Confidently Branch out and Try New Wines
Are you ready to try different wines but don’t know where to start? I’m breaking down exactly what to buy based on what you’re already drinking. In part 1 we’ll begin with the styles we’ve explored so far on Tasting Thursday.
If you like Cabernet Sauvignon…Tempranillo will give you cherries and leather mixed with earth but go down smoother. Nebbiolo is going hit to you with tannins, but in a great way and balanced with other flavors. A good syrah/shiraz will be bold and end with some smoke or spice. Malbec, espesh from Argentina is going to give you a rich, full body wine with tangy, dark fruit, tobacco, and often spice. Zinfandel can be overly jammy, but the balanced but bold version is making a comeback.
If you like Chardonnay…If you haven’t already, make sure to do a full tour of Chardonnays by region-specific names like white Burgundy (France), Morillon (Austria), and Chablis (also France). If you like oakier styles, give Viognier with a strong aroma and taste of tropical fruit or fresh but nutty White Rioja a chance. Also not to miss are bold but peachy white Rhône blends featuring Roussanne and Marsanne.
If you like Sauvignon Blanc…Albariño will be zippy and refreshing with a hint of salinity to keep you sipping. Torrontés smells sweet but is actually dry with flavors of white peach and lemon. Dry, acidic, and herbaceous Grüner Veltliner is another excellent alternative.
If you like Pinot Noir…If you haven’t yet, don’t miss a red Burgundy from France, which produces the most expensive version of this grape with affordable options available as well.
When you’re ready to switch up the game without breaking the bank, I cannot recommend gamay enough, most commonly known in its French form of Beaujolais, technically the southern part of Burgundy. Beaujolais is one of my very favorites. It’s easy-drinking perfection with its light body and smooth quality. Dive right into this wine with mid-tier bottles going for under $15.
If you’re looking for something a little meatier but still light and fruity, try Cinsault.
If you like Grenache…Merlot is going to be velvety and fruit-forward but with dark fruits. Sangiovese and montepulciano are both going to be great medium-body wines that are perfect with pizza.
If you like Pinot Grigio…Vinho verde is an excellent summer wine with a light kiss of bubbliness and a hint of saltiness that keeps you coming back. Muscadet, or Melon de Bourgogne, will hit the sweeter flavor of cantaloupe with lots of minerals. Make a stop for a tart and lean Vouvray while you’re at it.
If you like Prosecco…There are so many options for sparkling! Of course Champagne is the classic and king for a reason. Cava is Spanish and made in the Champagne style but much more affordable. The Italian middle ground between Cava and Champagne is Franciacorta. Feeling a little wild or weird? Grab a Lambrusco, a RED, dry sparkling, which is sure to impress and delight at a dinner party. Pétillant naturel, or pet nat, will wow with its bottlecap top, unique flavors, and unfiltered style.
What’s your favorite style of wine I haven’t covered yet? What did you think of the wines suggested for you? Leave a comment below and stay tuned for Part 2.