kelly magyarics

washington, d.c.-based wine, spirits, travel & lifestyle writer / wine educator


Turning down the volume a bit, but still enjoying the music

In an attempt to branch from my favorite white wine choice, New Zealand Sauvignon Blancs, I thought I would keep the grape, but go to another country. I picked up a bottle of the Santa Rita 120 Sauvignon Blanc (2007) from Chile for about $6. I didn't have exceptionally high hopes for it, but I did know that it's done in all stainless steel, so I figured it would retain its crispness and bright citrus and herbaceous notes, without tasting like a "Chardonnay light" (what happens all too often, I think. So unfortunate for an aromatic, expressive grape to get "dumbed down," so to speak.)

We had our sister-in-law over for an al fresco dinner last evening, and the wine really surprised all of us. With bright acidity, and just the right blend of peaches and herbaceousness, it didn't pack as quite a pungent punch as offerings from New Zealand, but I was actually in the mood for turning down the volume just a tad. It was a fantastic choice for grilled shrimp kabobs marinated in garlic, ginger, lime and coconut milk. The citrus notes in the wine paired with the marinade's lime, while the crispness was a great foil for the coconut milk's richness.

This bottle was $3 cheaper than my favorite "cheap" New Zealand offering--Monkey Bay--and I certainly liked it. I think I'll be heading back to the wine store to see what other SB bargains I can find from Chile.