EP 930 US vs. NZ Sauvignon Blanc

Gary Vaynerchuk starts a few head to head blind tastings, trying US wines versus international competitors. He tastes two Sauvignon Blancs and gives his unbiased thoughts!

Wines tasted in this episode:

2008 Mt Difficulty Sauvignon Blanc OtagoNew Zealand Sauvignon Blanc
2008 Matanzas Creek Sauvignon BlancSonoma Sauvignon Blanc

Latest Comment:

View More

luca bercelli


line of the day – ‘I literally feel like a lawnmower went up my nose and is doing my nosehair’

Both of the wines looked like water, and according to GV, one of them tasted like it too. Sauvignon Blanc is the only variety I can’t drink anymore…think I had too much of it at one stage.

Tags: review, sauvignon blanc, Video, white, wine, wines

Episodes >

  • Eirikpm

    I really love brownbag episodes! Looking forward too the rest of the week ๐Ÿ˜€

    QOTD: I don`t know what`s going on with Sauvignon Blanc. But I think Loire is still a great place for Sauvignon B. A bit to expensive maybe. New Zealand is still a great place, but some of the best wines is also to expensive. The place where you can find great value Suavignon B is in South Africa! Alot of great vino!

  • I still like SB for that “crisp white” you reach for, a good alternative for those who only drink or know chardonnay and pinot grigio.

    Lars cracks me up-sorry but that was the show highlight!!

    Gary-please do a show on Spanna-just tasted one that blew my mind-after 20+yrs of wine, never having had one, such a great value and overshadowed by the Piedmont “big B’s”-heck I’ll bring two bottles if u have me on the show ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Oakmon’s BF

    You?re da man Lars! I?ve been missing you (I haven?t been missing Conan). Gary should have you on as a guest.

  • Allan

    NZ is a good place for SB. Check out the two i’ve mentioned, they’re not dirt cheap but not expensive either. I consider them good value. And i must agree, too much water out there for sure. Cheers! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Allan

    Agreed on Terrunyo. It’s just great. Also try Cono Sur 20 Barrels SB, different style of wine than the Terrunyo though. A bit more green, like biting into a cucumber- grapefruit.?? :O

    When will you be one the show????

  • Oakmon’s BF

    You?ve obviously have been searching for the first Lars appearance. You didn?t find it because it?s been removed. I don?t need to search. It was not a link it was at the beginning of episode 148. Read the comments for episode 148 and you will find the proof.

  • Sbarnard

    Sauvignon Blanc from new Zealand has become a bit generic, they are still great on a hot day but they tend to be so similar now. South Africa i think can compete in the value and quality of their Sauvignon Blancs and deserve some attention.
    Overall there are so many interesting varieites out there that Sauvignon Blanc is losing out a bit

  • QOTD: I think maybe NZ is resting on its laurels to much which is too bad because the climate and terroir is awesome as we all know. I have had some great value for money SB from Chile but they are most of the time in the lower price range. Maybe they are anxious to compete with NZ and France in the mid-price to high-price range. Loire is still kickin it but sometimes to expensive…Looking out for that Leflaive tomorrow ;)!

  • QotD: I have NEVER tried a Sauvignon Blanc. The category just isn’t that attractive to me. Sometime, I’ll try one, but never heard of a truly serious Sauv Blanc.Congrats on the Jets win. I won a free drink from the game, so I’m happy.

  • Anonymous

    Great show! Gary, glad to see the Jets won. And as for your January comment, remember the road to the Super Bowl goes through Pittsburgh!

    Please keep the brown bags going, love the shows. Go USA!

  • Anonymous

    Great show Gary. Congrats on the Jets big win. QOTD: I just can’t drink SB from USA or NZ.

  • Andy

    Hey, Gary. Any chance you all could start including the total runtime of the videos in the description? I subscribe to the RSS feed but I can’t see how long the video is until I click through to the page. It’s not that I don’t watch long episodes, it’s just that seeing the total length helps me know whether I can watch it right away or not.

