We get it – the world of wine can be intimidating and scary. There are endless regions to familiarise yourself with, thousands of grape varieties to commit to memory and labels that carry too much or too little information in a language that isn’t our own.
And, like any topic, you quickly find that the more you learn, the more there is to know! We believe that one of the best ways to gain a deeper understanding of wine is practical study – simply tasting as wide a variety of wines as possible! In this way, it is possible to garner knowledge about regions all over the globe from the comfort of your own home.
People often say to us that they know very little about wine. In actual fact, when you dig a little deeper, it is likely that they have far more knowledge than they realise. And today’s offer touches on that theme. We have hand-picked a selection of wines produced using lesser-known varieties that look intimidating and scary on paper but that, in actual fact, you most probably have tasted before under a different guise!
So, if you don’t have any plans for next week, why not begin your wine education journey by cracking open some of the gems listed below – all of them discounted by 10%.
If you have tried Cava then you will know... Pansa Blanca!
More commonly known as Xarel.lo, Pansa Blanca is one of the three key varieties used in the production of Cava. This still example from Alta Alella allows Pansa Blanca to show off its true colours – with bright citrus and stone fruit combined with mouth-watering zingy acidity.
If you have tried Prosecco then you will know... Glera!
Glera is almost solely cultivated for use in Prosecco. However, our friends at Fidora in the heart of the Veneto produce this still blend, offering this variety a chance to show that it is equally delicious without any fizz. Fresh, fruity and well-balanced, this is a perfect wine for drinking on its own or with light dishes.
If you have tried Sauternes then you will know... Semillon!
Sauternes is an appellation in the region of Bordeaux which is home to some of the world’s most famous sweet wine. It is made using a blend of Semillon, Muscadelle & Sauvignon Blanc that has been affected by Noble Rot. However, this bottling from the team at Les Equilibristes is a dry style, with no residual sugar. Expect fresh citrus fruit notes along with the distinct waxy texture that is typical of Semillon – delicious!
If you have tried Sherry then you will know... Palomino!
Palomino is widely planted in and around the Spanish city of Jerez for use in Sherry production. It is a relatively neutral grape variety that takes on a lot of its flavour depending on how it is aged and how long it spends in barrels. It is most definitely less common to see it among the rugged landscape of Swartland, South Africa! However that is where Adi Badenhorst uses the variety to fashion this wonderful expressive wine in which the Palomino is backed up with a dose of Semillon.
It is certainly an unlikely combination but it works a treat! Packed with notes of fresh pear and yellow plums before building to a chalky, saline finish.
If you have tried Port then you will know... Touriga Nacional!
Port is often a produced using a number of indigenous varieties from the Douro region. More often than not it is Touriga Nacional that is the dominant player in the blend. Located slightly further south, in the region of Tejo, Diogo Campilho combines Touriga Nacional with Castelão to produce a food-friendly, brambly red that goes some way to explaining why Portuguese wines are often highly considered the best bang for your buck wines in Western Europe!
If you have tried Port then you will also know... Tinta Barroca!
Another of the varieties often seen in the Port melange is Tinta Barroca. Here it is used as part of a blend by Portuguese superstar Luis Seabra, hand-harvested from his high-altitude wines above the Douro Valley. If you like reds from the Northern Rhone and want to try something a little different then be sure to give Luis’ reds a whirl!