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Are you stuck in a rut and have the same old, dull routines when it comes to selecting wines? Well, this week, I thought I could suggest some alternatives to some of the well-known crowd pleasers…
Firstly, if you’re a Sauvignon Blanc lover, which is known as an ‘aromatic white variety’, try another ‘aromatic’ variety such as a Pinot Grigio, Riesling or Gruner Veltliner. For Riesling, try something from Clare or Eden Valley as these styles are not usually sweet like the old school types that Riesling got a bad name for. If you would like to try an imported Riesling, look for wines from Pfalz in Germany, along the Rhine River, or Alsace in France. Gruner Veltliner’s home is in Austria but Australia is starting to make some nice versions too.
If you like a fuller bodied white wine such as Chardonnay, you may enjoy a Viognier as it is a little fuller in style, a Pinot Gris (while it is the same variety as Pinot Grigio, is picked later and made to be more fruit driven and rounded) or Fiano. If you’re feeling adventurous and want to try an imported wine, perhaps a Soave from Northern Italy or a Chablis from Burgundy in France.
If you’re more into reds like Shiraz, try a Malbec or a Tempranillo. These are both red fruit driven wine varieties that tend towards the ripe, fruity spectrum. Again, while Australia makes some very nice versions of each, Malbec originated in Argentina and Tempranillo, from Spain and our shelves are containing more and more imported types to choose from.
If you like a Cabernet Sauvignon, then you typically prefer a wine with lots of depth and big in tannins with a more savoury spectrum. A Cabernet Franc or Mouvedre might appeal. Or, try a Californian Zinfandel from Napa or Sonoma Valleys. California also makes a nice Cabernet Sauvignon and the Merlots from here are quite different to ours, much bigger and fuller bodied and would most probably appeal.
Generally, if you’re lucky enough to have a local retailer who is passionate about wine, then pick their brain! Let them know a few wines that you enjoy and let them suggest something new to try
Worth a look:Hahndorf Hill Gruner Vetliner – Adelaide Hills
Oliver’s Taranga Vineyards Fiano – McLaren Vale
O’Leary Walker Watervale Riesling – Clare Valley
Last week: 10 wine myths busted
Alex Trescowthick has been winemaker at Nepenthe in South Australia since 2011. Alex is passionate about wine-making and relishes the opportunity that each new vintage brings to produce even better wines.