Watch your back, Aglianico, Gaglioppo just may be Southern Italy's newest darling variety. For Calabria—once considered to be Italy's biggest reject wine region behind the Molise—the phonetically charming Gaglioppo [gah-LYOHP-poh] has been the centerpiece of the region's mini-renaissance.
'Serious Grape' on Serious Eats
The Canary Islands boast a stunning array of microclimates, elevations, and mineral-rich volcanic soils that are capable of producing a wide range of fascinating wines.
As you move up the price ladder, wines made from Sauvignon Blanc become worthy of a special occasion, and perfect for pairing with savory fall foods. f you think Sauvignon Blanc is a just a throwaway thirst-quencher, a wine to please margarita-lovers, check out what we found in our high-end explorations. These are serious wines made with care.
Back in April, Michael Honig reminded us that at the heart, winemakers are farmers. "We don't grow bottles," he said, "we grow grapes." So today I wanted to take a look at how those grapes have been growing around the country. The weather has been somewhat erratic, hotter than usual in New York's wine regions, and cooler in California (with a few scorching days), but winemakers are hopeful about what they're seeing. Will 2010 be a great vintage or a catastrophic one?
For Sauvignon Blanc from France, you gotta know an AOC or two. We sampled some Sancerre and Pouilly Fumé to get you on your way.
We crave tangy New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, but NZ is not the only place making tasty wines from our beloved varietal. This week, we checked out a few more affordable examples from around the globe.
Sauvignon Blanc is the fresh, tart limeade of affordable wine—a thirst-quencher for gulping on the patio on a hot summer evening. It's bright, tangy, and tasty, especially with some salty chips and guacamole or a plate of grilled fish. Whether you're stocking up for a party or just watching your budget, you can find quite a few decent bottles that sell for under ten bucks. In fact, we found more than a case full.
"Critter wines"—which feature a cat, dog, rooster, or other cute "critter" on the label—are generally sniffed at in the wine world. Some people love critter wines, but I've been warned that good critter wines are few and far between—that cute labels often compensate for mediocre wines. Today, I'm putting that theory to the test.
Today we wind up our Grenache series with six wines made from Grenache Blanc. This grape probably developed from a mutation in red-skinned Grenache—the same way Pinot Gris arose from Pinot Noir. Grenache Blanc is common in southern France, where it's blended into white Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Côtes du Rhône wines.
Just because it's summer doesn't mean our obsession with Grenache has to end. We've told you about our favorite grenache-based wines under $25, those under $10, and now it's time for the Grenache rosés. Winemakers all over the world include Grenache in delicious dry and tangy rosé blends. Don't be put off by the pinkness: these are serious wines, full of flavor and regional character.
Red wine with snake meat, white wine with bat? If you were ever a fan of Survivor, the reality show where contestants survive on some pretty funky foraged foods, you might have wondered if the right wine might have made that meal a little more palatable. We asked two gutsy, irreverent wine professionals to recommend wines to pair with "extreme" food choices. We even included suggested preparations.
It can be full and velvety, or fresh and bright. It can taste like roasted tomatoes or plums, blackberries and black licorice, and sometimes there's a hint of mint and lavender. There are plenty of good ones for under ten bucks, but we've really noticed a sweet spot at $15-20. Here are our notes on eighteen Grenache-based wines that you can buy for under $25.
The natural wine movement is growing, spurred by winemakers' concerns about the long-term viability of their land, the quality of their wine, and the protection of the environment. In honor of Earth Day on April 22, we chatted with Michael Honig about his efforts toward sustainability at Honig Vineyard and Winery in California, and taste-tested a few great natural wines to recommend.
The wine made from Grenache (known as Garnacha in Spain and Cannonau in Sardinia) can be humble or haughty, rough or refined. Grenache can yield pale, delicate wines that are perfect for picnics, or deep gamey wines with a punch of peppery spice. Grenache wines can have concentrated baked-cherry and strawberry-jam flavors, and the high alcohol that results from making wine with very ripe fruit. Some have a fresh green herbal note—look for hints of mint and eucalyptus. They're good barbecue wines and they're perfect for serving with duck or lamb.
When it comes to the whites, we always try the same tired varietals: Chardonnay. Sauvignon Blanc. Pinot Grigio. Riesling. Each can be wonderful, but there's a whole world of really interesting and unusual whites out there to try.
The idea of decanting a wine—pouring the contents of a bottle into another vessel—may strike you as fussy and pretentious act, conjuring up images of white-gloved butlers and wine snobs. People have been decanting wine since at least Roman times because until recently, wine was not filtered and clarified as part of the wine-making process.
If you are taking full advantage of the harvest, pick up a bottle of Pinot Grigio on your way home from the farmers' market. Pinot Grigio is a grape that pairs wonderfully with most vegetables because of its fresh flavors and abundant acidity.
If you're longing to learn something new this fall, how about grapes? Most of us gravitate to the same few grapes when we buy wine and prefer to bank on familiar favorites rather than take a risk with something we're not sure we'll like. But these grapes will please most palates and provide you with an opportunity to expand your wine knowledge--and your wine comfort zone.
There is a price to pay for eclecticism: you can forget to drink the six grapes that provide the backbone for wine production throughout the world. These six "noble grapes"--Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir--have been cultivated all over the world and been made into distinguished, even legendary wines.