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  • Sarah O'Kelley

My Tumultuous Relationship with Sauvignon Blanc (haha)


Burklin Wolf is a VERY historic estate in the southern German region of Pfalz. It goes back 400 years, and today it is run by Bettina Bürklin-von Guradze, who took over the estate from her father in 1990. It is certified organic and biodynamic.

After many years of writing the Exchange newsletter and chatting in the store, I feel like most of you know my personal taste in wine just as much as I know yours! It’s basically common knowledge that I LOVE Champagne, Chenin Blanc, and Burgundy. You also probably know that take me to any corner of the shop, and I will get excited about what’s on the shelf – even in more esoteric corners like South Africa or Greece!


Given all this it should come as no surprise that I do try to drink outside of my favorites, but did you know that the one grape I really struggle with is Sauvignon Blanc? Don’t get me wrong I respect all the well made wines from this variety – like minerally Sancerre or Dan Petroski’s California Sauv. Blanc that genuinely comes across more old world than new world. I also appreciate Bordeaux Blanc that often blends Sauvignon Blanc with Semillon. But…still I struggle to drink much Sauvignon Blanc at home. Its very strong characteristics (like grapefruit and green pepper) make it difficult with food aside from certain iconic pairings (like Loire Valley goat cheese)!


However, just last week I opened a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc that truly got me excited. Ok, truth be told, it was a Sauvignon Blanc blend, but still I was proud of myself! And this wine was the PERFECT summer quencher: Burklin Wolf Estate Blanc from the Pfalz region of Germany. I spotted this beauty when I was doing my German pre-sale order this past winter. (I’ve mentioned this before; it’s where you peruse a very tempting catalog of German (and Austrian wine) that is only available if you order in advance.)


I have loved and featured the Burklin Wolf Estate Rouge for a couple of years now, and the white sounded quite enticing – Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Scheurebe. Yep, I bet you have never heard of that last one – an aromatic white grape cross created by German viticulturist George Scheu in 1916.


Burklin Wolf is a VERY historic estate in the southern German region of Pfalz. It goes back 400 years, and today it is run by Bettina Bürklin-von Guradze, who took over the estate from her father in 1990. It is certified organic and biodynamic.


We opened up the bottle on a casual weeknight with grilled German sausages (from Ted’s Butcherblock of course) and a Caprese salad. The wine smelled of peaches, white flowers, and lemongrass and tasted of all that plus tons of minerality. Honestly, I would have been hard pressed to identify Sauvignon Blanc being in there if tasting blind. Sure there were the trademark citrus notes of Sauv. Blanc but none of the overpowering green pepper that seems to be what turns me off!


It was a total delight – the embodiment of a summer quencher! And at $24 – it’s steal! We still have a few bottles left if you live in the Charleston area :) or request Burklin Wolf at your own local wine shop.


Here’s to opening up your mind and your palate!


P.S. As most of you know, we are in the process of winding down business at Edmund’s Oast Exchange. And I am headed in the direction of full time consulting, teaching and writing! Reach out to me at sarah@grapetotable.com if you are interested in any of these things! I will be offering up wine classes and my popular wine club at Wine & Company, another great wine shop/bar in downtown Charleston, but I am also looking forward to other collaborations!


I have also started a substack newsletter that will eventually completely replace this blog! You can subscribe by clicking here. I’ve already shared my first newsletter, and #2 comes out on Monday – complete with my fave recipe for Blue Cheese Dressing! The newsletter is free for now!


Thanks so much for your support!!




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