Wine is one of those things in life that once you like a particular type (grape/region), people don’t tend to step away and try something else. With such a broad selection, that’s a real shame as there are so many different grape varieties globally. People tend to stick with what they know & don’t experiment. It’s common for the more well-known grapes & regions like Rioja & Bordeaux to be popular, but it’s great to experiment and find something new.
The emergence of grape varieties like Malbec, Zinfandel, Gruner Veltliner and Albarino is great to see. Their popularity increases as wine merchants and enthusiasts are looking for something different, ideally great to drink and good value. It’s worth seeking out the more ‘unusual’ grape varieties as they can be reasonably inexpensive, and sometimes you’ll find that something particular which you’ll learn to love and appreciate. More than likely, you’ll come across a wine that you’ll never wish to try again, but that’s half the fun!
Experiment and taste new, unfamiliar grape varieties.
Examples of this, a great wine from the Greek island of Crete called Skalani from the Boutari Winery. The Skalani Boutari wine is exceptionally fruity with red berry flavours and an intense, heady aroma, ideal with steak or moussaka! The wine is a 50-50 blend of Syrah and the less commonly known Kotsifali. Kotsifali is indigenous to Crete & at just a mere £12.00 a bottle, it’s very reasonably priced.
Another example from Eastern Europe, this time from the beautiful country of Montenegro, a local red wine, the Plantaze Crnogorski Vranac, has an intensely fragrant with red fruity flavours made from the Vranac grape. The Vranac grape is indigenous to the Republic of Macedonia, Serbia, Kosovo and Montenegro. It’s closely related to the more well-known grape of Primitivo. You’re unlikely to find it in the UK, but that’s part of the fun whilst trying local wines whilst travelling.
These two inexpensive examples show that you can find something fantastic if you try something a little less known. The next time you’re on holiday or reading the wine list, rather than selecting a wine made from an everyday grape, opt for something different. You may find a wine you’ve never heard of might open your eyes to a whole new world!