    Great show!

  • Anonymous

    I agree that Sauvignon Blanc has become a bit of a passing thought in the past few years. However I did have a GREAT one recently, it was a 2007 Joseph Phelps-Freestone Vineyard, only problem was that it was something like $40, so not exactly an everyday chill out on the back deck Sauv Blanc.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: Sauvignon Blanc I think has fallen out. It used to be this safe delicious choice at restaurants but now no one talks about it. At best I have heard people say they like wines that are like a Sauvignon Blanc. Sauvignon Blanc I think has been pushed aside by Vidal Blanc and Hybrids at least in the New England area. I would like to see it come back, I usually enjoy a grassy citrus aroma on a white. I’m ready and waiting but I don’t want to taste alcoholic water.

  • Eirikpm

    You have never heard of a truly serious Sauvignon Blanc? What about Sancerre? Or Pouilly Fumรจ? Not serious enough?

  • Anonymous

    HILARIOUS!!!!!! Good show and congratulations to the Jets on their win last night. The Vikings really blow this year. It is looking like, with the easy schedule they have, the BEARS are going to win their division and I only picked them to win 6 games.

    QOTD: Sauvignon Blanc is on the lower scale of white wines. I don’t see my friends drinking it or it being purchased in my store of choice. I don’t mind have a Sauvignon Blanc from time to time but not on a regular bases.

  • Missatiejacket

    Sauvignon Blanc? Here’s my stance: if it’s not from the Loire I’m not buying. I burnt myself out on the NZ ones when I first go into wine and haven’t gone back. Lately I’ve tasted a couple that I’ve liked, so I might buy a couple of bottles soon, but they all seem so similar and many are now fairly expensive for what they are. For the Loire, I’ve been drinking less and less Sancerre and Pouilly Fume in favor of lesser known AC’s (Quincy, Reiully) and VdP wines, which I think offer better value.

  • I had my first Mulderbosch Chenin Blanc 2007 today! And boy o boy this steeeeeeeeeeeeeeeen grape is something different. Even a red felt light after this white ? Is there a place for this grape for a battle between USA and South Africa?

  • I really hope that wasn’t supposed to be a Minnesotan accent, because it was not even close. Maybe a 1950’s version? In any case, I don’t appreciate it.

    QOTD: sauvignon blanc is *all* my mom ever drinks (I mean, as far as wine is concerned). It bugs me so much that I’ve avoided it so far in my wine journey.

  • Thanks Brian!

  • Feeling the love Gary!

    QOTD: Lesser known varietals have taken over the SB hype. Like all grapes they have their moment in the spotlight, and undoubtedly, many of us will still drink SB wether it’s in fashion or not. SB is super food friendly, and since were still in the 90’s in Vegas, it’s a great thirst quencher. I had Mahi from NZ Sunday night with guacamole and chips…delicious pairing!

  • Anonymous

    In gen., they hadn’t marketed it as such for int’l sales, but rather ‘Spanna’ came from a local, colloquial term. I first encountered a bottle, by Dessilani, in 1992. That bottle was lovable enough to make a big impression on a young guy who, at the time, was kind of fixated on Piemontese wines. To this day, I’ve seem, maybe, one other producer label the wine as such. I think it may all be from Gattinara, but don’t quote me on that.

  • Courtneyhkimball

    Great show! Love the brown bags!
    I think Lars first appeared on Episode 295. I’ve found mention of him being on episode 148 back in December of ’06, but it’s not showing in the archives.
    Grape bonkers rule(d)!

  • Anonymous

    I’m still not over the fact that you spit out a $400 bottle of wine two episodes ago, then you come in and you drink an $18 bottle of sauvignon blanc. the world just doesn’t make sense to me anymore.
    QOTD: Sancerre is the only sauvignon blanc that I have ever tasted and enjoyed.

