We’ve all got our favourites, but are there any significant wine regions of the world you’ve simply never tried for whatever reason?
When you take into account random bottles from around the world drunk over the years (including probably some poor examples in all honesty!) the most glaring one for me is Muscadet.
I know Muscadet is more an appellation rather than a major region in its own right, but it feels like a gap when you take my Franco-centric wine tastes into account. So to put it right I’ve ordered a small selection to try some different styles. It feels like one of the regions TWS excels in by offering interesting options not widely available elsewhere.
I seriously suggest the Château-Thébaud, Les Bêtes Curieuses 2017. Haven’t actually tried this one yet but they are a top notch producer… a challenge to many 1 cru Chablis costing much more. Muscadet has come a long way in the last 20 years, no longer the battery acid of yore ! (although still widely available for aficionados of that style)
Ordering a few seems the right solution to ‘I’ve never had a…’. I don’t understand some of the other contributors. By all means, ask for recommendations for regions/grapes you haven’t tried (the WS Moldova white is fine for a cheap one; the Turkish red isn’t), but try everything once (usual exceptions like Morris dancing apply).
I’m far from an expert, but personally I’d open it. They seem to release wines when ready. If it’s any good you can order some more sharpish … the previous releases have sold out quickly (snooze-you-lose)
Had a Moldovan Pinot Noir around 20 years ago, from an indy in Hull. I think Moldovia was still Soviet then? the bottle was a pale blue-ish recycled glass with bubbles in it, milk bottle shaped & very primitive. The wine was fantastic! one of those wines you wish was still available (maybe it still is, but in a modern guise?)
China: I brought a couple of bottles of ‘Great Wall’ back from Beijing, was corked beyond all recognition !
Brazil: Pinot Noir, very good indeed, similar to New Zealand style… which wasn’t what i expected, I understand they also do some very good Chard. Presumably gets hoovered up by the locals / USA ?
The trouble is that if the UK does not import much from any region it is practically impossible to get a proper feel for its wines. Imagine picking a random bottle of Claret off a shop shelf, and how much that would tell you about Bordeaux.
While I have tried odd bottles from many different regions and countries, I think it is a lot more rewarding to explore fewer regions, and in greater depth. But that doesn’t mean you have to stick to the same regions for most of your life - it is good to explore off the beaten track IMO, and get to know a new region properly.
Whilst Brazil is the third largest South America producer (yes, more than Uruguay) and @2020 was 18th largest in the world, most of this production is the sweet wines from hybrids which are for the domestic market.
The main quality wine region - Serra Gaucha - is actually a relatively small region, the climate and topography resemble Tuscany, and is on the same latitude as, for example, Margaret River. Many of the original pioneering winemakers in this region came from Italy, and Italian varieties feature as prominently as the usual French suspects. We remember seeing lots of Marselan as well. .
We were told there that the biggest export markets for this wine were Portugal, Sweden and, yes, the US; but domestic demand was increasing as Brazilian consumers switched tastes to dry vinifera wines.