Have you tried me?
The average person goes to the store, usually the grocery store, and
buys wine that they are most comfortable with. Varietals that they have
been drinking for years. Varietals that they have known to trust. The
most well known of these would be Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot for the
reds, and Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc for the whites.
With the explosion of wineries during the last decade, wineries and
wine makers throughout the world have experimented in the vineyards and
in the actual wine making process. They are planting more obscure grape
varietals in order to give the wine public a much larger variety of
wines to choose from.
The wine industry is reaching out, just as the beer business has over
the last few years. In the beer business, the Big Three, Bud, Coors and
Miller, have lost sales to
up and coming micro brews that are more expensive but are
packed with flavors. The wineries are doing the same thing.
I'm not saying that cabs and chards are going away, but I am saying
that the OTHER varieties are coming on strong.
Below, I have listed a few of my favorite new varietals that are
becoming more readily available.
Until most recently, only grown in the south of France. New planting in
California are producing some great wines; rich in flavor with lower
tannins than a cab
Grown in France and
Spain for years, this wine is largely planted in Paso Robles and Santa
Ynez. Medium tannins, with earthy and soft fruit notes. Most notably
blended with Sryah and Grenache but stands up well by itself.
Mostly grown in
Spain and France. Mostly blended in the Rhone Valley, a few producers
bottle in by itself. Medium body and inexpensive, I really like this.
From the Campania
region of Italy just east of Naples called Taurasi. This varietal is
grown in volcanic soil. Full bodied with firm tannins and good acidity.
I would serve this with a good steak instead of a cab.
Grown in the Rhone, this
varietal has become very popular in
California. Full bodied, lush, aromatic with notes of peach and pear
and slight minerality.
Spain and Portugal owned this. California is now on board, producing
some greats. Distinctive aroma, light in alcohol and high acidity.
Great summer wine
Grown in Northern
Italy, this wine was once called Tokay. Hungary went to court and made
Italy change the name even though its the same. Almost like a Sauvignon
without the grapefruit.
I love all these wines. One thing for sure, you cant buy these wines at
your local supermarket. You can however visit your favorite wine store
here in Ventura (we have a few good ones). The wineries on the Ventura
Wine Trail also produce some of these varietals. So, be adventureous
next time you pick up a bottle of wine.
Questions or comments?
Reach me at :
last month's "Let's Talk Wine" article by Eric
Ventura Wine Bars
County Wine Trail
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