expand your Wine Repertoire
W e all have our favourites, our go-to wines that deliver on our expectations time and time again. Just like at your favourite local restaurant, there is inevitably a dish that you just have to order. These are familiar, reassuring habits, but is there that itch, that curiosity flickering away in the back of your mind, that hint of desire to try something new and different? With the world of wine being such a diverse place with so many great wines to try, the answer is, go for it. There are many options that will allow you to be adventurous without stepping too far away from the tastes and styles you’ve come to love. With thousands of different grapes and wine regions in the world, there is so much to explore. So, in the spirit of spring and new beginnings, why not take a chance? Try something familiar yet a little different and expand your wine horizons. You will see the exciting range of wine this globe has to offer.
of green-ness. It turns out that when many of Chile’s vineyards were planted (Chile planted a lot of their vineyards after a lucrative period during the gold rush of the 1800s), they ended up taking their cuttings from Bordeaux just before the vine louse phylloxera arrived in Europe and proceeded to wipe out most of its vines. European vignerons duly replanted on protective rootstocks but, fed up with its late ripening, Bordeaux winemakers chose not to replant Carmenere. Somewhere along the line Carmenere was mistaken for Merlot and so for a long time was forgotten, only to be rediscovered during the mid 1990s. Now, after a couple of decades identifying which vineyards were actually Carmenere and perfecting how to best make the wine, the result is a delicious wine combining black fruit, firm tannins and acidity with a refreshing dried herb, paprika and freshly cut grass note.
IF YOU LIKE CABERNET SAUVIGNON, TRY CARMENERE. Cabernet Sauvignon is a familiar go-to grape for many wine lovers. Generally full-bodied with its firm tannins, mouth-watering acidity and intense flavours of blackcurrant with hints of dried herbs, it meets the needs of bold red wine drinkers. Fortunately, the world is full of many other grape varieties that can hit many of these same notes while also offering something a little different and adventurous. One such grape is Chile’s Carmenere. Carmenere has an interesting story. It is in fact a French grape from the Bordeaux region, also home of Cabernet Sauvignon and, it turns out, related to it. But it is a grape that Chile has only known really existed in its vineyards since about 1995. Before that, it was thought to be Merlot, and its late ripening tendencies had given Chilean Merlot a reputation
FALERNIA GRAN RESERVA ELQUI VALLEY CARMENERE Chile $19.99 456178 Expect an intense, structured wine with flavours of dried plum, blackberry, blackcurrant, dried grass and tobacco with some paprika, mint, vanilla and roasted red pepper notes.
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