It’s time to change up your wine. Don’t reach for that grape varietal you always go for. Instead, try a wine you’ve never heard of.

Cabernet Sauvignon? Everybody knows that one. Riesling? It’s that German sweet stuff, right? Malbec? From Argentina, great with steak. Pinot Noir? That’s the fancy stuff the guy in the wine movie went crazy for.

We all know our favourite varietals, but what about trying a few of the thousands we may never have even heard of? According to the University of Adelaide’s 2010 wine database, the combined land surface covered by plantings of Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling, Malbec, and Pinot Noir is less than 10 per cent of the world’s wine growing area. It’s time to branch out, and try some delightful, but lesser known, wines.

 

Culinaire Magazine’s Top Picks for Uncommon Wines

Niepoort 2013 Dialogo Douro, Portugal

Stift Göettweig 2011 Messwein Kremstal, Austria

Terres Dorees 2013 Côte De Brouilly Beaujolais, France

Michele Chiarlo Le Orme 2012 Barbera D’asti, Piedmont, Italy

Estylo Puro 2013, Albariño, Rias Baixas, Spain

La Vieille Ferme 2014, Ventoux Rhône Valley, France

 

About Culinaire Magazine

Culinaire Magazine serves up features on dining in, dining out, wine, beer, spirits and cocktails. Culinaire is a food and beverage magazine tempting tastebuds, engaging appetites, and celebrating Alberta. We’re highlighting local people and learning from their experience and success. Sharing their secrets are chefs, sommeliers, brewers, mixologists, restaurateurs, and local food and beverage experts.

 

Read more about uncommon grape varieties and the delicious wines they make:

 

Feel like staying in that wine rut? Brush up on your common grape varietals with our JustWine University series on Wine Basics — Grape Varietals 101: