We all have our favourites, but is your palate getting a bit bored?
Or maybe the latest vintage release isn’t quite up to the usual standard? If either of these is the case, or if you just like to search out wine regions in the hope of being able to say you tasted the next big thing before anyone else, here are a few ‘off the beaten track’ recommendations.
By ‘off the beaten track’, we mean wines made from grapes grown in lesser-known regions that aren’t too far away from more famous names. A wine version of ‘if you like this, then you’ll LOVE this!’ You get the idea…
A Suitable Soave Substitute
Many people might argue that the wines which hail from Soave are a bit of an alternative in themselves – not as popular as Italian Pinot Grigio, but arguably have just as much going for them. But if you want an even more alternative alternative, may we suggest Gambellara? Also from the wider Veneto region, this is made from the same grape (Garganega) grown just east of Soave and the resulting wine is vibrant and complex with a mix of peach and grapefruit flavours and floral aromas typical of this grape. Thanks to vineyards situated at higher altitudes than neighbouring regions you might be getting a bit more intensity for your money with this one.
The Rosé Revolution
Only a few more weeks of classic rosé season left, but there’s no rule to say you can’t enjoy drinking it all year round. Those who like their pink wine pale and interesting often plump for Provence rosé, but you can get just as much class if you look elsewhere in the South of France. The Domaine de Pellehaut Family Réserve Rosé hails from the Côtes de Gascogne and is a blend of Syrah and Tannat, but what makes it unique is that 20% of the wine is partly fermented in oak before spending three months ‘on the lees’ (where the wine is left in contact with yeast particles). This gives it an extra depth of flavour, whilst still performing the function you’d expect of any good French rosé – being crisp, dry and tasty.
A Mysterious Italian
The chances are you’ve heard of the Piedmont region in Northern Italy, but have you heard of its sub-region of Roero? Or the grape known as Arneis? If not, then you’re in for a treat. I offer no apologies for including another Italian white because there are so many surprises yet to uncover, and this Roero Arneis from Fratelli Ponte is one of them. It is also another wine that is made by ageing on the lees which adds complexity to the classic Italian white characteristics of flowers and crisp stone and citrus fruits, plus this one gets bonus points for having a gorgeous label too.
An Aussie Alternative
All Australian reds taste pretty similar, right? After all, the climate isn’t exactly diverse. Well, think again. Not only do the larger, more well-known wine regions have pretty distinct characteristics, but the regions-within-regions produce their very own nuanced differences too. If you’re wondering about the origins of The Pride of the Fleurieu Cabernet Sauvignon from Dandelion Vineyards, there’s a very big clue in the name. Fleurieu refers to the coastal peninsula south of Adelaide in South Australia. The proximity to the sea provides the grapes with more lifted, aromatic flavours, although the traditional Aussie Cabernet notes are still all present and correct.
No matter how many wine regions you’re familiar with, there are probably more out there that you haven’t heard of yet. But don’t think of this as a shortcoming – see it as an opportunity to continue your ongoing quest for vinous discovery.
Main image: Gambellara
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