All of us (yes even me!) get bogged down buying the same wines over and over whenever we visit our merry local wine merchant, so I thought I'd take you through half a dozen wines which I think are a welcome break from the norm. None of these wines will break the bank and are miles more interesting than anything you'll find in larger outlets.
Vermentino Di Sardegna
A stunning white wine made using the Vermentino grape grown on the Italian island of Sardinia. Crisp and fresh with crunchy green apple notes, zingy acidity and a floral element on the palate.
Cousino Macul Isidora Sauvignon Gris
Chile really does offer up some fantastic wines. This Sauvignon Gris is a hybrid grape (made by crossing Sauvignon Blanc with Pinot Gris) but has been grown in Chile for over 130 years. The wine is dry and aromatic with honeysuckle, peach and green apple notes and a fresh balanced acidity.
Willunga 100 Tempranillo
Tempranillo is the grape used to make Rioja. And it does do very well. This wine is from McLaren Vale in South Australia. It is lush and ripe and ever so fruity with a deep background of raspberry compote. So delicious you'll want another bottle.
Simonsig Chenin Blanc
Outside of the Loire Valley where Chenin Blanc has entrenched itself in folklore, South Africa has become the grape's second home. Simonsig who are based in Stellenbosch have come up with an absolute belter of a wine with this beauty. Honeyed with notes of beeswax and lanolin. Aging for a wee while on its lees lends the wine body that belies its price.
Liberty School Pinot Noir
With Burgundy and New Zealand taking all the plaudits for Pinot Noir at the moment, countries like Chile and the United States always seem like afterthoughts and either too cheap (Chile) or too expensive (USA). However there are some excellently priced Pinots from California if you are willing to look a little deeper. This one from Liberty School is ripe and fulsome with raspberry, mulberry and rhubarb notes but none of the "jammy" overripe notes seen in lesser wines.
Crozes Hermitage La Chapelle de Guinchan
In the age of New World Shiraz, which can be delightful when made correctly and not over extracted, it is refreshing to come across a Syrah (the French name for Shiraz) which is a completely different style. Earthy black fruit, pepper and oak notes meld with crunchy tannins on the palate. Very much a food wine save this for a roast rib of beef.
So there you have them - six wines to explore if you're looking for something different! If you fancy trying some wines which are a bit different, why not come to one of our Off The Beaten Track wine tastings? Tickets are available online or in store. And don't forget Tasting Hour runs every Saturday from 11-12 in the shop, where you can sample different food and drink every week. Keep an eye on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for Tasting Hour news!
Until next time, drink well!