In 2022, I say we step out of our wine comfort zones. You may love your Pinot Noir and Cab Sauv, but what if I told you that there’s a whole selection of wines out there that are great (if not better) alternatives to the ones you already love? I’ve rounded up seven new wines you should try this year. Out with the old, in with the new!
Instead of Pinot Grigio, try Albariño
In any wine store you go into, you’ll most likely see a huge selection of Pinot Grigio, and very little Albariño. This, in part, is because Pinot Grigio is produced all around the world, while Albariño is primarily produced in Spain. Regardless of where they come from, they share quite a few similarities! They both present citrus aromas, and share notes of stone fruit, minerality, and salinity. Albariño’s tend to have more intense aromatics and floral notes than Pinot Grigio, and Pinot Grigio will typically finish with a tart bitterness. Next time you reach out for that Pinot Grigio, grab an Albariño instead, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
Instead of Chardonnay, try Chenin Blanc
Chenin Blanc is not nearly as iconic as Chardonnay, but it doesn’t mean it’s any less great! Similar to Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc wines are often aged in oak barrels, giving the wine a smooth texture. While the wines are similar in that regard, they are very different in terms of acidity. Chenin Blancs are about as acidic as it gets compared to Chardonnay. If Chardonnay is a glass of orange juice, Chenin Blanc is a glass of lemon juice. A Chenin Blanc will be a great sharp-tasting, refreshing twist on the oaky Chardonnay that you’re used to!
Instead of Malbec, try Syrah
Malbec is a true classic, but I have a feeling that Syrah might be your new favorite. Both are indigenous to France, but have found homes far away from their origins. Malbec is world renowned in Argentina, while Syrah gained quite the popularity status in Australia (it’s known there as Shiraz). Malbec and Syrah actually share many similar fruit flavor characteristics, but Syrah offers notes of olive, black pepper spice, smoke, and even bacon fat in some instances. This could be a great dinner party addition that your guests will be impressed by!
Instead of Prosecco, try Cremant de Loire
Prosecco and Cremant are both great sparkling wines! Prosecco comes from Italy, and aims for a more fruity and sweet texture, while Cremant comes from France and is accompanied by more toasty overtones. Each provides that sparkle and bubbles we all love! A stigma with sparkling wine is that they can only be enjoyed for special occasions, but both of these are great to sip on at home on your down time. If you’re an avid Prosecco drinker, try a Cremant!
To learn even more about the sparkling wine world, go ahead and book a virtual sparkling wine tasting with me!
Instead of Pinot Noir, try Nerello Mascalese
Pinot Noir is one of the most consumed reds in the world. It’s easy to find in stores, and offers a lot of versatility, but I have a wine that you might just love more! A Nerello Mascalese (prounounce “nair-rello mask-ah-lay-zay”, and often labeled as Etna Rosso) is a light-bodied red from Italy. This wine is a bit of a rarity, but offers amazing value! It’s taste profile is often compared to that of a fine Pinot Noir, and upon sipping you get an explosion of red fruit flavors that leads into spice notes of cinnamon and floral dried desert herbs. Your friends will also be very impressed by this!
Instead of Sauvignon Blanc, try Gruner Veltliner
Sauvignon Blanc is known around the world for its bright acidity and versatility. Gruner Veltliner brings these same characteristics, with a little extra oomph. Crafted in Austria, Gruner is designed to hit every taste from light and zippy, to spicy and peppery. This wine is extremely food-friendly, and will not disappoint!
Instead of Moscato D’Asti, try Brachetto D’Acqui
This is for my sweet wine lovers! I know Moscato is a must-have. No matter which kind you grab, it’s typically pretty consistent with its hints of pear, citrus, green apple, orange blossom and juicy apricot, but I say we shake it up a little! Brachetto D’Acqui is a lesser-known, slightly sparkling dessert wine made from red grapes. This delicate red wine is full of lively notes of fresh raspberries and strawberries, with an aroma of rose petal. It will meet all your sweetness requirements you look for in a wine, and if that doesn’t convince you, let me mention that Brachetto d’Acqui is one of the few dessert wines that goes great with chocolate!
Here’s to stepping out of our wine comfort zones, and diving head first into the world of wine!
Did you know I have a wine club? If you want to join a fun community where you not only meet fellow wine lovers, but learn about different wines every month, come join the Cork Crew! Read the details and sign up today here.