The Best Value Wines from Lesser-known Wine Countries
The best wines from the lesser-known wine-producing countries at the Wine Access 2011 International Value Wine Awards
Aside from South Africa, this is a hodgepodge of weird-sounding grapes from several lesser-known wine-producing countries. What do you get? Well, great value and interesting wines — just not enough of them. Whether it’s Greek moschofilero or agiorgitiko, Austrian grüner veltliner or German riesling, these are grapes with long, rich histories in their respective countries. It should not be surprising, then, that South African chenin blanc also finished with some impressive results. South African chenin is distinctive and has been grown there since the 17th century. It should play an even greater role in the country’s exports. How do we get more of these wines in Canada? The answer is easy: wine lovers should break out of familiar drinking patterns and buy more of them. If we all experiment a little, maybe each country represented here will eventually have its own category. (Bill Zacharkiw)
Photo: Gary Craig
Whomever still believes that Portugal is just about fortified wines is missing out on some of the best value table wines coming out of Europe, such as this category champion. An elegant and seductive blend of malvasia fina and other indigenous grape varietals, showing rich aromas of citrus, peach, mango and mineral that take a plush, exotic twist on the palate, with a round texture, attractive richness and a long finish of lemon custard, a touch of spice, crisp acidity and a refreshing minerality. Bring on the bacalhau and sardines.