, but we’re not ready to go there yet. Instead, we’re taking a few baby steps with one local, and one Californian wine.

Cave Spring’s Sauv offers great summer refreshment without any extreme flavour jolts. It could be a cousin of Pinot Grigio, and is a good party starter. Fetzer always works a bit of everything into its wines, especially good drinkability. Expect refreshment and real tasty flavours. Crack it open and let the evening happen.

As it says on the back label, “a great way to start the end of the day.”

Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2007, a guide to the best wines at the LCBO, available in bookstores or through Sign up for his free wine e-letter at


CAVE SPRING ’06 Sauvignon Blanc


LCBO No.: 529933

Price: $16.15

FETZER ’06 Sauvignon Blanc


LCBO No.: 255448

Price: $13.50

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