To casual wine drinkers that stick with what they like, the wine industry appears to be a conservative place where you can order the same wine year after year with just the vintage year changing. Thankfully that isn't completely true. While many of the most popular vintages out there change little from one year to the next, just like with the beer industry there are limited edition bottles that are more than just "this was a great year". One that I came across earlier this year was the Dry-Hopped Sauvignon Blanc from Murphy Good and while it is now out of stock ... it just goes to show that innovation isn't dead!
This was a really fun collaboration between Sonoma County businesses - St. Florian's Brewery and Murphy-Goode Winery to bridge the gap between wine and beer.
When I first saw it sitting on their list of wines I was intrigued. A Dry-Hopped Sauvignon Blanc could be absolutely horrible or incredibly unique and worthy of a second glass. To be completely fair, the first sip will take you back for a second. The floral bitterness of hops is something that I've never tasted with wine before but like most opportunities to explore something new, you should never let the first reaction force you to stop. Unless it is terrible that is. Luckily this was peculiar but far from terrible.
My second sip though was a pleasure. Sadly it doesn't look like they are following up with another collaboration but maybe after the pandemic is over they will both be in a position to try again.
While this isn't a wine that I would ever buy a case of, the combination of Citra Hops with Sauvignon Blanc produces a delightfully light, crisp wine with tropical fruit notes with a layer of citrus notes that elevates the experience to something wonderfully refreshing.
It just goes to show that innovation isn't absent from this industry. From talking with winemakers across the country I know that there are many more experiments that they would all love to try. Unfortunately, wine takes a long time to produce and mature. A simple experiment may take several years to mature and by the time you realize you have something worth doing more of it is already gone.
So, next time you see something curious and intriguing on a menu or the shelf of your local wine store ... try it!