A non-wine-trade friend of mine is taking her WSET certificate for fun and asked me why she ‘s being taught wine country-by-country instead of grape-by-grape. “People I know are just as likely to select a wine by grape as they are by region” she said. Good point.
Although arranging wines in this way in supermarkets hasn’t been successful I love the fact that her freedom from the trade has allowed her to think outside of the wine norm and she’s definitely onto something. Could thinking of wine in this way help broaden our wine drinking horizons so that Argentina becomes known for more than just Malbec and Spain for more than Tempranillo?
While this may not be the done thing at the grass roots of wine education, leading by grape rather than country is certainly reflected on the wider wine scene as championed by people like Melanie Brown from The New Zealand Cellar who curated her recent wine tasting to challenge the norm. In a room full of NZ wines the Sauvignon Blanc stood out not in numbers but rather in it’s near absence.
A risky tactic to take for a fledging oIf nline wine retailer that sells only New Zealand wine but you have to applaud her vision. After all Chardonnay was the most planted grape in NZ until 2002, not Sauvignon Blanc, and judging by the quality of some of the other wines on show I think she’s more than just a little savvy….
If you only buy one wine this week….
.. make it a bottle of Cypress Syrah 2012 from Hawkes Bay. This boutique producer is as exclusive as its wines are delicious with just a handful of cases making their way to our shores. This one is peppery like Syrah from the Rhone and succulently fruity like Syrah from Barossa but with a crunchy red berry structure that firmly stamps it’s own mark on this classic red grape.