Let’s make sauvignon sexy again

Roscoe Johanson from Giesen with the Riedel Sauvignon Blanc glass (Photo: Riedel)

Marlborough sauvignon blanc has been one of the world’s most phenomenally successful wine brands in the past couple of decades but is in danger of joining Argentinean malbec and Barossa shiraz in the “I’m becoming a bit boring” room. I blame sommeliers who are collectively trying to convince their customers that orange is the new blanc.

The challenge facing Marlborough’s makers is how to make sauvignon sexy again. Not that they are having any trouble selling “the wine that pays the bills”. It still seems to rocket out the door, although perhaps not at pre-2008 prices.

A two-day ‘Sauvignon Celebration’ in Marlborough was a good idea. It certainly attracted a fair bit of positive press from the overseas scribes. A look at subregional styles added a little gravitas to a wine style that too often encourages imbibers to drink rather than think.

Now they’re adding a little extra sizzle to sauvignon by giving it its very own glass designed by the sultan of stemware, George Reidel. It’s especially designed to amplify and enhance the already hi-fidelty aroma and taste of Marlborough sauvignon blanc. This is an accessory that serious sauvignon drinkers must have. It follows the release of a Riedel Central Otago Pinot Noir glass. What next, a Gisborne gewürztraminer glass perhaps?

I haven’t test-driven the glass yet but look forward to that experience.

Key facts:

  • The glasses are branded “Marlborough, New Zealand” on the base (as well as the usual Riedel brand.
  • It is 20 years since Riedel first made a sauvignon blanc glass.
  • Height: 235ml, Capacity: 440ccm, Widest Diameter: 82mm
  • Made of machine blown crystal
  • It’s suitable for dishwashers
  • Retail price is NZD $69.95 for a pack of two (ordinarily a twin-pack of Riedel glasses retails for about NZD $129.90, depending on the style)
  • Available at all participating Marlborough wineries

4 thoughts on “Let’s make sauvignon sexy again”

  1. Greg Stevens says:

    Sorry Bob I personally would never put the words “sexy” and “sauvignon blanc” together but I certainly do agree on the sommelier effect.

  2. Peter Nixon says:

    Wasn’t the joke that the Reidel Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc glass had been designed with a hole in the bottom? 🙂

  3. Mark Hubbard says:

    Mmm. Wine glasses have a short life at our place – partly because we’re lazy and put them through the dishwasher. You’d want to be looking after them for that price.

    1. Mark Hubbard says:

      Oh, but tempted. Think I’ve seen them in the tasting room at Alan Scott’s.

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