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Explore Some Unknown Grape Varieties from Around the World

by Prosenjit bhattacharya

Date & Time: Jan 23, 2023 1:00 PM

Read Time: 4 minute



It's time to try some of the unusual grape varieties that are slowly gaining popularity. The distinctness of grape varieties and geographic location can provide something novel to the palate and the world. It's fascinating to watch winemakers experiment with obscure grape varieties.

Let's look beyond the traditional and common grapes to discover some of the unusual grapes that are making their way onto wine lists.

Carmenere

The World's Finest Grape Variety Carmenere grapes originated in France. Today, this variety is mostly grown in Chile, but it can also be found elsewhere. This grape variety has not gained widespread popularity, in part because it is particularly susceptible to phylloxera. When grown properly, this grape produces a wine similar to Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Furmint

It is a central European grape that is widely planted in Hungary, where it produces the world's best dessert wines, known as Royal Tokaji. It is a versatile vine that can produce both sweet and dry wines. Furmint wines are typically made with dried apricots, dark honey, candied almonds, and a variety of other ingredients. In a glass, they taste like the best Christmas cake you've ever had.

Mr. Nerello Mascalese

A black-skinned grape that thrives on Mount Etna's volcanic slopes. Despite its light hue, this varietal has flinty minerality, silky tannins, and a slightly higher alcohol content. As a reflection of the environment, fresh red wines with juicy, herbaceous flavours and aromas of wild berries are produced. It is a high-quality vine with a distinct flavour, tannins, and colour that is comparable to grape varietals such as Pinot Noir.

Gaglioppo

Gaglioppo is a southern Italian grape variety that produces gloriously rustic red wine with a rose-like scent and gripping tannins. To protect the grapes from the weather in southern Italy, they are grown at high elevations. Many growers choose to pick them early in the season to preserve their good acidity levels and avoid them tasting too jammy and stewed after vinification.

Temperature control is also important during fermentation because Gaglioppo can quickly oxidise and lose its structure if temperatures rise too high. Wines from this grape variety pair well with traditional Italian dishes like pizza, fatty meats, and Bolognese spaghetti.

Argentina is frequently associated with this grape. This white grape produces a smooth wine with high acidity, a pronounced floral scent, and flavours of white peach and lemon zest.

Malagousia

Malagousia, a fragrant white variant, is grown in Greek Macedonia and Central Greece. It has peach and citrus flavours in it. It has a rich flavour that is always fresh and a moderately high alcohol content.

Malagousia is a grape known for producing excellent dry white wines as well as a few exquisite sweet varieties made from late-harvest fruit because it is denser and more fragrant. It yields a strong, vibrant wine that is both rich and zesty. Serve it with fried zucchini, as well as light pasta and fish dishes.

Barbera

Barbera is the wine to drink if you want to immerse yourself in authentic historical Italy. Because it was so widely planted, this grape was thought to be common. Barbera vineyards in Italy have been producing wine for hundreds of years, and many of the vines are truly ancient. Barbera was known for producing low-cost, readily available table wine, which was primarily consumed by the local market.

Barbera has a medium body, high acidity, low tannins, and tart cherry and other red fruit flavours. Barbera pairs well with Italian cuisine, particularly dishes with meat and tomato-based sauces. Although it matures beautifully, it tastes best when consumed fresh and complements a wide range of meaty foods.

Nascetta

Nascetta, a white Piedmontese variety, has a turbulent but intriguing history. The grape is indigenous to the Alba region, where it is grown in the Barolo and Novello hills. Its cultivation has been documented for over 140 years. It had been lost for a long time before being discovered in the 1990s. Nobody knows how it reacts in the bottle if maintained for a longer period because it was forgotten.

Though unpredictable and difficult to grow, when properly produced, this grape holds a lot of promise. The Nascetta grape produces a light-yellow wine with greenish reflections. Nascetta is distinguished by herbal and citrus notes. With notes of honey, acacia blossoms, and tropical fruits, the fragrance is strong and fragrant.

Shavkapito

Shavkapito, a dark, rich red grape grown in Georgia, has long been favoured by royalty. It is said to be grown on only 24 acres in Kartli Valley, and the grape is only available in small quantities. It is a late-ripening cultivar that produces robust wines with berry notes and vegetal undertones. It complements sparkling rose wines well. This regal red wine, traditionally consumed by Georgian monarchs, has a silky finish and a scent of plum and cherry flavours with hints of liquorice and smoky leather and tobacco.

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