I often catch myself drinking the same types of wine on a regular basis. As a wine lover I don’t really think it should be that way. There is so much to discover… And yet, laziness quickly takes over. There I go, grabbing a glass of Riesling or a Burgundy Pinot noir. Nothing wrong with that of course, very tasty and always a good choice.
On the other hand I am drawn to the unknown and fortunately I regularly receive beautiful and special wines as a gift. Here are 5 wines I recently tasted which I think we should drink more often!
There are different qualities of Vinho verde. I wouldn’t recommend the most simple versions but some of them are really nice and refreshing, like a dive in the sea. The Vinho verdes come from the Northwest of Portugal. There are nine regions where the wine can come from; Monçao, Ave, Amarante, Sousa, Baião, Paiva and Basto. The DOC of 2018 allows red, white, sparkling and rosé wines. This “green” wine from Portugal is delicious with seafood.
I tasted the Vinho verde Muralhas from webshop La e Ca. Deliciously juicy and dry with citrus, stone fruit and honey tones. Highly recommended because of the very good price/quality ratio, thirst-quenching and so tasty.
I was in Sicily this summer (yes I know, you know that by now but still, it was just so nice!) and despite the forty degrees I drowned myself in Etna rosso. This volcanic wine deserves a statue.
The Etna rosso finds its origins on the Etna volcano on the Sicilian east coast (an hour from Catania). Vineyards are between 500 and 1000 meters altitude and the soils consists of volcanic rock and soft black volcanic sand. Everywhere you see beautiful bush vines that date back pre phylloxera.
Etna rosso is made from Nerello Mascalese and often blended with Nerello Cappuccio (the tough guy of the two). Where Nerello Mascalese is soft and elegant and smells like cherries, the Cappuccio is the hard fist (the bunch of grapes is so firm it looks like a pine cone) on the table, with lots of color. They complement each other perfectly. In the glass a good Etna Rosso really never disappoints. Elegant as a Pinot noir but with a lot of balls and tannin.
I recently wrote an entire blogpost about it so I’ll keep it short. The not so popular sister of the Chardonnay grape. When skillfully made the wines can be extraordinarily tasty. A wine full of citrus fruit (high acidity) and at the same time mouth filling and creamy.
My favorite is from Boyer-Martenot.
Sparkling wines are my go to wine. At least once a week I open a bottle of Champagne, Crémant, Cava or Franciacorta. But rosé Champagne… I only drink it maybe two or three times a year. When that’s the case, I hate myself for not drinking it more often. Because when well made, it’s so incredibly tasty!
How rosé Champagne is made? Very simple.
- Method 1: red wine (often high quality Pinot Noir from the Champagne region) is added to the wine.
- Method 2: the peels soak in the must for a while. This is called maceration.
Read more about how rosé is made.
I recently drank the Ferrari rosé Spumante Trento DOC. Ok, it’s not a real rosé Champagne but a delicious glass of rosé bubbles.
Another beautiful rosé Champagne is Jean Claude Mouzon’s Coeur a coeur. Nice and dry, fruity with a seductive freshness in the glass. Delicious as an aperitif. I was surprised by the beautiful deep pink color.
The Basque Country is a relatively unknown and small wine region near Bilbao at the Atlantic Ocean. There are 3 DO’s you should know about: Txakoli de Getaria, Txakoli de Bizkaia and Txakolí de Álava.
The grapes used for the white wines are Hondaribbi Zuri and sometimes Hondaribbi Zerratia. The red wines, which are very rare, are made from Hondaribbi Beltza.
Wines from this area are crisp, full of saltiness and lemon. A delicious example is the G22 from winemaker Gorka Izagirre. 100% Hondaribbi Zerratia, aged 6 months on the lees. Creamy, deep golden yellow in the glass. An elegance that is to die for. Matches a-ma-zingly with seafood and on itself also a delicious glass.