Wines and Grapes to Explore
Everybody has their favourite grape or wine. It is human nature to lean to the paths well trod and known, however, the wide world of wine offers amazing choice and variation that can supplement your favourite wines with other new and exciting choices to widen your palate.
Austrian Grüner Veltliner (Gru-ner-Velt-lean-er) is the main white grape planted in Austria and offers a delicious dry white wine that offers some similar flavour characteristics to Sauvignon Blanc, without the acidity. The wines are soft and fruity and perfect with meaty fish like Huss. To Try: Arndorfer Grüner Veltliner – Unfiltered, minimal sulphur, soft ….. £12.99
South African Chenin Blanc South Africa spent a long time trying to find their main white grape, whilst ignoring the amazing old vine Chenin Blanc they already had planted. Initially, these vines were planted due to their high yields, thus useful for brandy production, now these old low-yield vines create amazing rich white wines that are great as a single varietal wine or within a ‘Cape blend’ with Viognier, Clairette and other white grapes . Try: Beaumont Chenin Blanc – Great introduction to SA Chenin Blanc…. £12.99
Beaujolais With Red Burgundy prices shooting up ever higher, access to the wines by top producers from Burgundy is getting ridiculous. Thankfully you can still access the top producers from Beaujolais for a mere snip. Made from Gamay rather than Pinot Noir, the wines from the best producers offer you delicious ethereal light red wines that offer far better value for money then wines from Burgundy at the same price. Try: Raisin Gaulois – An excellent fruit driven introduction to the ‘New Beaujolais’. Minimal sulphur, in a ‘Vin de Soif’ style, thirst quenching…… £11.99
Sherry is still the sleeping giant of the wine world. I am not talking about blended sherry from yester year, but rather the beautiful dry savoury sherries that can be years in production offering amazing value. These versatile wines can match each dish of a meal, from a light dry Fino with some almonds, to an Oloroso with a well cooked partridge. Try: Navazos Fino en Rama – An unfiltered fino (so lighter style) sherry, but with plenty of savoury almond notes. Perfect with pre-dinner, salty snacks……. £9.99 for 375ml.
Wines for the New Year, forget your favourite grape or wine, Listen to the experts and try giving yourself a warm fuzzy feeling that what you have spent your money on will not end up going down the sink or into the next stew, and enable you to show off to your “Sauvignon Blanc from Marlborough” or nothing friends. Above are a few options to sample in the coming months.
Rob Caswell The Wine Cellar