Aug 15, 2016
The list of wines that are
underrated, overlooked, and great values! Some are mainstream, some
less so but all fabulous. From Syrah to Chenin Blanc to Sherry and
many in between, this should give you some great ideas of what to
And here's the list!
- Dessert wines of any
- Vintage Port, Ruby or Tawny
Port, Muscat de Rivesaltes, Banyuls (red), stickies from Australia,
sweet Riesling from Germany, Tokaji from Hungary -- all
Blanc: Aromatic, complex, high in acid, great off dry
- Vouvray, Saviennieres, and some
South African Chenins are outstanding. Napa's Chappellet and
Long Island's Paumaunok make great US versions.
(Austria)/Lemberger (Germany): Spicy with black
pepper and cinnamon, it makes your mouth feel alive. Medium bodied,
cherry-like, interesting, not the same old same old.
- GERMAN and ALSACE
Riesling and all Alsace whites: Well priced versions
for under $20 - $25. Thierry Thiese is always a winning importer in
- German Riesling: Range of wines
for range of cuisines – off dry, dry, semi-sweet – great with
spice, great with cheese, great with fish (fuller
styles). Dimension, -- floral to citrusy, peachy to minerally,
petrol (gasoline) to fruit-bowl like always balanced with
- ALSACE whites: No secret that I
love them. Soft, full, flavorful, great with food. Riesling,
Gewurz, Pinot Gris, Muscat – all have an unctuous
- Reds from Douro or Dão: Touriga
Nacional is the main grape, they contain the grapes of Port but are
dry. Complex, dark and red fruit, earthy, range from medium to
full. Versatile and usually CHEAP!
- Bairrada (Baga): is
amazing when made well and becoming more available.
An honorable mention for the Mencía grape
from Bierzo, which is amazing and usually
- Best are Semillon majority with
Sauv Blanc and Muscadelle. Look for top wines from Graves or
- Loire Cabernet
- Medium bodied, earthy, tea-like,
with red and black fruit. Acidic. Lots of dimension and real depth
– even though it’s lighter in style.
- Chinon, Bourgueil,
Saint-Nicolas-de-Bourgueil, Touraine are top areas (not mentioned
but also one to check out: Saumur-Champigny. It can be overpriced
but good versions are pleasant)
Another honorable mention: Loire Muscadet,
from a single vineyard or great producer is less than $20 and can
be floral with a bready quality (when the bottle says sur lie) and
when from a great producer.
- Syrah: Full, spicy,
rich, peppery, perfumed, herbal, lavender,
- Northern Rhône, South Africa,
Central Coast, Washington State, Australia (Shiraz)
Nebbiolo: Earthy, tar and roses, can be acidic and tannic,
lots of gravitas in the right hands and great with
- No one knows WTF it is but it
can be like a baby Barbaresco or Barolo. Its unpopular because
people are unaware of it. Very well priced.
- Sherry: A perfect
aperitif, underpriced for what it is. Another one to surprise
guests with – the nutty factor of an Amontillado will win
friends and influence people
- The range is incredible (this is
just a sample of the types available -- there are many
- Fino: dry and like olives and
- Manzanilla: Nutty and salty --
like a richer Fino
- Amontillado: Aged 8+ years,
almond and walnut character. Rich, dry
- Oloroso: Oxidized, richer,
complex, like alcohol infused walnuts, dry.
- PX/Pedro Ximenez: sweet,
raisined, nutty, full, and amazing on top of vanilla ice
What do you think? Do you like
the list? Have you had any of these? Will you try any? Drop a
comment and let us know!