By: Angela Aiello
Your wine journey is all about discovery. Learning about wine and your preferences is really what building your wine confidence is all about. Odds are you like to stick to your favourites, but branching out and trying different wines is a great way to be a wine adventurer. You just might uncover a new wine you love. Here I give a couple quick wine tricks on how to stay safe and be adventurous at the same time
If you like Pinot Noir – try Beaujolais
This wine takes its name from the Beaujolais winemaking region in France. The red wines are made with the Gamay grape and most have no oak aging, allowing for fruity, smooth, and easy drinking wines. This is a red wine for the white wine drinker. The wines are very affordable, delicious and great for pairing with light-to-medium bodied fare. A must try wine and the price is always right too!
If you like Cabernet Merlot – try Sangiovese
A grape mostly grown in Tuscany, Italy, and more recently being experimented in other countries as well. It is spicy, round and warm. Sangiovese can be found in bottles of Chianti, Brunello Di Montalcino and Rosso Di Montalcino, as well as on it’s own. A must if you want to understand and appreciate Italian wine. Drink now or put it in your cellar to age.
If you like Cabernet – try Carmenere
Chile’s signature grape variety. This smoky and savoury red grape was originally a French varietal, but has since become Chile’s flagship red. Affordable and delicious, it is great with fuller-bodied meats (as well as a crackling fire and great book).
If you like hard to find, yet delicious reds – try Pinotage
South Africa’s got Pinotage locked down! This red grape is full of chocolate and coffee notes. It might not be easy to find, but if you can get your hands on a bottle you’ll discover a real gem.
If you like Cabernet – try Tempranillo
Native to Spain, but planted all over the world, Tempranillo brings to mind berries, vanilla, leather and tobacco. Sounds interesting? It is the primary grape used to produce Rioja wines and your wallet book with thank you!
If you like unique reds – try Baco Noir
Ontario’s beloved grape variety, Baco Noir has distinctive notes of tobacco, smoke and dark fruit. This bottle is a great way to show off great Canadian red wine and pairs well with the BBQ and most grilled meats.
If you like Riesling – try Gruner Veltliner
A light, crisp and refreshing white wine coming out of Austria. If you enjoy Riesling or Sauvignon Blanc, you’ll love showing off a new “gru-vee” new wine to your friends!
If you like floral and aromatic wines – try Viognier and Gewurztraminer
Floral and fragrant, these light-bodied white wines are produced in many countries and are very fun and flirty! They are great with appetizers and easy to sip on their own.
If you like something with a bit of sweetness – try Muscat/Moscato
Grown all over the world, Muscat/Moscato can be produced as a still or a slightly sparkling wine. It is sweet, full of aromatics and very enjoyable pairing great with brunch!
If you like Sauvignon Blanc – try Torrontes
This crisp, delicious, affordable and refreshing wine from Argentina has racing acidity making it a great pairing with light appetizers, seafood, and even chicken.