Wine Varieties You’ve Never Heard of but Need to Try

Wine is one of the most culturally important and well loved drinks in the world, and almost every society, region and ethnic group has its own long history around growing grapes and producing wine in some form or other. Most of the popular varieties tend to originate from winemaking regions in France and are known all over the world for their delicious and aromatic characteristics. These include favourites such as cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, merlot and pinot grigio.
We all know and love these varieties, but sometimes we may want to expand our wine tasting experience and look for something a little different. As luck would have it, there are literally thousands of different types of wine on the market today, some more popular than others and some extremely rare. If you are looking to try something new then don’t hesitate, get yourself a bottle and discover something out of the ordinary. These are just a few of the lesser known wines you can try today.
Everyone has tried an Italian wine at some point, and aside from France, Italian wines are known to be some of the best and most popular in the world. Having said this, Italy is a surprisingly diverse wine country and is home to some hidden gems. The monica variety is exclusive to Sardinian vineyards and carries a distinct character that is unlike any other wine you have tried before.
Monica wines are considered everyday table wines, but that doesn’t mean your everyday wine needs to be boring and unremarkable - quite the opposite in fact, you should ensure that your daily bottle is something you truly enjoy and look forward to enjoying! These are medium bodied and have gentle tannin levels which makes them quite mellow, and they carry delicious and juicy berry flavours that are tempered with herbal and earthy undertones.
Spain is known for its sophisticated reds, and godello is an excellent foil to these as it is a crisp, bright white wine. While you may associate Spain with rich you will not be disappointed when trying a godello, especially if you like your white wines on the sharper side. Godello was once much more popular, but over time it was almost allowed to die out completely. A few dedicated growers have worked tirelessly to preserve and reinvigorate stocks of this struggling vine, and it is now among the more exclusive varieties produced in Spain. Godello is prized for its delicate floral and honeysuckle notes.
Commonly associated with Argentina but not exclusive to this country, the torrontes variety is a white grape that produces a wine with high levels of acidity, yet a smooth finish. Uniquely, this form manages to have bittersweet notes which invoke sweet, white peach and zesty lemon flavours. If you are looking for a wine that pairs exceptionally well with Mexican, East Asian and South Asian foods, then torrontes is a very good choice.
When you think of fine wines, you may not immediately think of Hungary, but that is part of the reason that furmint makes this list of unexpected wines that you’ve probably never heard of or indeed tried. Furmint is grown in several central European countries, but is most strongly associated with Hungary. Hungarian furmint is used to make some of the most delicious and decadent dessert wines in the world, though this versatile grape can be used to produce wine that varies from extra dry to super sweet.
Some aficionados liken the taste of this grape’s wine to Christmas cake because it has a rich honey and candied fruit flavour that is tempered with a distinct nuttiness. It carries a complexity that is sure to surprise and delight drinkers who are new to this variety, and is extremely easy drinking.
These are just a few of the more uncommon and lesser known varieties you can try today, and we would absolutely encourage you to seek out and try one, if not all, of them. As wine lovers it can be easy to fall into a routine of purchasing your old favourites time and time again and not reaching for something new, this is a shame because the world of wine is constantly changing, and your new favourite may be out there waiting to be discovered.
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