It's safe to say that, generally speaking, I prefer to plump for New Zealand wine more than any other. They are some of the most affordable, often without having to compromise on taste. When it comes to unaged Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, however, I usually find that its a little touch-and-go - to put it gently.

Brancott Estate: Malborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Brancott Estate: Malborough Sauvignon Blanc 2018

Nonetheless, New Zealand brand Brancott Estate have a new range known as the Living Land Series which is all completely vegan and organic, and I'm someone who - while not vegan - thinks it's important that organic produce becomes more widely available and vegan labels are clearly marked on products that are more ambiguous. That is, many wouldn't normally consider that alcoholic drinks might not be vegan, without realising that a gelatin called isinglass made from fish bladders is very commonly used during the clarifying process.

Not only is it cruelty-free, but at £11 RRP, it's affordable - yet hardly what you'd call "cheap plonk" (not by supermarket standards anyway). So I was excited to taste and see if my opinion on Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc had changed since my last rather unpleasant experience.

With nectarine, grapefruit and fennel notes, it's a very fruity tipple. I always think that inexpensive Sauvignon Blanc tastes a lot like alcohol-free wine or perry on account of the powerful citrusy flavours, but this Brancott Estate bottle is balanced beautifully, remaining sensationally aromatic and flowery even through the tropical acidity.

On the other hand, it's not one of those you can just "plonk" lazily on the table with any old meal. It's well worth considering a food pairing; sweet seafood dishes go brilliantly, as do light chicken dishes with lemon and herbs. Though if you've specifically selected this wine for its vegan quality, consider summery salads with pineapple or mango, and even sweet oriental stir-frys. Spicy dishes and strong vinegary flavours are things you want to avoid with this particular wine.

It's certainly the most enjoyable Sauvignon Blanc I've had in a while, and would definitely recommend it with a variety of summer dishes. It can be purchased exclusively at Tesco now.

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