Believing that education is king, especially when it comes to keeping our taste buds well informed, hubby and I scooted off to Mezze last Saturday for a wine tasting afternoon. Greeted, seated and equipped with maps covering the wine regions of Chile, France and New Zealand, a place mat for each glass and a list of the wines we would be sampling, our enlightenment began. Sebastien Lefrancois, sommelier for Mezze, led us on a journey through five different wineries producing sauvignon blanc from around the world.
Knowledgeable, humourous, clear and informative, Sebastien explained a little about the history of sauvignon blanc and what to expect from a good drop. We learned that the weather, soil and the man (or woman) behind the wine all play vital roles in the quality of the end product. The choice of sauvignon blanc for the study proved an excellent selection. Suited well to Malaysia’s warm weather, this fresh, crisp wine is perfect for cooling the engine on a hot afternoon. In general, flint and tropical fruit are the typical bouquet of sauvignon blanc, the colour should be pale yellow almost silver, and the mouth should feel acidity and freshness. Sauvignon blanc is a perfect starter and marries well with cheeses, especially camembert, steamed or lightly cooked seafood and fresh salads. Most varietals are not meant for storing and should be drank young. Sebastien stresses this point, as many people buy the brand, without giving thought to the year the wine is made.
As we moved into tasting the five wines we learned that food and wine pairing requires balance on both sides. You don’t want either one overpowering the other. The five wines we sampled were:
- VDP Sauvignon Blanc, Fournier France. RM124.
Bouquet – lemon lime citrus
Palate – acidity felt in the front on your mouth, fruity, sour
Pair with – mild Thai mango salad, poached or steamed fish, oysters with a squeeze of lemon
- Stanley Estates Sauvignon Blanc, Marlborough New Zealand. RM114
Bouquet – strong passionfruit and mango
Palate – fruity, sour but a little richer than the first wine
Pair with – goat cheese, salmon (not a creamy sauce though, pan fried or steamed) Mezze served with a delicious toasted baguette topped with warm spinach and goat cheese.
Finally something hubby and I agree on – our pick of the night – in hubby’s words, “It’s a happy wine.”
- Sancerre AOC Blanc, Fournier France. RM142
Bouquet – minerals and perfumes, takes a little swirling and some time to open
Palate – I got tastes of old leather and didn’t enjoy this one near as much as the previous wine
Pair with – the classics – salmon, goat cheese
- Pouilly Fume Blanc AOC, Fournier France. RM147
Bouquet – flint, citrus
Palate – an explosion in your mouth, much more flavor than the first three wines
Pair with – Mezze served a cream cheese and salmon tart that served to complement and give justice to the salmon suggestions for pairing.
- De Martino Reserve Organic Sauvignon Blanc, Maipo Valley, Chile RM114
Bouquet – mango, closes quickly not a lingering aroma
Palate – fresh, crisp, fruity
Pair with – Mezze brought this one with a mango cream tart proving that sauvignon blanc is versatile enough to end, not just begin.
In summary, we found out that Chile, France and NZ are fairly reliable for finding decent sauvignon blanc. In Malaysia, Sebastien suggests that drink worthy bottles from NZ should be over RM70, avoid cheap French versions at all costs and that Chilean sauvignon blanc is currently the best bargain buy on the shelves.
The wine tasting experience at Mezze costs RM50, which includes samples of five wines, light finger foods and 90 minutes with expert sommelier Sebastien Lefrancois. All wines are available for purchase at take away prices and if you leave with three bottles, your RM50 initial fee is discounted. This session ran from 5:30pm – 7pm on a Saturday evening, which proved a wonderful way to open the night.
132 Jalan Kasah
50490 Kuala Lumpur
+6 03 2095 0122