This variety is often considered the poor man’s Chardonnay; it can be vinified similarly but costs only half as much. But Sauvignon Blanc has a number of identities ranging from a clean, slight grassy white wine to an herbaceous, full-bodied wine backed up with oak aging. It does its best service at the table when paired with strong, forceful, herbal flavors like goat cheese and raddichio salad.
Unheralded but excellent examples come from Sancerre and Pouilly-Fumé in the Loire Valley. In California, just about every region produces a Sauvignon Blanc, although the North Coast counties seem to have a real knack for it.