Wine - Red or White? But it's usually not such a simple question. Still, sparking, cava, cabernet - pinot noir - champagne? France or Italy, California or Australia? The list of possibilities on offer in the wine world is endless and the number of wine types is growing by the day.
As daunting as such a wide choice can be when trying to pick a wine type - this variety is also what makes it such a compelling drink. With that in mind we've decided to take a look three wines that are all a little different - so different that one of them doesn't even use grapes.
Canada - known for its rocky mountains, beautiful lakes, friendly atmosphere and of course its maple syrup - but what it's not commonly known for wine production. In wine it's beaten by most countries but what Canada does do very well is ice wine; a wine which is produced from grapes harvested at sub-zero temperatures.
Originally made in Germany, where it's called Eiswein, Canada now produces the most ice wine in the world - and Ontario accounts for 75 percent of the countries entire ice wine production.
There's strict rules as to what constitutes an ice wine - producer must start after the 15th November, they must take a note of the temperate the day of harvest and also, at least in Ontario, they must attend a seminar on Ice wine standards at least once a year.
The finished product is often served with desserts and offers a crisp taste with fruity aromas - they work particularly well with rich foods such as blue cheese and foie gras and they're sweet, usually with a well balanced acidity. One of the most famous producers in Canada is Inniskillin.
Grape meats Grain
It is of course impossible to make traditional wine without some form of fruit - so beer wine is a little contradictory in its name. However it is entirely possible to add the grape juice used in wine to beer.
This is something that's currently happening as craft beer producers rush to blend their malts and hops with Pinot Gris and white wine grapes. The results are interesting with the process creating ales that have the deep flavor of ale with the sweetness, acidity and fruitiness of wines.
The process has been around for years but the idea of mixing grape and grain for commercial beers is something that's recently emerged and seems to be catching on. Three suppliers to check:Brasserie Cantillon, Cascade Barrel Houseand Dogfish Head- all brewers currently focused on combining their aged beers with wine.
Created by infusing a whole snake in rice or grain based wine - this brew is one said to give the drinker extra strength and vigor and is found predominantly throughout South East Asia.
The snakes can sit in the wine for months slowly releasing their juices and flavor into the drink. Venomous snakes are said to work best with the poison being neutralized by the ethanol in the drink. Snakes have been used for their medicinal properties for thousands of years throughout Asia and are found in a number of products.
Snake Wine usually comes from rice so tastes a lot like sake and is very strong and not many people describe it as a pleasant taste. One blogger goes as far as to describe the flavor as rotting scales mixed with Whiskey - one for experience more than taste. The Asian Snake Wine website has lots of details on different snake wines and producers.
The next big thing?
California is known for it's wine - and Napa Valley in particular has a solid wine reputation, but California is also known for it's liberal stance on cannabis. It's been available in the state since 1996 and it was only a matter of time, perhaps after smoking one to many doobies, that someone had the bright idea of combining wine with weed.
Cannabis is currently only legal in California for those with a medical license so the product is not commercially available, however, it is being produced personally with reports from Californian press suggesting there is a growing movement of people choosing to combine grapes with ganga.
The grape of choice? Crane Carter, president of the Napa Valley Marijuana Growers said Cabernet Sauvignon is the grape variety preferred by those making homegrown wine. Of course we found it hard to find tasting notes on this one - either because producers are too scared to admit what they're making or maybe they just forget to write anything down after sampling the first glass....