By now, we've passed summer's midpoint, and I've just realized something curious in my own seasonal drinking habits: an overwhelming amount of sauvignon blanc. Now don't get me wrong, I've always been a fan of the grape, but it's almost as if this has become my official summer of sauvignon blanc. And with good reason. The wines are bright and crisp, effortless and fun. They pair well with almost anything (hello, goat cheese!) and, perhaps best of all, their quality-to-price ratio is often relatively high.
Here are a few of the ones I've been enjoying most this summer.
Groth Sauvignon Blanc, $20
A Napa Valley classic and kissed with a small percentage of semillon, this is the very definition of "easy drinking." Notes of tangerine, grapefruit, white peach and mango call out for sunny afternoons, late lunches, day drinking and ogling the cabana boy.
Chateau Graville-Lacoste Graves Blanc, $21
When I was selling wine full time, I used this as my gateway drug to white Bordeaux, France's richer, more seductive version of sauvignon blanc. This wine is a little tangy, a little round, and always a crowd-pleaser. Don't serve it ice-cold. Letting it warm up will reveal even more nuance and complexity.
Craggy Range Te Muna Road Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, $23
Oh, come on, you didn't think I would write about sauvignon blanc and not mention New Zealand, did you? This single-vineyard bottling from the country's North Island is one of my personal favorites. It retains the signature New Zealand freshness and vibrancy without ever being too in your face or cloying.
Daniel Chotard Sancerre, $27
Sancerre, the quaint French village along the Loire River, is known as the global center of sauvignon blanc and for good reason. These wines here are sleek and steely, like a ''Black Widow'' roundhouse kick to the face. They're captivating, and once you've had them, you'll instantly understand why so much of the world forgoes the grape's name and simply calls it Sancerre.
Merry Edwards Sauvignon Blanc, $45
Merry Edwards is one of the most decorated female winemakers in America, and it will take just a single sip of her signature sauvignon blanc to see why. Grown in the Russian River Valley area of Sonoma, this walks the line of being delicately floral and impossibly brash. At $45, it's easily one of the most expensive sauvignon blancs available in Arkansas, but I promise you it's always worth the splurge.
As always, you can see what I'm drinking on Instagram at @sethebarlow and send your wine questions and quibbles to firstname.lastname@example.org