  • Good point ๐Ÿ™‚ The most expensive wine I ever spat (?) was a 170 dollar 2 Cru, but only once ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Balls

    Gary, is there any thought to doing double blind shows? You are very impressed with your palate, so put it to the test instead of knowing the varietal. Step up!

    QOTD: my wife still loves the over the top SB, particularly from NZ. I am personally somewhat burnt out on the grape.

  • 29-20 J-V Grats GV

    QTOD:Sauv B, like all things that get overrated also get expectations to run higher. Same are happening to Pinot and soon to Malbec. To much hype always makes for a crash.

  • Allan

    I tend to lick it up afterwards, when nobody’s watching, hehe ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Allan

    It’s official. The Jets won. Looking forward to a serious kick-you-in-your-teeth-kinda show, please make it an early bird, gotta get up in da mornin”’ !!!

    The Laflavie will be dead about now… ๐Ÿ˜›

    R.I.P. Laflavie.

  • joet626

    I totally agree with your comments ragarding price escalation of Sauvignon Blanc throughout every part of the world. I have always preferred NZ to all others and a lover of Kim Crawford. The 2009 was the worst from Kim in 10 years and the price is approaching $20, up from $12 a few years ago. Not a fan of Sancerre and the best California is Merry Edwards but that goes for $33 a bottle. Too much for me to spend on white wine. I also like a small producer in Sonoma, Duthcer Crossing, that blends some Semillon in with their SB and sells for under $20. It’s pretty good. I keep trying new NZ wineries if the pricepoint is below $15.

  • Anonymous

    see pete…YOU’RE WRONG TOO! It rhymes with Carlos Ruiz’s nickname, “Chooch”.

  • Anonymous

    Hilariuos episode. Missed you at mondays tasting…I had VIP tix but it was not a VIP ecperience without you GV, wished you stopped by. Did have an indepth conversation with Sasha…tell him not to worry, he made a good call!

  • QOTD: going the way of merlot and chardonnay, i.e. overpriced caricatures (e.g. Cloudy Bay not worth the price it’s still trying to get).

    Love Lars – too bad the Vikes lost. GV’s guess on the score (both of them) pretty close.


  • Lancastersl

    I have never been a fan of Cali SB till I had the recent Merry Edwards SB. The best SB’s come from the Loire. But price wise, NZ SB carry the best value and are not as grassy as the Ca. SB, and have nice grapefruit and citrus notes.

  • Allan

    What’s up doc?

  • Anonymous

    So good to see Lars back! I don’t recall when his first appearance was, I *do* recall laughing my ass off when I saw it.

  • Allan

    “and hey barkeep what’s keepin you keep pourin drinks
    for all these palookas hey you know what i thinks……”

  • Jbtele

    Gary… Where did you get the Jet Glasses? How many ounces are they?

  • We are going to be treated to another great show since the Jets “done did dat” to the Vikings.
    Keep those wins coming!

  • Thanks for the quick energetic show…however, I think I’m already in Catena withdrawal.

    QOTD: SB is one of those summer go-to wines for easy drinking/ party occasions where you don’t expect to spend a lot, or to get something that will blow the doors off. Seems like you really have to get spendy to experience something super special.

    With that in mind, when we got our Chilean grapes this spring we also got some SB juice, figuring that we could make something easily as good as what we can get in the marketplace…and we did. It got acid, but not as much as I had hoped. I think we can attribute that to the fact that the juice came from the Curico region, which although large and varied in its climates, may not be as cool as Casablanca or the Limari. That coupled with a slightly late harvest, post-tremblor. Even so we bottled some of it on its own, and some other portion was mixed with a four grape blend of cold hardy varietals ( electric acids ) and the result is very well balanced…looking forward to enjoying it next summer…if it makes it that long.

  • rwino

    QOTD: As with any wine, you have to pick and choose. My favorite SB is Merry Edwards.

