How did we get through summers in the days before Sauvignon Blanc? Sure, we always have a little from France (remember Entre-Deux-Mers?), but it took New Zealand to turn us on to this zesty wine. The unique herbaceous tang in Sauv is stimulating, but not threatening.

Some find New Zealand Sauvignon to be too brash – and expensive. May I suggest Sacred Hill – still refreshing but more mild mannered than most, and only $14.04.


But the big news in Sauv this summer is Chile. It’s producing wonderful Sauvs in a variety of styles, and at bargain everyday prices.

Looking for an easy drinking Sauv that won’t scare away your friends? Santa Carolina has the pleasant, gulping appeal of Pinot Grigio. With this wine refresher meets sipper meets house wine. It is one of world’s best $10 whites. Honest. You gotta have this at the cottage or on the patio. And for all your parties.

If the mood is for something with more of an edge try Errazuriz. This is super-refreshing — more mineral than herbaceous. Classy stuff in the Sancerre-style, but at half the price. Wonderful summer aperitif or partner for a seafood appetizer.

And for the die-hard Sauv fan who likes it untamed there is Santa Rita. It is a thousands watts of Sauv jolt. This wine has energy to burn.

• One week from today (Aug. 10) there will be a fundraiser for New Orleans restaurants. There will be a great Cajun party at Southern Accent restaurant to celebrate the visit of chef Troy Brocato from New Orleans. After the devastation of Katrina in New Orleans, Southern’s co-owner, Frances Wood made a trip to the city to help in a direct fashion by adopting a restaurant and giving cash relief. Instead of the usual hundred-dollar event Frances will be offering food and drink at almost street prices. Hope to see you there. 595 Markham St. Bathurst subway.

No reservations needed.

Billy Munnelly is author, wine critic and publisher of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter and Billy’s Best Wines For 2005.

Visit www.billysbestbottles.comfor information about his in-home wine-tasting seminar. To receive a free copy of Billy’s Best Bottles Wineletter, e-mail


SACRED HILL 2005 Sauvignon Blanc 'White Cliff', New Zealand; LCBO No.: 610972; Price: $14.05

SANTA CAROLINA 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, Chile; LCBO No.: 337535; Price: $10.95

ERRAZURIZ 2005 Sauvignon Blanc, Casablanca, Chile; LCBO No.: 263574; Price: $11.60

SANTA RITA 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Reserva, Casablanca, Chile; LCBO No.: 275677; Price: $11.45

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