If you’re a big fan of red wine, you’ve most likely heard of Cabernet Sauvignon. Merlot too. If you love white wines, then you’ve definitely heard of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
But there’s much more to the wine world than these famous grapes, and stepping beyond them is the best way to broaden your horizons, expand your pallet and experience some incredible new flavors! Feeling intrepid? Here are five grape varieties that might have passed you by that we think are great.
Barbera is one of Italy’s best kept secrets; found on the country’s northern slopes, it’s a grape that creates richly fruity and effortlessly enjoyable red wine which, thanks to it’s lack of name recognition, won’t break the bank. If you’re a lover of Italian wine looking for something refreshing and kind of exciting, this might be it.
Known for their distinctly powerful aromas and their big, bold character, Viognier can almost be thought of as a lesser known equivalent to Chardonnay. Many first taste it, however, as part of a blend; some of the tastier white table wines from this region have this grape to thank for their charms.
You might not know the name of this red grape, but if you like French wine then you’ve tasted it before.; Mourvèdre is part of what’s known as a Classic Côtes du Rhône blend along with well known grapes like Grenache, Syrah and lesser known varieties like Cinsault and Carignan. By itself, it’s also been mentioned as a less pricy alternative to Syrah.
Tinta de Toro
Tinta de Toro is a particular style of a rather more famous grape; the Spanish Tempranillo. The distinction is important, though; translated as the “red of Toro”, they are so named because the Tempranillo grapes from the Toro region are known for being exceptionally tannic, intense and unique to their home. They are something very different from the ones you find in more well-known Spanish regions like Rioja.
Marsanne & Roussanne
The Côtes du Rhône region is known for its red wines, but a small portion of it is dedicated to making white; when it does, the grape blends likely contain these two unsung heroes who provide the wines with a characteristic depth and freshness.
Fun fact: all of the grapes listed are available to order for delivery on the BottlesXO app as single grape wines or as part of exquisite blends.