  • Lars did an intro for WLTV 148…..respond video for WLTV 158….and intro for 295 and 930.

  • Trixie

    New Zealand sauvignons of late remind me of bad chinese food too much flavour. they posses overpowering aromas of gooseberries and cat’s pee no subtlety, no panache, I am guilty of generalising though, there are still a few consiencous winemaker (Isabel) who have not pandered to the masses and the quick buck and produce good mineral rich sauvignon with slatey backboned.

  • Yes, you gave a score at the beginning of the show. They were both close so kudos and congrats to you and your Jets! That bum Moss beat my fantasy team catching that TD pass. Your D-backs should be ashamed since Moss was shut down by Miami last week.

    Nice show and good to see CA win the faceoff.

    QOTD: I REALLY like the SB since I am trying to consume more seafood since it is so healthy for you, especially at my age. That being said, more and more countries are planting the grape so our options are more varied than France and NZ. I guess I’m more positive than most folks on the varietal.


    GO COLTS! (Thank G-d they beat the Chiefs. Now to spank the lucky Redskins and I’ll be there.)

  • ben from boston

    Agreed, Sancerre, which i really like, is too expensive, especially for this ckc. I’ve had white bordeaux that I like also, but outside of that I’ve had a many meh experiences with SBs.

    P.S. You’re Jets prediction was close, but really the Vikes lost that game more than anything. Jets let them stay in it to the very end and Favre just looked old (totally awkward outside the pocket, elbow tendinitis, major public image disaster, things look bleak). He’s finally washed up, and that does not bode well for a well behaved randy.

    looking forward to Jets at foxboro on monday night, dec. 6. epic showdown, vs the new look pats.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: I agree with the general direction of the comments that SB has had it’s prime. It’s just a natural process.

    It seems as if some varieties go through these cycles. SB, Pinot and perhaps Malbec is next. These varieties need good growers and wine makers to reach their full potential and when they do they offer something special that can become a trend. If not produced properly these types become boring or indifferent. Next up could be Viognier, Torontes, Nebiolo (GV says so!), Verdejo, Grenache (or did that already come and go?). On the other hand you have grapes like CabS, Chard and Riesling where even bad producers can make a serviceable medium to full bodied wine which has made these varieties so established that they aren’t prone to trends. Probably I?m stating much the same as Miles? Pinot-porch-scene in Sideways. And please tell me if I?m way off here ? I can take it!!

    Cheers -in some really boring cheap Pinot that I ought to just poor down the drain (just couldn?t resist buying a bottle to try cause it was sooo cheap).


  • Agree. Merry Edwards SB is great… Another mailing list that I’m not on.

  • Cyrus

    I don’t buy anymore of SBs way too grassy, and grapefruity, seems like they didn’t used to be so grapefruity. In CA, I’m consistently disappointed with winemakers insistence on aging SB in oak, which by the way, must have been the vanilla you were getting on the Matanzas Creek. Anyway, rarely buy it, although, just had a delicious Sancerre from K and L Wines that they bring in as a direct import, Franck Millet. Delicious, the classic combination of acidity and weight that Sancerre’s should be known for.

  • Anonymous

    QOTD: SB’s don’t really do anything for me. I can say that I prob lack vast experience w/ them so I’m open to a pleasant suprise some day

  • Alexcussins

    SBs have an immediate gratification factor. I have been drinking the Invivo 2009 which is very nice without bringing the ” thunder” perhaps. Despite being voted best 09 SB…..
    I feel that many SBs just dont have the complexity to get a decent score over 90, maybe some of the single domaine St Clair wines and similar but for maybe half the money some of the South African SBs represent better value for money. My palate has been moving back to Chardonnay….something i never thought I would say…..especially the unoaked varietys…



Not Subscribed to WLTV yet?

Never miss an episode and get notifications on the hottest wine deals!

No thanks.