You, who like to explore the world of wine, may be already tired of sticking to the same old styles and varieties. Especially in such a year that really limited our possibilities of getting out and knowing more about the world.
Even though you may be home again, why not explore new grapes, beyond the classics? Might be the just the great warmup for your future travels!
For this post, we will give you tips on alternatives to some of the most famous varieties you normally find out there. Not necessarily substitutes, but options that you will surely want to give a try if you have interest in these famous ones.
Do you like the all-around Cabernet sauvignon? There are fine alternatives that can give you an interesting profile. Maybe you are already good with so many Pinot noirs? Or maybe you’re thinking of alternative choices other than oaky Chardonnay for Christmas?
Grapes and wine styles to try if you like these classics…
The full-bodied red is arguably the most popular in the world – leading to countless 100% single-varietal wines or as the dominant force in many blends – is all over the world.
For people who have been tasting good old Cabs for a long time, finding alternatives is an endless adventure. And not only in styles, but there are also similar grapes that also provide bolder, fuller-bodied reds with slightly different profiles that will cheer you up.
Darkish Touriga nacional is a wonderful Portuguese choice. Port aside, its use as the dominant grape in dry reds provides rare depth, structure and stronger tannins you might expect from a Cabernet Sauvignon, with black fruit tones and a complexity helped by blending with other native grapes you normally find in the Douro region. Uruguayan and French Tannat, which can heavily vary in style, are also great if you are a strong-tannin enthusiast.
Albeit more medium-bodied, Chilean Carmenère also provides pepperish flavors, boldness, and, for many producers, special oaky tones. No wonder many blends from the South American countries are Cabernet-Carmenère-led, such as the one and only Seña. And, if you are thinking of exploring more red fruit tones and acidity, the countless Tempranillo varieties from Spain are a great possibility.
(For our available Cabernet Sauvignon fine wine options, see our releases such as Viñedo Chadwick, our Bordeaux blends and our Bordeaux-style ones from Seña and Opus One here!)