Don’t be afraid to try alternative varieties…

Published by Mark Pollard - 23rd May 2016

Don’t be afraid…

I tend to think that many wine drinkers are missing out on some really delicious drops these days because they tend to stick to what they like. It is most likely the human condition to stick to what they know and love.
Now there is nothing wrong with this if you like something then great! But what if there was something that you enjoyed even more than the wine you are enjoying right now?? Something that fulfilled your current wants but then provided even more than that?
At Naked we have seen many comments from Angels regarding them trying wines they never would have before. Most likely down to the fact that they engage with a particular winemaker, or group of like-minded drinkers and then feel as though trying something new is safe. More often than not that safe discovery is even really enjoyable.
Commercial realities of a corporate business world mean that the big players in the wine game, don’t take many risks with alternative wines, wine styles or wines that are not the norm, so the consumers miss out on some real beauties. Not at Naked, we encourage the winemakers to follow their dreams, make the wines that they are most passionate about and see how the Angels vote.
Think of all the positives. You can be the knowledgable / Cool / Interesting / Leader / Cutting edge person within your network of friends. You can expand your wine knowledge. You can help change the drinking habits of the country. You can enjoy the pleasure of drinking wine even more than before!
The only negative is you don’t like it, but even that has a positive, in that you know for next time you don’t like it! (we will give you a money back guarantee anyway).
Here are a few of varieties that you should sink your teeth into, some of them are not that alternative and there are many, many more alternative varieties out there, but this may help a few of you get across the line.
Tempranillo – Spiritual home in Spain but grown more and more here in Australia. Somewhere between Pinot and Shiraz, leaning more to Shiraz. Full flavoured, without being full bodied in general, but can take lashings of oak if that is your thing!
Sangiovese – Spiritual home in Italy but is finding a home here in Australia. It is similar to Tempranillo, but a little more savoury and a little more lively on the palate.
Nebbiolo – Another Italian grape that is growing on a very small base. This is a unique wine in that it looks and smells like Pinot but tastes and feels like Cabernet!
Nero d’ Avola – Found commonly in Southern Italy, lots of juicy fruit, lots of flavour. Those who prefer the bigger Cabernet and Shiraz are probably going to like this.
Vermentino – Also from the Southern parts of Italy, this is a wine that should appeal to the Sauvignon Blanc and or Semillon drinkers. It is lighter bodied but has an amazing mouthfeel and texture.
Fiano – Like Vermentino and Nero, another late-ripening variety that is finding favour in Australia as global warming means we are picking vintage earlier and earlier. This is a good alternative for the Sauvignon Blanc lovers, lighter bodied, with a lovely texture.
You can find many examples on the site and there will be many more to come. As always please let the winemakers know what you think of these varieties. I would also love to hear more about the varieties that you want to see more of…