“This could have been the euros of wine had Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama stayed at home & decided not to set sail and discover South Africa. Actually it’s a lexicon of grapes from Arneis to Zibbibo and pretty much everything in between.
Take a drink on the wild side with 2 bottles each of three excellently eclectic whites and reds, from regions and grape varieties you may not know… Yet!
Grape variety: Furmint
Country of origin: Hungary
Region: Mad Tokaj
Speaking of the England football teams 6-3 defeat to Hungary in 1954 Bobby Robson said ‘that one game alone changed our thinking ‘ – to paraphrase the great man, this wine could well change your thinking and your drinking.
Grape variety: Assyrtiko
Country of origin: Greece
From ancient Attikan vineyards close to Athens, definite Mediterranean influence here with baked stone and bay aromas , taut mineral and saline with excellent structure. A wine to grace any table for sure, although Ottolenghi’s would be perfect.
Grape variety: Grauburgunder
Country of origin: Germany
Having searched for some time to find a wine that matched a fine Burgundian Beurot (Pinot Beurot=Pinot Gris=Grauburgunder) that an old school master friend was very partial to and which he swore had a bouquet of toffee apples, I was heartened by the discovery of this superb rich, ripe and textural iteration from Harald of Hexamer. The poor sedimentary (Dear Watson) and red sandstone of the famous Felsen hill on the Nahe (shared with the great Helmut Donnhoff no less) undoubtedly has similar properties to the hill in Burgundy from where I first procured said Beurot. I must tell my schoolmaster friend for he will surely buy some.
Grape variety: Touriga Nacional
Country of origin: South Africa
I came across old Vasco’s remains in a church in Goa so was intrigued when this wine arrived for tasting. From Portugal’s most revered grape (the legendary Quinta da Noval Nacional 1931 vintage port is made from it) with a picture of Portugal’s most revered explorer on the label, I liked it, I think I liked old Vasco too and I think you will like it as well.
Grape variety: Trousseau
Country of origin: France
Region: Arbois Jura
Trousseau (or True So!) as one vigneron wag describes it, is perfectly adapted to the cuisine and environment of that special vinous space between France and Switerzerland, where rolling valleys and hills become the mighty Alps (I know because I have cycled them). Deceptively light in colour with attractive notes of morello cherry, spice and blackberry and then on the palate I declare this could be a Beaune Marconnets 1970! Oh well could be if only we had time (or a time machine)… What I’m trying to say folks is … Try this! It’s lovely, a real wine like it used to and should be.
Grape variety: Feteasca Negra
Country of origin: Transylvania
What the dickens is Feteasca Negra I hear you ask – and from Transylvania? Vampire and Bull’s Blood puns aside, dare to be different and imbibe a bottle of this completely naturally made, vinous firework of a vino from father and son winemaker duo Johann and Edgar Brutleitz.
Checking in at 13.1% ABV it’s surprisingly light on its feet, reminiscent of northern Rhone like a rustic old school Cornas perhaps, dark and smokey with aromas of meat consommé but also black olive, violet and plum. You will have ample opportunity to swirl in the glass and then swirl some more, a swirling dervish of a wine. The perfect foil for all things game.