D-Day for the #newwinethisweek alphabet
It’s D-day in the #newwinethisweek alphabet… OK, that maybe a little over-dramatic; it must be the whole Eastenders thing getting to me even though I didn’t watch a single second of it! What I mean is it’s time to choose the grape or region that will represent the letter D in the 2015 instalment of #newwinethisweek. As usual, here is my quick guide to the runners and riders:
This is a pretty big category to cover in a single week but is also a category that is much misunderstood and underappreciated. I finally “got” dessert wines about 7 years ago; we were dining at the fabulous Atul Kuchar’s Benares in London, where a wonderful young sommelier guided us through our wines by the glass to match each course. The sweet Chenin Blanc with the Rose and Raspberry Bhapa Doi (a kind of cheesecake) will stay with me forever. If you choose the sweet option then we will discover some Chenins, Tokajis, Rieslings and all sorts of other sticky things together.
“The little sweet one” is another underappreciated grape outside of its home region of Piedmont in northwest Italy. We all head straight towards the great Nebbiolos of Barolo and Barbaresco, maybe even stopping in Alba for some deliciously juicy Barbera from time to time. Dolcetto is also grown in Alba, as well as the Asti region, where the wines are fruity and sometimes very tannic and a perfect match for a pizza Margherita or tomato-based pasta dishes.
This red grape of German descent may not be the easiest to find but it does produce some delicious wines… some of which are grown in England. The grapes produce deep coloured, rich wines as a rule, but the best I have come across is the refreshing ‘Whole Berry’ Rosé from the wonderful Sharpham Estate in Devon.
The final 2 options are both from Portugal, who are producing some very exciting dry red wines these days as well as the world famous fortified Port wine.
The most famous of all the Portuguese wine areas, so renowned for it’s output of rich and fruity Port wine, also produces some stunning red table wines. A vote for Douro means an investigation of some of the best named grape varieties in the whole wine world; Bastardo, Mourisco Tinto, Tinta Amarela, Tinta Barroca, Tinta Cao, Tinta Roriz, Touriga Francesa and, the jewel in Portugal’s crown, Touriga Nacional,
The Dão region has been producing quality red wine for over a century, focusing on indigenous grape varieties such as Touriga Nacional (red wines must contain a minimum of 20%), Tinta Roriz, Jaen, Alfrocheiro Preto and Encruzado. Having spent a bit of time in Portugal I can assure you that these wines are well worth a vote, as they demand closer inspection.
So there you go; five interesting options and no favouritism from me for a change! Head over to Pleasebringmemywine.com to cast you vote: