I’ve been a wine enthusiast for most of my life. But there are so many wines I’ve never heard of. I’ll share some of them with you here. If you’ve tried them, I would love to hear about your experiences. Thank you to Buzzfeed, Washington Tasting Room, The Manual and Red Wine for their help with this article. In many cases, I quoted these pieces directly.
Red Wines I’ve Never Heard Of
- Marvud is a grape comes from Bulgaria, where it has grown for 5,000 years! According to the book Red Wine, “the nose exhibits aromas of dark fruits, such as black plum, blackberry and cassis. Strong up-front tannins yield to luscious dark fruit flavors and secondary flavors of saddle leather and smoked meats, and you’ll find quite a bit of spice in the persistent finish. YUM! Enjoy it with grilled meats and heavy stews.
- Blaufränkisch is an Austrian red wine that is acidic, fruity (cherry) and highly drinkable. You can pair it with lighter meats and pastas.
- Nerello Mascalese is a light-bodied red wine. The grapes for it grow on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily. Despite its rarity, the wine offers amazing value and a taste profile that’s often likened to fine Pinot Noir.
- Okuzgozu has umlauts over the two o’s and two u’s and is pronounced like this: o-KOOZ-go-zoo. It is becoming the most important grape in Turkey. It is a medium-bodied wine known with flavors of black cherry, lavender, brambles, chocolate and a hint of green bell pepper. It is best when oaked minimally or not at all, and it is a wine that you drink young. Pair this wine with chicken, pasta or kebabs.
White Wines I’ve Never Heard Of
- Falanghina is one of the most ancient wine grapes that is now grown mostly in Campania, the Italian region that borders the Tyrrhenian Sea and is home to the Amalfi Coast. This wine is full of lemon, orange blossom, pear, and apple, making it a great substitute for a cooler climate Chardonnay. It’s the perfect match for seafood, but it can also stand up to heavier foods like pizza and grilled chicken. YUM again.
- Assyrtiko is a white wine from Santorini, Greece that goes perfectly with a big Greek salad loaded with ripe tomatoes, creamy feta cheese, and crunchy cucumbers…or a plate of grilled shrimp or branzino drizzled in olive oil and lemon. Because it’s so acidic, you can gulp it down like juice if you’re not careful.
- Siegerrebe (pronounced Zee-gar-RAH-beh) was a grape invented in Germany in 1929. The name translates to “victory wine.” It got that name because of its record-breaking yields. According to Larch Hills Winery, the wine “tantalizes the taste buds of every wine taster unexpectedly.” It has a rich gold color and, as a distant cousin to Gewürztraminer, gives off a “honeysuckle muscat” aroma with notes of lychee. It also carries the scents of rose petals and various spices with hints of tangerine and pink grapefruit. These scents can be deceiving as people would assume the sweet fruit aroma of Siegerrebe gives off a generally sweet taste. In actuality, this wine is much drier than its smell.
Once again, I would love to know if you’ve tried any of these wines.