There are literally thousands and thousands of grapes grown around the world that can be used to make wine. Yet, most wine drinkers only know and care about the biggest names: Cabernet, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, etc. How is it that out of thousands of choices, most of us can count the number of different varieties we’ve tasted on two hands (and maybe some toes)?
Well, wine marketeers have come up with a plan to build our tastes around a few major grapes. Why? So we don’t get scared, overwhelmed or turned off by the seemingly endless spread of grapes and regions that are available these days. We here at Wine Awesomeness have a different game plan. This month we’re riding with the Unicorns!
At the very least, we’re sipping on unicorn wines. These grapes are so rare that even the most astute wine folks will be like “wuh?” Bobal, Bonarda, Airen, Primitivo, Tocai Friuliano, Altesse. They may not have an alicorn growing out of their forehead, but they’re magical, hard to find and super worth the effort. Some of these grapes are so rare and regionally based that we got scared: if we didn’t offer you a taste, you might never have had the opportunity, and we can’ t have that on our conscience!
Keep in mind, there’s no quiz on Monday- don’t be intimidated by the spooky learning monster. Simply learn through your palate, and as always, by drinking!
Like Chardonnay? Try Airen. Drink Pinot Grigio? In Friuli-Venezia where most of the made-for-the-US Pinot Grigio is grown, you’d order Tocai Friuliano. Malbec is the red grape of Argentina right? Think again, all the locals drink Bonarda and for good reason.
The key take away is to look beyond what you know, think you know, or don’t know at all. Majesty and magic await in the wild woods where mythological grapes grow and await your arrival. Open your mind towards adventurous wine drinking, put on your discovery hat and get ready to go unicorn hunting!