Friday, 24 September 2010

wine varietals you should know about


Illustration by Lars Oscar Hedstrom from FBi Radio

Forget savvy blancs, merlots and pinot grigios, they've had enough press. Let's look at some lesser known varietals and why you should check them out.


Where does it come from?

Riesling originates in the Rhine region of Germany and has been cultivated as far back as the 1400's but is now grown around the world in places like the USA, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Australia and Northern Italy.

What does it taste like?

Riesling is an aromatic grape variety displaying distinctive floral &; citrus-like aromas as well as high acidity. The grapes are used to make dry, semi-sweet, sweet and sparkling white wines and it's much loved by wine lovers for its crisp flavour and defined palate structure. Riesling was the most planted white grape in Australia until the 1990s when Chardonnay had its hay day as the white of choice for Aussie quaffers.

Rieslings are great with spicy foods like Thai or Sichuan food as the sweetness and acidity will help cool the palate.


Where does it come from? 

Tempranillo is the premium red wine grape variety from the Rioja region in Spain. But now Tempranillo wine is being made in many Australian wine regions from the Granite Belt to the King Valley to McLaren Vale and the Barossa to Geographe and Margaret River.

What does it taste like?

Tempranillo wines have characteristic flavors of plum, cherry, and strawberry often mixed with an earthy minerality, or savoury characteristics, which means it works well with food. Try it with your favourite tapas dishes like jamon, chorizo or marinated mushrooms.

Great wine bars to check out:

Wine Library: 18 Oxford St, Woollahra, 02 9328 1600 (while you're there, try the lobster roll)

Time to Vino: 66 Stanley St Darlinghurst, 9380 4252

The Shop & Winebar: 78 Curlewis St Bondi, 9365 2600 (great relaxed atmosphere, get in early to get a seat though, this place is tiny)

Rioja Tempranillo supplied by Andrew Guard Wine Importers:
Ashton Hills 2010 Riesling supplied by Bottega Rotolo, Botany.


iamthewitch said...

Oh so THAT's what Riesling is! I've only ever liked Merlot all my life coz it's the sweetest of the lot! And Moscato :) But thanks for enlightening me on all the other types :)