As the New Zealand wine industry prepares to celebrate its most famous style of wine, the NZSVO is preparing to investigate the more technical aspects of Sauvignon Blanc.
That was the question that UK Writer Robert Joseph put to a group of international journalists visiting ProWine China recently.
The answer to the question – is that our Sauvignon Blanc has changed the views of consumers, in just the same way the other three have.
Joseph, who was a guest speaker at the inaugural Sauvignon Blanc Celebration in 2016, explained further.
Thirty years ago, people had gym shoes. They were cheap, available in white or black and were used for everything from sport to casual wear. Then along came Nike, with their runners, with styles for individual sports, available in all colours and worth more than $100.
Back when gym shoes were what you wore on your feet for sport, you were also probably only going to be able to buy a cup or filtered of instant coffee, at a price of less than a dollar. Starbucks changed that forever. All of a sudden you could purchase a range of flavoured coffees, and the price you were paying was far more substantial.
Remember when ice cream was available in a limited range of flavours? It was bought either as a scoop in a cone, or to fill out a dessert.
But enter Haagen Dazs with a plethora of styles and a price point to match. Ice cream is no longer a simple dessert, it is an experience.
And New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc? Joseph says prior to the 90s this variety was viewed as a cheap style of wine, without too much of a following. Then New Zealand Sauvignon entered the market – and everything changed. All of a sudden consumers wanted this style of wine and were more than prepared to pay a premium price for it. It became an experience in a glass.
That is quite a statement from a man who has been watching wine trends for the past 35 years. And it is the perfect precursor to the upcoming Sauvignon Blanc Celebration taking place in less than eight weeks time.