Last week, in my article “So Many Wines, So Little Time”, I started down the path of the book Red Wine – The Comprehensive Guide to the 50 Essential Varieties & Styles. I am doing this alphabetically, so last week, I covered A through C. Today, I will cover D through N. These are the next red wines I’m planning to try. I hope you will join me in this effort.
Wow. What a cool name for a grape. This grape is indigenous to Moldova, which lies between Ukraine and Romania. The grape also grows in Ukraine and Hungary.
The name means young black girl or black maiden. The grapes are very dark, and they grow in tight bunches of relatively thick-skinned berries, making the wine relatively high in tannins. Moldova is at a similar latitude to Bordeaux. The Black Sea influences the climate, and nearby rivers lay down rich sedimentary soil.
Now for the important part. What does it taste and smell like? The Red Wines book highlights aromas of red fruits such as strawberry and red plum, and dark fruits like cassis, black plum and blackberry. In addition to these aromas, you’re likely to taste prune, dried cherries and baking spices such as clove and cinnamon. When the wine is young, it tastes like a fruit bomb. But as the wine ages, the secondary aromas and flavors become more prominent.
This wine pairs well with grilled meats and game (for the higher-alcohol wines) and stews and hearty soups (for the lower-alcohol wines).
This grape has been growing in Bulgaria for more than 5,000 years! The grape takes its name from the Greek word mavro, which means black. The wine is inky purple in color.
This wine has very high tannins and a lot of body. You’re likely to find aromas of black plum, blackberry and cassis, along with saddle leather, smoked meats and a bit of spice. Wow.
No surprise, this wine goes well with meat! As a vegetarian, I’m sure I can find something that will work with this. Pizza? Chili? Cheese? Who knows. It will be an adventure.
This is the first Vitis vinafera grown in North and South America. It was brought to New World missions by Spanish conquistadors and their priests. It was meant for sacramental wine for Catholic masses. Spain has only 100 acres of it left. And it’s not being regrown in the Americas. In North America , there are about 600 acres in Central Valley, where it’s used for a fortified wine called Angelica. In Chile, there are still 35,000 acres, but the grapes end up in low-cost pink or light-red wines that are sold domestically.
This wine has aromas and flavors of strawberry, red plum and raspberry. The wine goes well with mild cheeses and ham and tapas.
While I’m planning to try all of these wines, this one might be a tough one for me to find.
I believe I’ve had this wine several times, but after reading about it, I need to try it again.
The grape originates in Sicily, where there are 50,000 acres of it. Because of the varying terroirs in Sicily, Nero D’Avola doesn’t have a common style. It is known for having strong acidity and slight tanginess.
Aromas you’re likely to find include violet, lavender, cherry, raspberry and Mediterranean herbs. Flavors include cherry, strawberry and blackberry, as well as prunes, preserves and cherry pie. The Red Wine book also says that you might detect cedar and dark chocolate, mint and eucalyptus, oregano, anise and thyme. Yum.
This wine is a perfect match for olives, almonds, tomato bruschetta, lamb kebabs and gyros.
I hope you’re enjoying my walk through the red wines I’m planning to try. If you have experience with any of these wines, please share them with us. Thanks.