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French châteaux and Spanish bodegas; you have seen these wines on the shelves a thousand times. But what about Japanese or Indian wine? Not quite as often.
Nowadays, wine is produced all around the world from New Zealand to Mexico. Half a century ago it was next to impossible to imagine how vastly different the world of wine would look in the year 2018.
Sure, classic wine countries such as Italy, Spain, and France are still on top of their game. However, one of the best things about wine is the versatility of this marvelous drink. Different grape varieties, regions and styles give unlimited enjoyment to those of us who dare to look past the obvious.
Don’t get me wrong; there is nothing wrong with drinking wine from classic wine regions, absolutely nothing, but the world of wine is enormous, so I recommend you pack your palate and go for an adventure every once in a while.
Here is a list of exciting and unexpected wine regions to start exploring.
A lot is going on in the former Yugoslavian states when it comes to wine. Croatian cuisine and wine are currently gaining momentum with the support of booming tourism all over the Croatian coast. Is Serbia the next big thing? It might be. There is plenty of vineyards in Serbia, approximately 70,000 hectares according to some unofficial sources, producing some curious varieties such as Prokupac and Tamjanika.
Only a small percentage of Serbian wine is exported which might explain why you haven’t seen them on the wine list of your favorite wine bar. However, as they say, the only thing that is constant is change so keep an eye out for some tasty Serbian wine. If you’re looking for a red wine opt for Čokot Radovan Prokupac or go for a crisp Chardonnay from Winery Kovačević.
There is so much more to Brazil than just samba, beaches and caipirinha, all of which are awesome. Now there is wine too! Well, there has been winemaking in southern Brazil for quite a while, yet it seems not many have actually tasted a Brazilian wine. I say go for it!
In the lush green valleys of Vale dos Vinhedos is where I visited my first winery, and it changed my life forever. Brazilian sparkling wine is officially “a thing” so pour some bubbles in you glass. Such as Casa Valduga’s 130 or Miolo Brut Millesime.
One might think that certain tropical cyclones would prevent growing quality grapes in Japan, but that is not the case. Training the vines correctly to suit the climate plays a vital role when it comes to protecting the grapes from heavy rains and potential rot.
Some wineries go as far as protecting each bunch of grapes with an individual “hat.” Imagine all that work! Koshu, the pinkish Japanese grape variety, is must-try so pour yourself a glass of Adega d’Aruga Bosque from Yamanashi, one of the leading wine regions in Japan, or opt for Grace Koshu Hishiyama Vineyard.
I know what you are thinking: Tequila, right? Well, there is that too, but there are also some delicious Mexican wines to quench your thirst. In fact, Mexico is the original trendsetter when it comes to winemaking in entire America, North or South. Baja California is by far the most important Mexican wine region with over 150 wineries, but you can also find wine from Sonora and Central Mexico.
India is a big country with endless possibilities to cultivate vineyards. So, Indian wine should be a big thing, right? So far Indian has been flying under the radar, but there are some tasty wines you should try if the opportunity presents itself.
Memorise the name Maharashtra, probably the most vinous state in India. If you find yourself thirsty for some Indian wine check out Grover Zampa’s Soirée Brut from Nashik Valley, Charosa Vineyards Reserve Tempranillo or Sula Dindori Reserve Shiraz.